Failing Forward

I know – Failing Forward isn’t a very exciting nor inspiring title to kick off a New Year’s blog. We’ve not even crossed the first month of the new year and we’re talking about ‘failing?’

People look forward to a new year because it presents an opportunity to start afresh on a positive note, a new beginning, much like a ‘reset’ button. Besides, this year isn’t just another new year. It’s the turn of a new decade. It’s the year of moving forward with a ‘20/20 vision’, filled with expectations of what the Lord is going to do.

I started this year experiencing quite the opposite. Things started ‘going south’ as each day passed. The things which I normally do well started to turn on me – I messed up a simple family lunch reservation, used the wrong choice of words to encourage a church member undergoing a difficult time, making decisions and priorities on supposedly straightforward issues that simply don’t make sense at all.

Suddenly, what’s familiar to me becomes strangely unfamiliar! Before you can recover, you make another blunder. Imagine we’re all lined up in our running lanes at the starting block. The gun goes off and every runner is off to a great start, running towards the finish line. You push yourself forward, then slip and tumble to the ground as you watch the rest fade into the distance.

If you’re going through something like this as well, I want to encourage you by sharing what I’ve learnt in the midst of ‘failing forward’.

Search Your Heart First

When things like this happen, don’t play the ‘blame game’ and start pointing fingers at someone else. Hear the counsel from God’s Word in Proverbs 4:23, ‘Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.’

Every issue in life originates from the heart. If your attitude or response is not right or is negative, check your own heart first. The prophet Jeremiah reminds us in Jeremiah 17:9 that ‘The human heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it?’ Only God can, for He searches our hearts and examines every secret motive.

God may be trying to get our attention, and our response to Him should be like David’s in his psalms: ‘Search me and know my heart’ (Ps 139) and ‘Create in me a clean heart’ (Ps 51). Is it any wonder God so loved David and testified of him as a man after His very own heart?

Being Vulnerable is Not a Weakness

I asked the Lord, “What’s this new season or chapter I’m entering?” and I felt the Holy Spirit say, “It’s not a new chapter I’m writing in your life – it’s a new book!”

Now, when you write a new book, you start from scratch – from page one! You have no previous chapters to make reference to. What used to work in the past may not work any more. You can’t build on your past successes.

My only point of reference is Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith (Heb 12:2). I’ve to totally rely on Him. I needed to empty myself before the Lord again because what started as placing my confidence in God had subtly become having confidence in myself. It’s a process of learning, unlearning, and re-learning. I’ve to admit it’s humbling but I know it’s good for me and I’m safe in His hands.

Jesus assures us in 2 Cor 12:9 (TPT) that, “My grace is always more than enough for you, and My power finds its full expression through your weakness.” When I’m weak, His power strengthens me. Being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness.

God nurtures us according to the level of consecration we desire and pray for. If He’s turning up the heat in your life, He’s answering the ‘desires of your heart’, purifying and purging the undesirable things from it.

God Responds to Desperation

Acknowledging my vulnerabilities and inadequacies created in me a greater desperation for more of God. I felt a little like Jacob after God dislocated his hip joint: though he walked with a limp thereafter, that weaker leg will always remind him to lean on God.

In Luke 8, there was a woman with the issue of blood. She was desperate, having suffered her condition for 12 long years and spent all her money and life savings on doctors who could not heal her. She pressed in and pressed through the crowd to get her breakthrough. Her desperation and faith caused Jesus to stop where He was heading and commend her. God responds to desperation. This is God’s promise to us, “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jer 29:13)

Remember – ‘forward ever, backwards never.’ Don’t fail backward – fail forward. Every setback is an opportunity for a comeback. Never give up!


Ps. Kevin Koh

The Shaking, The Sifting & The Shaping

Let me qualify myself from the outset. I’m neither a doomsday prophet who continually spouts dark and foreboding scenarios, nor am I a dominionist who believes that Christians have to take over and monopolise the world before the return of the Lord Jesus.

I’m simply a disciple who wholeheartedly believes all that Jesus Christ taught, warned, and promised – and since spiritual revelation requires participation to be fruitful, I desire to be a spiritually-effective participant in what God is doing in the world these days.

Not surprisingly, 2020 has already begun choppily with riots in Hong Kong, fires in Australia, floods in Indonesia, the U.S. airstrike which killed an Iranian general in Baghdad, and the tragic air crash which killed 176 innocent passengers caught in the crossfire of a retaliatory Iranian missile.

According to End Times expert Michael Snyder, it read more…

Be Prepared. Be Ready. Be Vigilant.

People often ask me, as a pastor, what’s the one thing that influences the decisions I make with regard to the church. I’ll tell you right now, it’s my theology that determines my decisions, especially my theology on the last days.

The Word of God is very clear on what’s coming in the last days and, because I know what’s going to happen, it influences and has a bearing on every decision I make. I believe we’ve to have a crystal clear vision of what the future is going to be.

The apostle Paul preached that the Kingdom of God is entered into by many tribulations. Yes, salvation is a free gift. Yes, I’m saved by grace through faith. But tribulation is part and parcel of the Gospel and any pastor who neglects to warn his flock is negligent and read more…

Keep Your Lamps Burning Brightly

Attending Sunday School as a young girl, I often sang this song,
“Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning.
Give me oil in my lamp, I pray.
Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning.
Keep me burning ’til the break of day.
Sing hosanna! Sing hosanna!
Sing hosanna to the King of kings!”

A chorus like this seldom leaves you when it’s etched in your memory. It’ll cling to you like truth, if you allow it to wrap you.

One day as Jesus went up on a mountain, a multitude of ordinary men, women, and children followed Him. When He was seated, He said to them, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor read more…

Ask Yourself This

I should be writing something about Christmas. I know a year is almost over and a brand new one is just around the corner, and maybe I should say something about the new year. But somehow, I feel compelled to say something else. Something completely unrelated to this week of celebration, parties, gifts, and friendship. Instead, I ask us a simple question – Is Christ in us?
 
Is that even an appropriate question to ask in a blog addressed to Christians? I’d like to say that I’m taking the lead from the Apostle Paul. In 2 Corinthians 13:5, this is the exact question he asked in his letter to the Corinthians – to the Church, to Christians, to those professing a belief in Jesus.
 
If Paul saw fit to raise such a question in read more…

From God, With Love

During my recent ministry trip to India, I shared with a group of leaders from John 14:15 where Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” 
I was talking about the key to keeping God’s commandments and overcoming temptations.

For many years, I had tried my best to keep God’s commandments as proof of my love for Him. That was how I always interpreted this verse. However, I soon realised that it was tough to maintain this walk.

There were times where I felt victorious over temptations, but there were also times where I felt utterly defeated and let God down. It was both frustrating and discouraging to live life like a ‘yoyo Christian’ – one moment you’re up and the next, you’re down. I was striving to keep God’s commandments with my own strength.

Then one day, the Holy read more…

Be You. Bring Your Heart!

Building an authentic Biblical community takes more than just weekly attendance – it requires an intentional opening up of our hearts to one another. Deep relationships don’t just happen because we spend a few hours together in the same room once a week, because it’s so easy for us to throw on a façade to cover up the reality of our lives.

In 1 John 4:20-21, the Bible says “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.” Our love for God is manifest in our love for people, for the Christian life was never meant read more…

Now, Go!

What a power-packed weekend we had with our special guests – Robby Dawkins, Tyshone Roland, and Todd White. We’ve received many testimonies of healing and breakthroughs, especially from our young people at the FOPx ‘GO’ Conference. Many were blessed and inspired by the evangelists’ ministry to fulfil the Great Commission and go into all the world to preach the Gospel to all creation.

This December, we’ll be sending out 15 Couriers teams (short-term missions) comprising 133 members, into 10 nations. Here are a few simple truths that I’ve gleaned from John 17, generally known as the Farewell Prayer or the High Priestly Prayer, given that it’s an intercession of Jesus for His Church and the apostles (‘the sent ones’).

1. You’re Loved

Several times in these verses, Jesus mentioned that the Father loved Him. God’s love for us is read more…

Seize The Day!

I’m writing this from the Bible College of Wales where we’re witnessing the graduation of 33 students of Batch 9. In the past few years, we’ve seen hundreds of students graduate from 37 nations and it never tires.

These past two weeks have been a whirlwind of activity for my wife and I. We had the privilege of inaugurating our new church plant in Johor Bahru in West Malaysia two weekends ago. The week before, my wife was part of the team that dedicated our new church building in Kuching, Sarawak. And last weekend, we inaugurated our new church facility in Tullamore, Ireland.

All this is really very surreal. Not in my wildest imagination could I have foreseen this 29 years ago when I first stepped out by faith to quit my job and serve God full-time, I had no read more…

Get Engaged!

I’m penning this from The Bible College of Wales (BCW) in Swansea, UK, as we graduate the 9th batch of students from the 2019 Autumn Term. It’s been an amazing journey with these 33 students from seven nations, together with our awesome BCW staff members.


With ages ranging from 19 to 71 years, you couldn’t tell the difference when you witness their fervency and faithfulness towards the purposes of God. This thrills my heart because God sees beyond the years and ages, and the possibility of using anyone who avails himself or herself to Him.

Your age doesn’t have to label you as not having enough experience nor cause worry about what others think – that you’re incompetent to complete the work God has called you to do. 1 Timothy 4:12 says, ‘Don’t let anyone look down on read more…

Your Face, Lord, Will I Seek

I was reading Psalm 27:8 and soon found myself crying out to God, “When You said, ‘Seek My face,’ my heart said to You, ‘Your face, Lord, I will seek.’ ” Then I heard the Holy Spirit ask me, “Why?”

There was a moment of silence because I’ve never thought of the ‘why’ apart from seeking Him to know Him more. And so, gleaning from the prophet Ezekiel’s wise reply in Ezekiel 37:3, I replied, “O Sovereign Lord, You alone know the answer to that.” Then the Holy Spirit continued, “It’s so that you’ll not be deceived!”

Immediately, I understood what He was telling me because, just the other day, I was walking in the shopping mall when suddenly I felt a little hand grab mine. The toddler seemed oblivious to what just happened and was rather comfortable with read more…

Judge Not?

If there’s a Scripture that’s abused, misused, and yet at the same time unavoidable, it’d be Matt 7:1 – ‘Judge not, that you be not judged.’ Abused and misused because it’s so often used to silence valid correction and discipline that should be administered. Those who pursue their own sinful nature often use this Scripture to put others on the back foot so that they may not be confronted by their own sins.
 
At the same time, we find it impossible not to judge as our lives do indeed consist of making decisions and weighing what’s right and wrong, and what’s good and better. How can we go through life not judging? That seems impossible.
 
In truth, this is not meant to be understood as a stand-alone verse. Instead, it needs to be read read more…

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