The Key Is In The ‘Beginning’24 April, 2020
If you’re like me during this ‘Circuit Breaker’ lock-in with young children, you start your day early with your morning devotions and emerge full of faith and grace. Then, when the clock strikes 8am, the first giant called ‘Home-Based Learning (HBL)’ is unleashed, followed by the second giant called ‘Work From Home (WFH)’ at 9am.
As the day wears on, these giants often end up fighting each other, competing for the trophy called ‘Wi-Fi connectivity’, with the winner enjoying smooth and seamless video conference calls and online streaming.
If you and your spouse are working, there’ll be this internal struggle within you – “Whose job is more important?”, so that the one with the ‘less important’ job will have to fight that HBL giant and rescue the helpless child. When it’s lunch-time, you think it was just a while ago that you had breakfast. And, before you know it, you’re thinking about the dinner menu. You feel energy and patience slowly but surely draining from your body.
By the end of the day, when everyone’s in their room fast asleep and you’re alone with God in the living room, you’ll probably regret some of the outbursts and repented of them, yet you’re also thankful for having a family to love. If not for the grace of God, this ‘Circuit Breaker’ would easily become a ‘short-circuit’!
The irony is that we’ve always wished we had more time to spend with our family. Now that we’re presented with this great opportunity to bond as one, we sometimes end up almost tearing each other apart. I do suspect that those nice family pictures posted on social media are often the ‘calm before another storm’. Perhaps ‘HBL’ should also be called ‘Home-Based Loving’, where our ‘true love’ for each family member is being tested and deepened. Family, after all, is our primary ministry.
Parents, especially those having a challenging time with your children, I want to encourage you with this wonderful Scripture in Isa 54:13 (NKJV): ‘All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.’
Rom 8:28 tells us, ‘All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.’ If it’s not good, it’s not the end, and we keep pressing on with God.
In the midst of these struggles and challenges, is it still possible to pursue spiritual growth? It’s a resounding ‘Yes!’
The Apostle John outlined the spiritual progress for every believer in 1 John 2:12-14 and the attributes associated with each level of maturity. The ‘little children’ are described as having their sins forgiven while the ‘young men’ are those who have overcome the wicked one, having the Word of God abide in them. But, when it came to describing the ‘fathers’, which should be every believer’s goal, this same attribute was mentioned twice – you’ve known Him Who is ‘from the beginning’.
Interestingly, this same apostle, who was described as ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved’, also began the Book of John with these three words – ‘In the beginning…’ (John 1:1). Moses, whom the Lord spoke ‘face to face as one speaks to a friend’, also began the Book of Genesis with these words, ‘In the beginning…’ (Gen 1:1).
Could the ‘key’ to growing spiritually mature and strong be linked to understanding the ‘beginning’? What was it like ‘in the beginning’? We go back to the Book of Beginnings in Genesis.
In the beginning, it was just Adam, Eve and God. No big ministries, no applause of men, no distractions from any sports or entertainment. It’s quite surreal watching well-known preachers preaching alone on huge stages to empty halls, which were once filled with people.
The only ministry Adam and Eve had was to fellowship and minister unto the Lord. They were sustained by His Presence, not programmes. So, if you’re feeling restless during this Circuit Breaker period, and always need to pack your day with activities, perhaps all these while you’ve been sustained by programmes instead of God’s Presence. You see, the Ark of the Covenant was not meant to be carried by ministries (bullock cart) but on the shoulders of ministers (people). The greatest ministry you can have is to minister unto the Lord!
If you can’t get used to spending time with God, you won’t like it in Heaven – Heaven is all about Him. I believe, as you spend time with God during this lock-in, when the clutter is removed, you’re going to find your true calling in life.
While the world looks for better methods, God looks for better men (and women). For every Pharaoh, there’s a Moses. For every Goliath, there’s a David. For every Haman, there’s an Esther. For every captivity, there’s a Daniel. Even while confined on the island of Patmos, God wrote the Book of Revelation through the Apostle John. For this Covid-19 lock-in, God is raising you up!
Jesus said in the last chapter of the last book of the Bible, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” (Rev 22:13). God knows the end from the beginning (Isa 46:10) and He’s got you covered when you put your trust in Him. You’re going to triumph over your situation, for ‘He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.’ (1 John 4:4)
Ps. Kevin Koh