June 10, 2017
Dear SMSL family,
Shalom. As we are seeking a place to relocate our parish, many of us may ask: “What is the will of God on our new location?” At the same time, each of us may have our own preference among the ones available.
But where should we move as a congregation? What is the will of God on the matter? These questions may seem difficult for us to answer. However, God, who is all powerful and all merciful, will show us His will despite of our ignorance and incapability if we humble ourselves to seek Him. The Apostle James says, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8) Therefore, let us kneel before our almighty and merciful Father and seek His guidance on this important decision for our parish.
There are many godly advices on seeking God’s guidance which are similar to one another. The following one from Alpha Talk seems practical and easy to be remembered. It involves five principles or ways in which God guides us (five CSs).
Commanding Scripture (the Bible)
What does the Bible teaches us about the purpose of the church? (I Peter 2:9, Matthew 28:19-20) No matter where we will move, our purpose is always to proclaim the good news of our Saviour Christ and make more disciples of Him. Which options would serve us better in this regard?
Compelling Spirit (the Holy Spirit)
Do we feel urged to go with a particular location in answering the above calling? (Acts 20:22) God is ever living and His Spirit lives in each of us who believe to guide us onto His path. With a right and close relationship with Him, we would be able to discern what He wants us to do for Him. Pour out your hearts in prayer humbly before Him. He will show us His way. Which option do you feel compelled by the Spirit to go with?
Counsel of the Saints (the church)
What is the advice of the godly people, who have close relationship with God and available for us to counsel? (Proverbs 12:5) Sometimes we are uncertain about the will of God on an issue and need the counsel of godly people of God to advice and confirm. The two Epistles of Timothy are written by the Apostle Paul to the young pastor on ministering to the church of Ephesus. What do the godly people say about our options?
Common Sense (reason)
Does our decision make any sense to us as God’s stewards? (Proverbs 8:5, Mark 13:34-37) God entrusts all things He has created in our care, expecting us to be His faithful stewards by making sound judgement with our wisdom (knowing what to do) and discretion (know when and where to do it). However, we may have to accept the fact that each of us may do things differently out of our reasoning (common sense). But be sure we reason as God’s faithful stewards. Which option makes more sense to you as His faithful steward?
Circumstantial Signs (providence)
Do we see God keep opening doors or closing doors in our situation? (Proverb 16:9) God is always in control and often guides us onto His path with circumstantial signs. In Genesis 24, the servant of Abraham accomplished his mission through circumstantial signs. However, we have to do it with total trust of God and confirmation of His word. “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.” (Psalm 37:5) Which option do you see God is opening doors for us to fulfill our calling?
I pray that the living God will continue to draw us close to Him that we could remain faithful and be sensitive to His guidance on our relocation. We will continue to hold discussion and make decisions in faith, love and hope. May the Lord always be honored and glorified in our parish.
Rejoicing in His mission,