This article was written for antiphony in Melbourne and it kinda reflect what is swimming in my head right now...
The Sun of Winter’s Solstice
The sunlight was very bright, but the land remained cold, the wind biting. It was the sun of winter’s solstice, and while it bathes the world with a glorious light, there is no warmth, no life…
As we look upon this world, we see many wonderful things. Things that make us congratulate ourselves about the greatness of humanity. How great is Malaysia to build the world’s tallest buildings, how remarkable are we to send people into space, and how wonderful is medical science today… that and many more achievements and progress made by us humans, masters of this world.
This is not limited to a sense of satisfaction for our collective achievement but our own achievements as well. I remember the feeling I felt when I got my A-level results four years ago, the deep sense of satisfaction – pride I would say. I remember moments in my life I would term as ‘victories’ and ‘successes’ with pride and satisfaction. I was positively glowing like the sun on high noon, and the rays just get brighter and brighter with each passing accolade – until I lost myself in the blinding light and forgot where I came from…
It is easy to count on one’s temporal satisfactions and achievements but at the very end, it may as well be hollow. I grew up in not a Christian family but a pseudo-Buddhist, semi-Atheist environment where achievements and results are paramount. Devotions are not given to the ‘gods’ in worship but in expectation that favours will be granted. It was easy to loose myself in my achievements, my intelligence and my pride – that nothing is impossible to achieve, the world beneath my feet, king of my world. My world? What a curious statement. It all but took one day to take it all away. One day for God to show me how hollow my world was… taking away my academic achievements, the love of one particularly important friend and domestic peace, I was nothing and I saw that I live for nothing but an empty cause. And that was the most terrifying day of my life.
But things change. A day later I was filled with warmth and happiness – being full of life! What is the change? God! Accepting Him on 9th December 2000 (almost 3 years ago), someone to call saviour and love of my life changed everything. I was filled with love and warmth and a fuzzy feeling inside. Everything seemed to have changed! But did it really? Did things really change? Yes… but, but Why? God is that simple answer but the truth lies even deeper than you would realise… it is not only God but the acceptance of God and His cause that changed everything…
And what is His cause? Is it to build a bigger church? Is it to make you better friends to one another? For you to love one another – better? Is it that simple? Or is it to build humanity to achieve world peace? Eliminate poverty? Is it that complex? The answer is even simpler that you ever realize – more basic than anything in this world…
What is the bible? Many would answer it is the word… the guide to life, the one book to rule us, and in brightness bind us… or something along those lines – but is it really just that? Let me ask you a simple question – why do novelists want to get published? Why do reporters want the latest scoop? Why do people want to write blogs online? Why? Think about it – to make themselves known… so the Bible? To make Himself known!
The bible is the platform for God to work in this world. Without it to chronicle His holy work for 4,000 years, we would not stand here today and call ourselves Christians! This is mass media in its finest – the most published book in history! And we have but one important task to do… to continue publishing it – and spreading it. Think of the church as the biggest publishing house in the world and we are its biggest distributor. Matthew 28:18-20: And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo; I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen! Sounds familiar? The Great Commission, the greatest task we have today. His greatest cause! I am saying that we must neglect cleansing and setting ourselves right with God – but one thing we cannot is to become islands of light in a sea of darkness. We cannot be like the sun of winter solstice, bright and shining but providing no warmth to the world around us.
Once there were churches teaching that we need to keep ourselves clean and pure we must associate more with Christians and only Christians! What does the clean have to do with the unclean? I have heard many quoting bits and pieces from the bible about that, but what about the Great Commission? I was truly blessed to have friends that were willing to walk amongst the ‘unclean’, so that I was given the choice to come back to God – so that I now can walk amongst the shadows in this world, bearing the torch of Christ.
The Great Commission is not only restricted to missionaries but to everyone that calls himself a Christian. Needless to say, we all need to be ‘Pauls’ and ‘Peters’ of this generation. The world is fast approaching 10 billion souls – of that more than 65% remains lost. Of the world’s 13,000 languages, 60% remains without a translation of the word. Surprisingly, 60% of Christians is now from non-Western countries, and Christianity is in retreat in most of the Western world. This trend needs to be reversed. Acts 1:8: But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uppermost part of the earth. This was spoken to the twelve in Jerusalem, of which they reside. The message was clear – send not only people to reclaim lost peoples in jungles at the ends of the world but also people into their own land, their own city. And that we need to do today…
I am Malaysian, and proudly so… some of the people most responsible for bringing me to God were from Malaysia, from Singapore… from Australia. We, my friends, are placed in a unique situation, one of many nations, many countries but with a singular cause. Thus, I urge you to bring back His cause to your nations when you return home. Preach and spread His word to your home, your street, your city… your country. Pray for protection and deliverance of your nation’s leadership. Pray for wisdom and strength to stand up for Christ. Pray for His Grace and for Him to work wonders in your life – When men works, man works; when men pray, God Works. And fear not… for He has promised us victory. Psalm 2:8 Ask of me, and I will make nations your inheritance, and ends of the earth your possession. You will break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel
Enough said, so what can be done? Remember the words from the song ‘To the ends of the world’ from Hillsongs? And I would give the world to tell Your story, Cause I know that You’ve called me… I’ve lost myself for good within Your promise, I won’t hide it… I won’t hide it… So number one, Don’t hide it! Mobilise for witness! Pray for Him to work in this world. And so much more – below are something we can all pitch in to do:-
1. Maintaining a clear witness to the uniqueness of Christ
2. Sustaining the centrality of the Scriptures
3. Pray for effective local congregations (like our church)
4. Pray for leadership – of the church and the nations of the world.
5. Maintain Victorious Optimism and a missionary vision.
6. Pray for individual revival, corporate restructuring, social revolution and kingdom restoration.
Thus, we need to act now so that we can build up our generation for God. Act now so we can be true suns, shining with warmth into the world – truly bearing the torch that Christ have left behind for us to hold. So that we will no longer be hollow people that look shining and bright – but have no warmth and heat within.
 King James Version, Matthew 28:18-20
 King James Version, Acts 1:8
 Hans von Staden, instigator of Operation World
 New International Version, Psalm 2:8
 To the ends of the Earth, Hillsongs Australia.
 Some extracts from Operation World, Patrick Johnson & Jason Mandyk.
This article was submitted but never edited nor published as it was the end of a cycle of Antiphony. However, these thoughts continued to flow in my head - so much so that I actually dug through 3 old hard disks to look for it...