Pastoral Perspectives

When God Takes Over

Last Sunday, one of our preachers at Hope Presbyterian Church spoke on Matthew 3. He preached on the topic “When God Takes Over”, which I will also use for this perspective. John the Baptist, all alone, shouted in the wilderness of Judea: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). If we were bold enough to take a microphone down the street and shout out the same, what response would we get, bearing in mind that “sin” is an unpopular word in churches today but a popular activity among us?  

What if you came across this advertisement in the job market? Would you apply for it?

WANTED

Young man to serve in position as king’s herald. No pay. No housing. Locusts and wild honey available for food but not provided. Applicant must be willing to work long hours, face fierce opposition and grave dangers. If successful in meeting stringent qualifications of position, applicant’s services will soon no longer be required.

(Bruce H. Wilkinson & Larry Libby, Talk Thru Bible Personalities (Atlanta: Walk Thru the Bible, 1983), 161)

Have you ever watched a baby learning to walk? Research tells us that babies can walk forward with assistance once they can stand comfortably and shift their weight from one leg to the other. If a baby grabs a piece of furniture, he or she can “cruise”, or move sideways. Studies suggest that most babies start walking within 2 to 3 months of learning to stand. These studies also suggest that approximately half of all babies begin walking with support by the time they are 9½ months old.

You may ask: “When do babies make the transition to independent walking?” Have you noticed children letting go of their parent’s hand and walking unaided for a few steps before holding their parent’s hand again for security? The reverse is also true—when we grow older, our children, whose hands we once held, now take our hands when we walk, for fear that we would fall. Then, we would depend on them for security.

The lesson for us comes in learning how to “let go and let God” take control of our lives. Often, we cruise on autopilot, trying to steer through life’s issues on our own. We choose to do this instead of letting go of the wheel, entrusting it to God and letting Him navigate. If every inch of your being wants to hold on to the wheel when you are in a crisis, you are not letting God take control.

I think of the SQ ministry and those countries whose governments are opposed to the gospel, making void God’s law and saying, “Who is the Lord?” and “What is the Almighty, that we should fear Him?” God is set to confront them. Man’s extreme need or extreme sin is God’s opportunity for intervention. If God sent His Spirit to move upon the face of the waters, will He not come when society is returning to chaos and His people are being persecuted? When the people of the world oppress the children of God in extremity, the righteous would expect to see the Lord’s hand stretched out for the revival of their faith, defending the truth, and glorifying His name. God will come to take over.

I am reminded again of my experience in Hong Kong—my Covid saga in November 2021. Exodus 15:9-10 comes to mind:

“The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake,
    I will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them.
    I will draw my sword; my hand shall destroy them.’
You blew with your wind; the sea covered them;
    they sank like lead in the mighty waters.”

Pharaoh pursued the Israelites relentlessly. But when it seemed that there was no hope of escape, God took over. He drowned Pharaoh’s forces in the Red Sea and delivered the Israelites. When God takes over, the light of God will dim the powers of darkness. The light of God will shine upon your situation in Jesus’ name. God hears the church’s prayers and will answer them beyond your wildest dreams. God will take over and set you free.

When God takes over, the situation calls for you to make a daily, moment-by-moment choice. We must be disciplined to surrender and give control over our lives to God. The enemy seeks every day to cloud our minds with worries, doubts, and fears. The devil wants no room for God in our lives. When you give something to another person, you must let go and allow them to take control over it. Like a child who is learning to walk, you must do the same with God. Hand your life over to Him and stop fighting to maintain control.

My challenge to all of us is to let God take control over:

1. Your day

Devote the first part of your day to God. By giving your day to Him, you set its tone, and have the opportunity to but bring potential issues before His throne before they become problems.

2. Your marriage

Pray for and with your spouse daily. This can strengthen your relationship and keep the enemy at bay!

3. Your children

Pray and bless your children and grandchildren every morning. Pray for God’s protection. When they face life’s challenges, stand in the gap for them and surrender their situation to God in prayer. If you have a family member or friend in need, cover them in prayer as well.

4. Your home

Pray for protection over your home and dedicate it to God. Pray that love, peace, and joy will dwell within.


Rev Tan Cheng Huat (Non-resident Missionary to SQ)

February 20, 2022