“This is it,” I thought. I just had my last paper in university, and I vividly remember being very uncertain and fearful of where I was heading to from that point. For the first time in my life, I was outside of the safe and familiar confines of the cosy Singaporean school life. That point was also a closure of sorts to what I still think is a very messy but enriching period starting from my Christian awakening in late 2009.
I grew up in Sunday School but I believe I had only truly come to know the Lord Jesus Christ personally in JC2. Since then, it became increasingly clear for me, if not downright jarring and obvious, just how distinctly and radically different the kingdom of God is. God’s discipline proved to be a difficult and painful experience during this period. He had a way of making me come to the “end of myself” in various ways as I found myself in challenging circumstances. Consequently, I grew more convicted about how sinful and useless I am without Him, how utterly meaningless and joyless life would be without Him, and how real spiritual warfare and hell was. Amid these major, albeit painful themes, I also grew in my understanding of how great and unsearchable God was in his love and in many other areas.
Up till that point, these were very lonely and idiosyncratic Christian experiences to me. It was with all this baggage (and treasures) that I brought with me when I first heard the Archippus Awakening message. Hearing the message felt like I had serendipitously chanced upon an old and dear friend, who had both new and exciting things to tell, but also a very genuine and personal familiarity to share. I realized I was not crazy and this was so assuring and exciting to know! From the signage at the MRT platform to the almond tree reference in Jeremiah 1:11, Ps Henson unabashedly shares in detail about his faith journey as he is called and assured through the word, and signs and wonders to start Archippus Awakening (AA). This was definitely something I could relate and look up to.
Around one week before hearing about the KINGDOM101 initiative of AA, I had, “coincidentally” sensed God directing me to read the gospel of Matthew out of the blue, which happened to be the very same book that Ps Henson would exposit in KINGDOM101. The message of AA was a breath of fresh air to years of fumbling through Christian ministry or my attempts at it. I did not view AA as some novel ministry that only a few are called to, but rather, I saw this as God’s way of providing a crystalized and overarching primer to what the Christian life should really be like for every Christian. AA taught me that we must bring to bear the full counsel of God’s word as we live out our faith, and that is often a tensioned position that requires constant personal vigilance and obedience. While Ps Henson utilizes a certain set of terminologies and tropes to teach about the Christian life through AA, I have full confidence that the essence and principles of AA remain spiritually and principally grounded in the word of God.
The apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 4:20, “For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.” For a long time, I have asked myself whether such power really existed. And if it did, was this power at work in me? Could this power coherently and consistently stand up to whatever life could throw at it? Could it look at life squarely in the face and overcome it all?
As I grow in understanding of the kingdom of God, I had a growing feeling of excitement in my heart that God was not just assuring me but calling me to pay very close attention to what was being proclaimed; the call to intentionally align myself with God, and to walk in the kingdom assignments that He calls me to, both of which are, as I’ve grown to realize more and more, by no measure trivial, automatic, or easy things.
The KINGDOM101 teachings deepened my theology, not just in a general way but they also often spoke to me in season, sometimes it was too close for comfort even. I fondly remember occasions when KINGDOM101 was like an exact application of ointment to my wounds. There was an instance when I was dealing with what I felt at that time was overwhelming disappointment with people around me when, of all the passages that He would use, God used the KINGDOM101 teaching on the genealogy of Jesus to convict my heart that God’s redemptive purposes were about fulfilling His perfect will through very imperfect people, even and especially myself.
But the greatest impact of Archippus Awakening to me is, ironically, not its message per se, but its people. A ministry is nothing without the working of the Holy Spirit through its people, and we would all do well to remember this. I have experienced first-hand the love and grace through being a part of the AA community and I believe that this has been crucial in not just giving validation to its messages but, more importantly, in spurring me on to really pursue God in my life: go for gold!
KINGDOM101 is an aligning initiative of Archippus Awakening. It is a kingdom walk led by Henson Lim through the gospel of Matthew. More than just another bible study, or a course to be completed, it is an invitation to embark on a journey of kingdom alignment as kingdom fundamentals are revisited. It is open to everyone, and anyone can plug in at any point. KINGDOM101 is about knowing the King, having the right kingdom foundations that all may be on kingdom assignment!
Daryl perceives the world in 17 dimensions. Are you looking for an intellectual connect? Talk to him.