The Voice was clear, “I want to use you in ministry.”
I was preparing a speech to deliver at a competition in case I won it when the voice came. I did win the top prize, and received several job offers. But I said yes to God and turned down the job offers. I admit that I wrestled with thoughts like “God is the one who gave you success, why throw it away? Why can’t you work and do ministry at the same time?”
But the Lord spoke to me through Apostle Paul’s words to young Timothy to focus on the call of God upon his life: “No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.” (2 Timothy 2:4)
After completing national service, I entered Bible school. It was very clear to me that God wanted me to be focused on getting trained up for ministry, so I did not want my attention to be diverted in any way. I just wanted to obey.
“I have decided to follow Jesus; no turning back, no turning back.”
The next few years turned out to be a very lonely journey as I had chosen a completely different path from my peers. However, what kept me on track was the personal word I received from God that day – that He called me to ministry. That moment is still very vivid in my mind until this day.
I now run my own evangelistic healing ministry that reaches people across Asia, and I am also a lay pastor with the missions department in my home church.
After graduating from Bible college, I spent 3 months in Nepal for a short exposure trip. There, I felt the Lord call me to missions. Over the last decade or so, the Lord has also cultivated another passion in me: divine healing. What is even more amazing is how He has used this ministry to heal me as well. When I was growing up, I stuttered badly and this really affected my self-confidence. Even when I joined my church as a missions staff after returning from Nepal, I still could not speak well. This led me to doubt my effectiveness in ministry.
However, at the age of 28, 3 years into my kingdom assignment, I started to notice that when I prayed for the sick, people were getting healed. Miraculously, I realised that my stuttering was gone too. If you hear me preaching now, you would have never guessed that I struggled with stuttering in the past. It was like God flipped a switch and turned it off.
When I received this kingdom assignment to overseas missions, I was not inclined to the ministry of divine healing. I was more interested in philosophy, theology and apologetics, and the mental gymnastics that comes with them. But now I thank God for the opportunity to be ministering in this capacity. Over the last few years, I have had the privilege to minister together with my dad in the region, praying for the sick, preaching in gospel rallies and training local churches.
My dad started his ministry in his late 50s as a healing evangelist and in a short span of 10 years, established a thriving healing ministry across East Asia. I remember the day when he looked at me and said, “Son, the Lord has blessed me with this ministry, but I can only run it until I am 70 years old at the most.” I knew he hoped I would be able to take over the ministry. By the grace of God, the Lord has also started to use me in healing others. Many people refer to us as the “father and son ministry”.
One time after a gospel rally, we were told of how people were copying what we did on the stage. Non-Christians started to pray in Jesus’ name and healing happened.
The reputation of Jesus’ name and its power to heal started to spread throughout the village and the people were wondering: “Where can I find Jesus?” So on Sunday, the whole village went to the church. The church grew in numbers overnight, and that experience really made me realise the impact of what God is doing through this kingdom assignment.
While on His assignment for me, God has developed me into a person with an evangelistic heart and cross-cultural hands. I have spent a significant amount of time out in the mission field, including the slum and tribal areas. I have been through situations like bombings, protests and strikes, and often times I am travelling on precarious roads. But what has kept me brave is knowing that I will not die unless God deems that my work on earth is done.
In a post-COVID era, I am ministering online at healing services and teaching over Zoom. I am also doing up training videos to be sent to churches and Bible colleges in Singapore and overseas. In the past, I used to wonder what my life would be like if I did not obey His call to partner Him. But when I see the fruit of my ministry now, with so many people being healed and set free from demonic influence, and thousands accepting Jesus as Lord and Saviour and being discipled by local churches, I do not look back anymore.
I pray that my journey would encourage you to obey the call of God. Do not give up! God does not always call the equipped, but He equips the called. Do not let anyone make you feel inadequate. God created you to be unique, and He has a wonderful plan for your life.
You may be almost anonymous but you are known to God by name and He has a kingdom assignment for you! And when you hear a personal word from him, hold fast to what has been spoken, align with Him and do what He says. Watch how He brings you to places with Him to partner Him. Ps Henson writes in Alignment Check, “We all know to declare the power of the Word. But there is also power in the personal word. If the saints learn to hold fast to what has been spoken in each personally, might we not see more who will fulfil that which has been assigned to them?”
If you are aligning towards your kingdom assignment, start with what God is saying to you. Respond.
About Matthew Tan
Matthew Tan, 35, started JHM Ministries (Jesus Heal Me) to be a blessing to the body of Christ. In addition to ministering at healing evangelistic services in Singapore and around the region, Matthew and his team are passionate about raising up ordinary church members to exercise their authority in Christ for the purpose of power evangelism.