Book Review of Alignment Check by Tan Lay Leng
The author, whose first book is Say To Archippus, is the founder of Archippus Awakening, a kingdom initiative dedicated to the awakening of the saints to know and fulfil our God-given kingdom assignments. For awakened saints who desire to move on their kingdom assignments, Pastor Henson Lim’s sister book Alignment Check answers the “I’m awakened. What next?’’ question.
As a practical guide, Alignment Check provides many handles for its readers to hold on to, to apply what it means to align with Christ. In a clever use of the acronym A-R-E-A, four aspects of the Alignment Check are explained, so readers understand the journey from Assembly Area (AA) where we know Christ to the Area of Operation (AO) where we reveal Christ. Each of the four aspects – Alignment, Refinement, Empowerment, Assignment – is presented in detail and with clarity.
In Part One: Alignment, a chapter is devoted to what we should observe in others who are moving purposefully and faithfully on assignments (Chapter Thirteen: Observe Others on Assignment). It is easy to tell others to “imitate me, just as I imitate Christ”, but what do we exactly observe? Alignment Check draws from Scriptures to explain how we should observe these ones, to apply the principles learnt from their lives. “Dealign from Self, Align with Christ” is one of my favourite chapters in Part Two: Refinement (Chapter Twenty-One). I draw hope from this chapter, like I do from the other chapters, that living for my King is never in vain. In Part Three: Empowerment, the statement, “Rest is a God-given privilege and provision through which we experience His faithfulness and goodness in ways that surprise us.” totally gripped me (Chapter Thirty-Four: Work from a Posture of Rest). Seven aspects of rest are explained to answer the question, “How does one rest well?” From the first aspect (Rest is Worship) to the seventh one (Rest is Eschatological), I was immensely motivated to check my own alignment and accept God’s invitation to enter His rest.
The chapter “Submit Your Abilities to God” in Part Four: Assignment is especially meaningful for my personal alignment check (Chapter Forty-Two). It upsets a belief I did not know I had held. The author writes, “More often than not, in trying to determine where a person should serve, the tendency is to look at their abilities (strengths, talents and gifts).” He further challenges his readers that we could do something well and still did not know our assignments. To help his readers grasp this principle, Pastor Henson recounts his meeting with Dr Benny Prasad, the musician, describing how Dr Benny sees himself first and foremost as a servant of God sent to proclaim a message. Dr Benny was invited to different countries for his abilities, but he was very clear of his assignments. The sub-point, “Abilities Facilitate Assignments” did a home run for me. I told the Lord I would give my abilities back to Him, for His kingdom purposes.
Alignment Check is one book I found myself, while taking mealtime breaks with friends between reading, not able to wait till my next reading. There is a strong sense of anticipation as to what the next chapter and the next chapter may offer! It carries an awesome authority with a personal touch that draws me to desire obedience to my King.
I also love the thought-provoking questions after each of the 40 chapters. They force me to review the material several times, which in turn motivate me to pause and reflect; an Alignment Check! These questions present a splendid platform for Alignment Check to be used in a small community of like-minded ones to embark on a journey of checking alignment together. Including his personal stories and drawing from daily life examples, Pastor Henson writes with a candid yet Christ-centred conversational style. It makes Alignment Check a delightful read.
One more thing: I could feel a heat (warmth is not intense enough to describe it) that burnt inside my heart as I progressed in my reading. Almost immediately in me surged a desire to know my King and what He says in His Word. I yearned to obey Him and be aligned with Him and His kingdom. During a Kingdom Prayer Initiative session with fellow Archippuses, one of them prayed the words in my heart; that Alignment Check is like a teddy bear one wants to hug close to one’s bosom!
Call it a ‘ten-year-series’ guide, a textbook, a manual or a survival kit to checking alignment, it is certainly a not-to-be-missed read for anyone serious to be awakened, aligned and assigned for the kingdom of God!
Three things freak Lay Leng out : the colour purple, ice cream waffles and drawing in my bullet journal. (They rhyme!)