After the AAA Seminar in Bartley Christian Church on 3 November 2018, we had the opportunity to go deeper with the intercessors of Bartley Christian Church at their own retreat on 23 & 24 December 2018. Senior Pastor Alvin Tan and some of the elders of the church were also present.
Following the message of awakening, in keeping with the Archippian Strategic Process of “AWAKENED ALIGNED ASSIGNED”, the focus of the retreat was primarily on the Alignment Check.
Here are some key takeaways and encouraging words from Ronald and Lily Yong:
Thank you for spending a whole Saturday and Friday evening with Bartley folks, sharing from your heart what the Lord has laid on you. I believe it is a timely word from the Lord to this particular community. I’m praying and hoping that God has indeed breathed His breath of life on dry bones, the army that needs awakening.
Thanks for showing me what a person on assignment looks like – the posture, the joy, the gratitude, the transparency, the obedience, the faith, the love for the saints – and it is quite a sight. And it is exactly like what you have said: almost anonymous but known by the Lord. A heart inhabited by Father, where He is the landlord and not the tenant in the real estate of your heart – and He outshines everything!
Just to share some key takeaways and thoughts (that has made me want to read both the books – Say To Archippus & Alignment Check– to crystallise some thoughts still running through my mind):
- Obedience to God = Love for God The Lord has been laying on my heart from Deuteronomy the primacy of obedience to intimacy with God. I had lamented the lack of love for the Father by the lack of obedience in my own life. The next day (after the retreat) the Lord gently reminded me of a couple of decisions I made which were acting in obedience to what He prompted. There is still an appalling lack of obedience in my life, but it became clear to me after the retreat that the conviction of lack is not for condemnation but to encourage greater obedience. The very next day, at the Sunday service, I approached a lay leader regarding a discipleship initiative which was on my plate, but I have procrastinated to talk to him for a while. And his response was an immediate ‘yes’; it’s something he’s ready and willing to do. I’m like – why on earth did I delay and procrastinate when He assigned it the first time?
- A believer is a disciple. Common attitudes seen and heard from interviews with people transferring membership from other church all too often indicate a consumer’s mindset, not a kingdom one. Same for people who are serving or not serving in the community. Too much emphasis on personal rights – a value system inherited from the world, in particular from the West. Self-denial, taking up the cross, follow Jesus. Somehow, the message of the gospel has been diluted to just following Jesus, without the first two.
- If we know what is transacted at the cross, it would change the way we look at our refinement. During the small group sharing, I shared that sometimes as intercessors, we pray for healing of those who are sick, faced challenges in relationship or finance and we pray for restoration; but we often stop there, and perhaps in so doing propagate the notion that intercession is for that alone. As you have said, these are necessary and not wrong. But the kingdom mindset would be to ask, “What is the restoration for? How does it serve the King and His kingdom?” When intercessors begin to intercede with kingdom perspectives, I think the intercession would be very different, not confined to just healing of body and soul.
These are the fundamentals, but as you mentioned, they are weakened to the extent that Sunday service attendance, tithing, serving are made the fundamentals of the Christian experience. I know there is a lot more to chew on, that’s why I think i need to go back to the books.
In this retreat, the Holy Spirit brought back many memories of what the Lord had spoken in the past as well as in recent months. One particular thing He brought to my mind is a call He gave from Isaiah 61: “…to bring good news to the poor, bind up the broken-hearted and set the captives free, etc..”
During the retreat, together with your 2nd book, Alignment Check, the Lord helped me recall the people group whom He laid on my heart, especially the women and the broken. Then the series of questions in the book helped me see how He had led me to start several initiatives which enable me to partner Him to serve people within and outside of my local church and beyond our shores. What a privilege to serve the King!
I was encouraged and excited to see the connection of all these to Isaiah 61 and also with greater clarity of my present role as a mom and also in various ministries. Previously, I had kept a simple record of my personal time-line but to do it again following the book in Chapter 41, wow! I was like given new eyes to see God’s hand, leading, engineering, orchestrating, even positioning and re-positioning, like the imagery of a chess game. His wisdom and faithfulness call forth songs of praise and gratitude. I am deeply blessed!!!
Your message of Archippus Awakening is indeed a critical endtime call and sounding of the horn to gather the army of God! The Archippian calling and concepts you outlined in your ministry are clear instructions and exhortations to many who have lost their visions and forgotten to dream (with God), for all the wounded and tired soldiers of Jesus Christ as well. You said that God’s Word is timeless, and we are to hold on to it tenaciously!!! May the Lord help me lay hold of every word that I receive from Him, even when there is little evidence of it that I can see.
The picture of the gears you used confirmed for me that my husband and I are the two little gears in a bigger system of gears and that we would impact others. Others who are on kingdom assignment would impact and spur us as well.
There are many areas of my life that still need to be awakened and aligned: how I see my fellow brothers and sisters, how I see my children (God said..feed my sheep). O, to ‘run with horses’, I pray for a deeper yielding and surrender to the Holy Spirit for His pleasure and purposes!