I signed up as a first-time AWE2020 participant, hoping to hear from God which Kingdom assignments I should be prioritising in this season of my life. You see, I currently find myself at the crossroads. I have just completed a five-year Counselling Course, wondering how I should move forward with the training I received. I am also shifting into a leadership role in the prayer ministry in church. At the same time, I am a cell leader and a worship leader. Talk about a full load!
Thankfully, the Covid-19 situation has slowed down and stripped back my church activities significantly. I wanted to take this period to decide which roles I could prioritise so that I could find time to go deep.
On the first day of AWE2020, sirens were already going off in my head and my heart! As I listened to Pastor Henson’s teaching, I found myself sadly misaligned from God’s will, even in the way I broached my assignments. “Is it all truly for Him, or is this all to validate my own sense of purpose?” I started questioning, “Is this why I have a tendency to take on so much?”
At one of the breakout sessions on the first day, I tried to draw a vision board to help me take stock of my assignments. I realized that I placed God in the middle of my sketch, only after I had written down all my assignments. This was quite telling. As Pastor Henson taught, I was able to identify how I was vacillating between two reference points in my Christian life – Lord Jesus and myself. I heard myself reiterating Pastor Henson’s point, “Rakesh, this has to stop! I need to de-align from myself, in order to align to God. Only Jesus Christ can be my reference point, not what I think and not what I feel.” This was my biggest takeaway from AWE2020. Being a visual-oriented learner myself, I appreciated Pastor Henson drilling in the analogy of Lord Jesus as my True North.
I soon understood that I really had to go back to the start of the Alignment Check process, which is to attend to my relationship with Lord Jesus. It hurt to admit it, but I did find myself working for His love and not from His love, as Pastor Henson explained. In order to deepen my relationship with Christ, I cannot continue to get pulled away from intimacy with Him, especially with a packed calendar of Christian duties. I know I need to slow down and align with Christ!
As the sessions progressed, I was particularly struck by the Archippian story of Daryl, who shared his refinement process of how he found his ‘little sins’, like habitually ingesting you-tube videos and social media on his phone, distracted him greatly from pursuing godliness in his life and immersing himself in the Kingdom. I do feel the pull of the world on my own life rather strong, especially since I have been cooped-up at home during this pandemic. I have had many moments falling down that proverbial ‘rabbit-hole’ of you-tube and facebook videos when my original intent was to read the scriptures on my mobile Bible app.
I am thankful for the A-R-E-A (Alignment-Refinement-Empowerment-Assignment) framework that God is using to teach me how to align with Christ. It is such a concrete channel of help for me, so that I do not have to go back to ambiguous goals and intentions about my walk with Christ. I appreciate that every part of the framework enables me to abide in Jesus Christ as the King of my heart, which will help me fulfill my Kingdom assignments to glorify Him.
To my delight, I got an email from a work colleague a day after AWE2020 ended. She recognised me as a fellow participant from AWE2020, and took the effort to reach out to say, “Hello Archippus! You Awakened, Aligned and Assigned?”