Thursday, November 4, 2021

24th Day in Daniel (Shall I resign?)

I asked my second supervisor who is a Daniel's Aramaic scholar about why God's revelation seems to come on the 24th day, as seen in the books of Daniel and Haggai. I have always wondered that myself. After praying for and waiting on the Lord for 21 days since 7th October, the word of the Lord came to me on the 30th October 2021. The next day I went to church on Sunday. On the 30th October which was a Saturday I read the article by a University lecturer on "Reflection & Prayer in Leadership". It was just slightly more than 3 pages and it's packed with content and theological insight. The first line which the author quoted stirred my spirit afresh - "God has picked us for such times as these". I felt it was the Lord speaking to me, telling me not to be dismayed or downcast as for a couple of months now, I thought of resigning from the pastorate with the requirements for "church entry" that came to force two months ago. 

I had resigned from my positions many times since I entered ministry full-time when I felt it was time to go or step out into another ministry or just to take a sabbatical. I did that in 2007 when my church doubled in membership and the council offered to raise my salary by more than 50% if I stayed on. But I chose to resign when I felt led and it was months later that the Singapore's position opened up in Few 2008. Even the TTC Principal during our first dinner after the job interview asked me why I resigned when I had nothing ahead of me. Well, this has been my life principle since knowing God through Jesus Christ nearly 40 years ago. "Without faith it is impossible to please God" (Her 11:6). Likewise in SIB Muhibbah, I resigned and served for the next 3 months without pay in College since it was the church that was paying my salary. My HQ paid me an Acting Principal allowance sufficient for my petrol costs monthly back and forth Ranau and also KK from Namaus. I had no fixed salary for 5 months until I was reappointed in late August 2016. I also resigned from the College when my role as Acting Principal ended and sought to return to KK as a pastor. I could only laugh in my heart when an SIB English elder asked whether the HQ paid my salary while I waited for my next appointment. In my 27 years of full-time ministry, at least 2 years I had lived without a salary but God is faithful to those who serve Him and devote their lives to Him and His kingdom. "Many seek after the their own interests, and very few seek after the interests of Jesus Christ" (Paul in reference to Timothy in Philippians). But this time I am not resigning which means I could face the sack or dismissal from my post. "But my times are in Your hand, O Lord" (Psalm 31). 

So on the 24th day of my praying and seeking God for His will, at night He spoke to me twice. Once, while I was reading my book, Departure Points. I was reading my experience of Greg Storm that killed more than 200 people in Keningau (1996). I experienced God's miracles by surviving the crossing of Keningau bridge and then the Keningau-Tambunan Bridge which had closed to traffic as it was heavily damaged with currents sweeping through. But I went ahead in the HQ's Proton Saga, praying to God for His deliverance and facing the risk to my life if the car was swept away. I have made it with God's protection all these times because it is He who has chosen me for such times as these.

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