Beyond The Verbatim :: By Edwin Tan

Beyond The Verbatim :: By Edwin Tan

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Ten years ago, and most probably five, things could have been closer to a humdrum routine. Church attendance, prayer meetings, Bible study sessions, and those large prophecy conferences like the one in Branson in Missouri, if not Colorado Springs! All against a backdrop of prophetic activity that seemingly chugs with the pace of a stack train.

A totally different scenario over the past couple of years, prophetic activity is at the very least registering hypersonic mode. It is quite a feat to keep up with everything that is happening. I have been blessed with a mind that does not have any time for that which is misleading; I continue with my pursuit of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding that is from the Lord. I still consider myself to be an unfinished product, still open to His teaching and instruction. But I have this burden for my brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ. Some have an issue handling swathes of raw data (a lot of it has question marks), and they become a target for the author of confusion.

With this in mind, I would like to voice my thoughts about that which all of us are facing on a daily, if not hourly, basis. For a start, there is need for a sweeping makeover in many mindsets. Those days are gone and never to return. Yes! We have to set our minds on eternity as the hour is indeed very late. Time to go beyond simply scratching the surface. Rote memory of specific verses from the Bible will not do!

The first step in that much-needed makeover involves a decoupling process – distancing oneself from the things of the planet. It can be a tough affair, but with the enabling and empowerment through the Holy Spirit – not really that difficult! You could have an arbitrary prioritization manifest; try to nudge some of your known preferences and pastimes a little lower while placing the things of His Kingdom upside. It will take some time and lots of prayer. If you let the Holy Spirit have a free hand in this makeover, the pain will be minimal. It could very well be a case of growing out of certain likes much in the manner kids do when they enter adolescence. A newfound thrill comes into being and stays with you, enough to keep you full of energy as you savor your new love.

“For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it, but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:16-17).

There is one important thing that helps us wean ourselves out of worldliness – meditation! This comes with prayer that is unceasing. Do not confuse this Godly practice with yoga and other heathen rituals. It simply means that you spend quality time with the Lord. For that, you need to pull yourself away from the hustle and bustle.

Find a quiet corner and allot yourself the minutes, if not hours, for a start. It is like two people having an up close and personal chat. Only this time, it is your Heavenly Father. It could even be a silent session; you say what you say to Him. It could be your doubts, fears, aspirations, desires, and hopes. Have patience, lots of it! You will be rewarded with insights into many things. In a matter of time, verses of Scripture could take on a powerful meaning when your mind is renewed by the Holy Spirit! What is even delightful is the manifold unfoldings in day-to-day living that demonstrate His infinite grace and mercy. It sure makes all that nirvana nonsense hogwash when you can walk and talk in the Living Word of God!

“Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

When you arrive at the stage where you meditate on the things talked about in the above passage of Scripture, you will not only have the peace that surpasses all human understanding but also a joy that will confound many eyes and ears. They are looking at a spiritually mature man or woman of God!

As we progress in our journey of faith, the things of the world grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. It is this foundation that enables the genuine believer in Christ to be perfected through unabated learning, an educational process that is preparing the way for eternity with the Lord.

When things of the planet we once upon a time cherished get thrown in the wayside, the things from above truly take precedence. When we spend more of our time on the Living Word, we gain more truths. Truths that will give us teeth when we encounter falsehoods and deceptive blasting. At this juncture, face-to-face meetings are harder to come by, but there is no stopping where the consumption of solid spiritual food goes. Despite going physically solo, it is still possible to get nourishing material from cyberspace through interviews, presentations, and blogs – whether live-streamed or recorded.

“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you ought to need someone to teach you again the first principles on the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:12-14).

Time to grow up and shake off the mindset that goes all the way back to Sunday school. Time to take up the challenge, rising to whatever moment that will glorify His Blessed Name. For this to happen, we must be solid believers – solid believers partake of solid spiritual food! A solid believer indeed has a toe hold on eternity, a glorious one with the Lord.



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