The River of God
by Rev. Eu Hong Seng - NECF Malaysia Chairman
I RECENTLY came across this statement by Carl Moeller, the outgoing President of Open Doors USA, a ministry that supports persecuted Christians worldwide. Moeller told The Christian Post:
"In my mind today, the picture I have is a church in a diabetic coma that has gorged itself on the sweets of affluence, materialism, and the idolatry of worshipping the materialistic world. ... We are the ones who can no longer rouse ourselves to even pray for an hour on behalf of things that God would have us pray for."
This Malaysia Day on 16 Sept 2012, we saw a tremendous outpouring of prayer by the church for the country at different locations across the land. There were the Hope of Jubilee events by NECF to usher in Malaysia's 50th or Jubilee year, the largest event being the prayer rally at the Likas Stadium in Kota Kinabalu1, where over 10,000 Christians gathered. There was also the interdenominational prayer rally under the "Prayer United" banner which committed the nation to God ahead of the coming general election2 (GE).
So many things vie for the Church's attention and among these is our national political situation. But are we clamouring for change without considering the change that is needed inside the Church? To simply shout "change" is not a very intelligent approach. To focus on the mess in the country without focusing on the internal backslidden-ness of the Church is not going to impress God.
In the midst of so many voices, it is always good to read the Scriptures and hear what God has said and continues to say:
Then he said to me: "This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live.
There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes. It shall be that fishermen will stand by it from En Gedi to En Eglaim; they will be places for spreading their nets. Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many.
But its swamps and marshes will not be healed; they will be given over to salt. _ Ezekiel 47: 8-11 NKJV
This passage tells us three things which the Malaysian Church needs to be reminded of:
- Where the river flows there is healing (v8). Who among us does not think that Malaysia needs racial healing. Yet, it is only in God that there can be true healing. The answer is not in the GE but in God.
- Where the river flows there will be a great multitude of fish (v9). When God moves, this multitude of fish will come. The critical mass will be a divine act. No law or plans of man can frustrate His purpose. The answer is not in more religious liberty nor a better human rights platform. The answer is in the river flowing.
- But its marshes and swamps will not be healed (v11). Where the river does not flow, there will be "death".
If we are to see true Jubilee in our nation, there must be, first, the restoration of God in our daily lives. Obviously, the devil is alive but we can encourage ourselves that our God is also on the move. The Church is at the crossroads. And my personal prayer is that once again we would remind ourselves of the river of God. It is so important we take time to remind ourselves that we need to do what God wants done and be where God wants us to be, i.e. where the river flows.
Many things will implode in the days ahead and these will not only be the schemes of the wicked. God is not blind to the rot in His House. Revelations reminds us that He gives time even to the Jezebel in His Church to repent 3. Let us not be so smug as to think that Jezebel is only in the nation "out there," but not "in here" in the Church.
After the GE, the swamps and marshes that will not be healed will become obvious. Be prepared to suffer what I call "post-GE shock" - even if the results are what we desire, swamps and marshes will still be there. Simply because the externals we are crying for, are void of the river.
It has been said "we must keep the main thing the main thing". May I suggest that the main thing is God, the "river of God." Malaysia's "calendar Jubilee" is not automatically God's Jubilee. May I remind all, Malaya's Jubilee has come and gone, and it was a non-event.
But now, standing within Malaysia's Jubilee and praying together as God's people, let us not just cry out for change outside - for the politicians, Parliament, the economy and the wickedness without - but let us cry to God, "Let your river flow, once again".
This Jubilee year, I want to set my own heart right. And I appeal to you the Church, let us set our House in order.
God bless Malaysia. And God bless His Church.
1 10,000 Sabah Christians pray for Msia, Daily Express, 18 Sept 2012
2 Christians in national day of prayer ahead of polls, Malaysiakini, 17 Sept 2012
3 Revelation 2:19-23 (NKJV)