I know that there is the will of God in our life but I didn’t know that it has seven aspects namely, Preceptive, Punitive, Desiderative, Directive, Cooperative, Permissive and Decretive. As I look back at my life, I saw how the seven aspects of God’s sovereign will worked out in my life.
I was born into a Buddhist family where Christ was a total stranger. My mum was a staunch Buddhist but when her friends talked to her about the Japanese god, she also prayed to the Japanese god. The belief in the many gods for protection and good fortune was very present in my family at that time. Although my family was Buddhist, God desired for us to know Him and be saved.
At the age of 13, I was given a Bible by my step-uncle. However, I was refused by my teacher to read it during silent reading in school. So, I kept it in the drawer and forgot about it. I followed my step-uncle to his church once but stopped for some reason.
In 1990, I was invited by a classmate to attend a charismatic church. After just one service, I was so fearful. They spoke in tongues and I was stunned. I did not want to go anymore and I dreaded their cell group.
After that, my aunt suddenly called me and invited me to Calvary Pandan Bible-Presbyterian Church. Thank God I went to Calvary Pandan with her. That was near the end of 1990. After just one service, I really felt so good because God’s Word was preached. There was also no speaking in tongues. That Sunday in church, one girl from the Youth Fellowship (YF) came over and talked to me and invited me to the YF. She was very bubbly and joyful. This girl called me frequently and handheld me for a year in church. I would say that she’s my shepherd at that time. Thank God for His leading, for I would have felt lost without it. Looking back, it was the Directive Will of God that led me to Him and to the church.
Being a fairly new Christian, I did not know much of the Bible. I spent almost all of my Saturdays in church with the YF and also having weekly group dinners with them. I thank God I built up many memorable friendships in church. It was really a wonderful and blessed period, those few years. But things were all not that easy. At home, my mum was very upset with me and she scolded me and told me how pastors kept asking for money and taking people’s money. She said I will be cheated by the church one day. But God proved her wrong.
My dad was diagnosed with cancer. I was praying for my family’s salvation. Why did God permit this to happen to the sole breadwinner in the family? I prayed and prayed for God to save him and the family. My mum had to work 3 jobs a day to feed her 4 children. We were financially whacked by a big blow. I was shaken and cried in church. But thank God that brothers and sisters in Christ came forward to help us out financially. Through this, my mum realised that not all churches are like what she thought. And then a brother from the YF handed me a tract “Thank God for Cancer” written by his dad. He shared why God allowed us to be afflicted with cancer, and with difficult and extreme situations. I thank God for 1 Corinthians 10:13 that kept me through this difficult period.
The Elders and friends from the Mandarin side came over and preached the Gospel to my dad. My mum’s heart softened and allowed church friends to come over and preach to him and visit us. And my dad BELIEVED! How amazing this is! Because of his cancer, my whole family was brought to the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. My mum who was against Christianity also believed and put her trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Both my dad and mum were baptised. This is the outworking of God’s permissive will. God permitted such things to happen for our good and because of his cancer, the whole family came to know Christ and got saved.
I was aiming to be a director in my insurance company and I was almost there when God called me to be a stay-home mum in 2012. At that time, I had two young girls whom I sent to the babysitter to look after. In the pursuit of my ambition, I sacrificed my children’s spiritual growth. Every Lord’s Day, the pastor would touch on mothers staying home to look after their children instead of focusing on their careers. He also said that children are God-given and we ought to return them to the Lord and not to give them to the world. We can’t just let our children be taken care of by our grandparents, maids or some other people. We must take great responsibility in the nurture of our children especially in the Word of God.
It was a terrible feeling. I know God was telling me and directing me through His Word to be a stay-home mum and to concentrate in bringing up our children in the way of the Lord. But I was not willing to let go of my career. I was very frustrated when week after week, this message was preached. To be frank, I was upset with the pastor and complained in my heart that he has got nothing more to preach than to preach this every week. May God forgive me! Although I knew that God was using the pastor to speak to me, I could not submit so easily. I did not want to give up my career. I was struggling and wrestling with God. I was so close to my promotion. I also did not want my image to be changed from an office-look to an aunty-look. It was a great struggle, really great.
Then in 2013, during church camp, this “stay-home mum” topic was also in the daily messages which frustrated me but also kept me thinking. Finally, on the Sunday after the camp, just like Abraham’s servant who was tasked to find a wife for Isaac, I also asked for signs. As my husband was really against a single income family, I knew he would be against it. I prayed and told God that if it was His will, my husband must agree without hesitation. Then, when I started to ask him, I was getting ready for him to reply with a big NO. But, he readily agreed within one minute of me asking. And he also said that we should join the church for the Holy Land tour that year which was my dream for years. I was totally in shock. I couldn’t believe he agreed so quickly without any sign of hesitation. I was obviously not ready for his answer and I couldn’t take it.
So the next day, before I went to work (I was really stubborn), I prayed and told God that if it was His will for me to be a stay-home mum, then let one of my agents resign when I step into the office. True enough, the moment I stepped into my office, one agent came in and handed his resignation letter. In addition, another agent came into my room and told me he was considering leaving as well. These two agents were very promising ones. I was dumbfounded. Should I doubt God further? If I did, then God may apply His chastitive will on me. God was so merciful and patient with me even though I kept going against Him. He could have punished me like Balaam but He didn’t. So, that day, I surrendered and submitted to God.
When the children entered primary school, a stay-home mum is very important as they have more struggles and temptations compared to kindergarten time. And I thank God I was with them throughout. They shared with me the challenges they faced and the mocking they received when they give thanks to God before they eat and other incidents. These are precious moments which will be lost and I will also lose the opportunity to teach them and pray with them if I was not at home with them.
Thank God throughout these years of staying at home, our income did not go down. In fact, God gave us sufficient to go through each and every day just like what Christ promised in Matthew 6:26–34, “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
Even during this Circuit Breaker, God still looked after my family and provided for each one of us. God is good and He is greatly to be praised! From this, I learnt that as long as I walk in God’s way and obey His preceptive will, He will take care of our daily needs. We should also keep on praying. “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”(1 Thess 5:16–18).
Now as I looked back in my almost 30 years as a Christian, I see how God in His decree elected me to be His child and how He desired that I’d be saved by putting people in my lives to let me know Christ. God also permitted difficult situations in my life to bring salvation to my parents and siblings and how He cooperated with me in my prayer to fulfil His will for my life. He also chastised me all these years for my own good. Most importantly, He directed me to the study of His Word and through His Word I can know His will for me. I pray that I will continue to keep close to God and obey His will and walk in His way. L Wong
[The above was an essay assignment for the online DVBC course on the Sevenfold Will of God offered by FEBC during the Covid-19 Circuit Breaker.]
RESUMPTION OF PHYSICAL WORSHIP (LIMITED)
We will resume physical, corporate worship with effect from Reformation Sunday, October 25, 2020. The Chinese service will resume full worship at the RELC (with livestream). The English congregation, however, being a larger body, will continue to worship online, but members will take turns to gather physically at RELC for Holy Communion so that all can have a chance to partake of the sacrament at least once a month. Members will have to register online for the services before attending.
The weekly Lord’s Day Chinese worship and English communion services will be held at RELC Rooms 603/604 according to the following schedule:
Please register your attendance beforehand at our church website: www.truelifebpc.org.sg. Pastor looks forward to seeing you. God bless.
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