Good evening and welcome Dato, Reverend, Elders, Pastors, brothers & sisters in Christ.
It is a great honour & pleasure to have your presence with us to celebrate Raphah 17th Anniversary of Thanksgiving to God. We give all honour & glory to God whose love, compassion and grace has sustained the ministry until today. We are privileged to have witnessed and experienced God’s love through our years in ministries. Raphah means to cure, to heal, to repair, to mend, to restore health to wholeness in spirit, soul and body. Thus, our ministry tagline is Healing Hearts, Rebuilding Lives to carry out God’s mandate of healing the spirit, soul and body, to complete wholeness in Christ.
The Bible talks about divine healing flows essentially through two channels: First: Healing flows as an evangelistic gift when a person accepts salvation, placing the new believer in the positional sanctification process. The second channel is healing for the believer that is an outflow of God’s covenant, established in Exodus 15:26, Yahweh Rapha, which means “I am the Lord your Healer.” God is the Great Physician whose very nature and heartbeat is healing from inside out. Raphah ministries is God’s inner healing ministry that is part and parcel of the progressive sanctification process in our spiritual life journey until we leave this earth.
Dr. Ian Bond, a renowned Bible teacher in his book “Insights in Isaiah” pointed out prophet Isaiah’s challenge to take heed of the greatest and most destructive sickness is that which is on the inside—the spiritual, emotional, and mental, not just the physical. If the focus is merely on the outward, i.e. the physical; then ministry will deal with effects rather than with causes. The Divine Physician comes to heal causes, not mere symptoms. The outward sickness in a person’s body can sometimes be an expression of what is happening inwardly. (1 Cor. 11:29-30).
Many a time, when we pray, we find the problem repeated after what seem a release after a few sessions of prayer counselling. Why? The problem is we misinterpret emotional pain; and we missed the underlying cause with the wrong approach to healing. As a result, unknowingly we perpetuate our wounds and prevent the healing from taking place.
We learnt the healing work of Jesus was first and foremost a spiritual or inner work of healing because Jesus knew that first and foremost, we must be well on the inside if we are truly to become whole. A clear illustration of this truth is found in one of the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels of Matthew 9:2-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-6 - Healing the paralytic at Capernaum. The Story tells us that some men came carrying a paralyzed man but could not get inside, so they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and then lowered the man down. Jesus said three things to the paralyzed man. Be encouraged (referring to the spirit), your sins are forgiven (addressing the soul) and get up and walk (healing the body). Therefore, we must let God reach deep inside our souls to free us from whatever spiritual hindrances and blockages to allow healing to flow.
God has called us to live a life full of joys and sorrows, battles and celebrations, success and failures, ups and downs as the world grows more chaotic and unpredictable. We live in a broken world with unfairness and discord, fear and pain are a very real part of our daily lives. Life storms come in many forms: stress & uncertainty; broken relationships, loss of health or finances, loved ones causing weighty emotions & responsibilities that can leave us physically, mentally & spiritually exhausted.
As Christians, we are not spared from suffering on things like depression, self-destructive thoughts or habitual behaviours like addiction or those whose experiences of life robbed them the ability to trust people. What can believers say to victims who have been raped, abused, neglected and bear the indelible marks of such traumas? There may be no physical wounds, but does it mean people feel no pain? There is this saying: “a smiling person does not mean the person is happy or a crying person does not mean he or she has no joy.”
We will see a never ending of human problems today and beyond. For instance, we envisage new challenges in the field of Computer Science technology where the development pace of Artificial Intelligence is incredibly fast. Russia’s president Vladimir Putin said: “Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind. It comes with enormous opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.” We all know who the spirit behind the ruler of the world is and his goal is for dangerous and malicious purposes. The potential to make life easier comes with a potential risk to those who use it. The good of robot revolution can outweigh the bad if managed properly. For now, the intelligent machines are under control but what will happen in years to come?
This powerful computer tech-like machine can make human-like decisions and use real-time data to learn and improve as well as damage human lives. There will be both positive and negative impact on human life especially for the young and future generations. We need to determine what dangers artificial intelligence poses. Will the human nature and mental well-being be impaired by a programmed culture? Will this remove or reduce the human faculties that God has so lovingly endowed upon mankind, to think and act intelligently? Will digital communications through social media like WhatsApp, Facebook, Messenger, Twitter etc turn human relationships to impersonal interactions devoid of love and emotions? Will we see more pain on the loss of a person’s identity and self-esteem? More suicides?
Wholeness is our calling: 1 Thess.5:23 “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Then in 3 John 2: “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things to be in health, just as your soul prospers.”
Wholeness is an inner work that God does in our lives. God wants to release His anointing to us the gift of wholeness through His divine healing to all who receives Him. He desires to release the healing ministry anointing to bless His Church and all believers to prosper in all areas of life spiritually and materially.
Our greatest need in Raphah ministries is the pursuit of God’s presence to grow in spiritual wisdom. We cannot afford to be disconnected with God but to grow more and more God-conscious, not so much about seeking a kind of religious experience but rather developing a deeper awareness and appreciation of how our everyday experiences abound in the mystery and presence of God. There is no other way for us to know God than through experiences of God’s healing whether in Raphah or in Church or wherever you are. We need wholeness in order to help others. We need spiritual wisdom in experiencing God through the whole joyful and painful adventure of labouring and living.
Thus, in Raphah, we are in the continuous spiritual journey of learning and equipping our understanding in the issues of human life. We praise and thank God again and again for His work done in 2019, (you hear more in the report later). The process of passing the baton is in sight as the ministry grow and expands. We see Him raising second level of leaders, who can run the ministry. We have new teachers joining the teaching team in both centres in PJ & Ipoh, even as far as in Philippines. God is opening doors and calling people into the ministry.
Therefore, we must never lose sight that our greatest need is spiritual prosperity which lasts forever. I believe if we get our spiritual life into the path of godliness, we will also prosper in health and in all things. The key is walking in the truth in both realms that is in harmony with truth. (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:36-38). If your heart is stirred, do not hesitate to respond, you will never be disconnected with God’s presence and you will grow in tremendous spiritual speed. Will you be a part of God’s healing agents to receive and bless others with spiritual and material prosperity?
I, on behalf of Raphah Council, like to take this opportunity to thank especially our Donors. Your support and generosity have made all things possible throughout the years and the years to come. We also like to thank everyone involved in Raphah in both centres, Ipoh & PJ serving in small and big roles, even washing the toilets. (you know who you are). Thank you for your labour of love. Last and not least, we thank you all who are here with us this evening, to honour God’s love and grace for all His beloved children. Without you, Raphah Ministries Malaysia cannot fulfil God’s vision for His people. Thank you. Wishing you all a blessed evening, enjoy the food in the fellowship of believers.
God bless you!
PASTOR IRENE LEE