My journey of faith with God towards ordination

When God called me to full-time service, my initial response was: “Lord, I am not qualified, there are many other people who are much better than me! As such, why choose me?”

This testimony, available on the Chinese Annual Conference website, was reprinted with permission.

Recently, while reading the book of Exodus, I came across the passage that showed Moses’ reluctance to answer God’s call to bring the Israelites out of Egypt.

I am sure his memory of killing an Egyptian and fleeing for his life was fresh in his mind. As such, when God asked him to go back to Egypt, Moses’ initial response was:

“But why me? What makes you think that I could ever go to Pharaoh and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

Subsequently, Moses gave other excuses – “They won’t trust me” and “I don’t talk well. I’ve never been good with words, neither before nor after you spoke to me. I stutter and stammer”. (Exodus 3 and 4, The Message)

I smiled to myself as I read Moses’ responses, and was keenly reminded of my own struggles with God, when He called me out from a comfortable career towards full-time ministry.

When God called me to full-time service, my initial response was: “Lord, I am not qualified, there are many other people who are much better than me! As such, why choose me?”

One day, God spoke to my heart through a Christian magazine. He reminded me that just as a candle is formed to its exact measurement in order to fit into a candlestick, likewise, God as the Potter has formed me exactly for His purpose.

Still, I tried to bargain with God. I told God that I would continue to love and serve Him, by giving towards mission work and remaining in active Christian service, as long as He did not call me into full-time service. Like Jonah, I tried to escape from God’s call by pursuing my own direction.

One afternoon, while spending time in God’s presence, the Holy Spirit spoke softly but firmly to my heart. God said: “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains ONLY a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” (John 12:24) God seemed to be telling me that if I was unwilling to die to my own desire, choice and will in this life, and follow Christ and His way, then I would end up as a fruitless vessel in His Kingdom.

Convicted by these words, I realised how wilful I had been. God wanted me to understand that He desired my total obedience to Him more than my half-baked sacrifice. I wept in repentance before God that day, responding: “Yes, Lord, I am willing to obey you!”

I tendered my resignation from my secular job and studied for a theological degree at Trinity Theological College. I graduated in 1995, followed by a post-graduate degree in 2001. I have been serving the Lord in full-time ministry for more than 17 years now.

There were many trying moments in my journey of pastoral ministry, and many times I was tempted to give up. But each time, God’s reassuring voice as the Chief Shepherd of my soul kept me from doing so.

In my painful moments, God sent some people, whom I call “His Angels”, to empathise with, pray for and encourage me to press on for the Lord. I know that one day these dear ones will be rewarded for their silent prayers and support for me, the least servant of God.

Today, I count it a privilege to be called and chosen by God to serve in His Vineyard with my fellow colleagues. It is indeed a journey of faith and obedience. I have learnt many invaluable lessons along the way. n

The Rev Susan Lim Bee Yong is Associate Pastor at Grace Methodist Church.