Far From the Worldly Crowd :: By Edwin Tan

Several months ago, I did a hefty shake-up of my mobile phone. That familiar number was history; a recycled one took its place. The only problem I had was an outstanding amount reminder addressed to the previous holder of that number. A flurry of emails followed, but by the grace of God, it was resolved amicably. In the meantime, I deleted the older version of WhatsApp; the contacts on it also followed suit. The latest version was downloaded; this was when the critical reconfiguration took place. The number of contacts on it was tiny when compared to the previous setup. My mind was indeed set; the crowd I used to hang out with had to go – it was time to decouple from the world and focus on the Lord. The motivation for doing so came from Colossians 3:2.

“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”

What the world could offer to me was a succession of lies and half-truths. An individual who walks the talk where the Living Word is concerned will know this. Not only that, it is savoring the truth versus falsehoods – this is when the disdain for deception takes root. There is no love lost where previous pleasures matter; they are as good as being erased from my mental lexicon.

Same goes with the people who have no time and space for things above. It becomes something with a pathetic feel when they are simply worried about the issues of tomorrow. Yet they are quick to criticize me for my apparent indifference as if I look silly before their very eyes. Quite a number of them are free thinkers. And as for those who call themselves followers of Christ, sad to say – they slot Him in a self-designated pigeonhole! Some of them even have the nerve to crudely reiterate my foolishness for not putting the world at par with God.

It would not do because I am cognizant of the implications when men are pleased at the expense of the Heavenly Father.

“For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).

There is certainly not a drop of bad blood spilled where these relationships go. If any one of these people decides to get serious with the Lord, I am more than happy to sit down and have a fruitful conversation. But if it is otherwise, simply a no-go because time is of the essence as the moment of redemption draws nigh; frivolous stuff of the fallen nature can never be entertained.

A lot of these folks that I crossed paths with since childhood and adolescence would be baffled at my shift towards a loner mode. I can understand their perceptions rather easily; they simply shut their eyes and ears to what is coming. They assume that everything would go back to the good old days. I simply cannot buy that!

With my focus on an eternity with Christ, I am more than happy to live the life of a loner. Call this a short-term arrangement. In all truth and honesty, I have great company. There is the Holy Spirit and the angels sent from above; they are not visible to the human eye – not a problem at all. Most significantly speaking, the invisible force has an impact on my daily life. It is a whole new direction, with boredom out of the question. In the many quiet moments with the Lord, something pops up spontaneously, and the enabling and empowerment are thrilling. Issues are seen in a different light, and they are joyfully resolved. This is when my faith in God grows by leaps and bounds!

I sincerely wonder how many believers truly savored the sweetness which emanates from the Bread of Life. I have this blessing from the Lord, and it sure beats everything that is on this fast-failing planet. With that, priorities and preferences take on an entirely different path. One salient aspect of spiritual maturity is very much like a kid growing out of toys. So very real in my case that I do not look back regrettably at stuff that was tossed out but delight with great exhilaration in the God-inspired new normal which is an ongoing reality!

I will never miss Understanding the Times with Jan Markell and J. D Farag’s Prophecy Updates. Of late, I downloaded the Hope for our Times app. I read most of the articles on Rapture Ready, and the Nearing Midnight segment is a personal favorite.

I contribute articles to this website, which I have grown to love, on a regular basis. It is really an instance of joy overflowing when working with the God-ordained people running Rapture Ready. What I contribute by way of writing is inspired by the working of the Holy Spirit. This takes place when I distance from the world and allow the Holy Spirit to call every shot!

I do stick with a less-than-pint-sized cell group that meets on a bi-monthly basis. The number hardly exceeds all fingers on both hands. As a matter of interest, the most recent gathering had only all fingers on one hand! These wonderful people may not talk a lot about Bible Prophecy, but they have no objections regarding any mention of it. I am at home with them because of their emphasis on disengagement from worldliness and focus on the genuine spirituality from the Lord.

With this new normal that is energized by the Holy Spirit, every passing day has a distinct meaning. Enough to put whatever cares of the world onto the back burner. A good reason for eating out less often. The Godly pleasures that come with this new arrangement make the outdoors less appealing. No questions asked; it has gone significantly downhill where I am concerned. At the same time, I have experienced a transformation that sees it all in a different light. I frown when I hear vulgarities, and the alien strains of BTS (a K-pop group) raises my blood pressure. Sitting at a table adjacent to a bunch of male seniors gulping beers while being pampered by girls in short dresses (they do the top-ups) is a turnoff! Simple and light bites do gel with my reconfigured lifestyle.

I recently decided to revisit my old stomping ground – an Irish bistro. Food-wise, quantity and quality were still of high standards. But I was in for a very rude shock. As I tucked into their signature fish and chips, an out-of-place bunch sat at the adjacent table. A middle-aged guy and four ladies in their early thirties would have done well in a KTV joint. They were rowdy and made a barely bearable din. Get the picture why I suffered a digestion issue after this ear-shattering episode. I made a speedy recovery, nevertheless, by His grace and mercy. The Still, Small Voice resonated within the confines of my cerebral cortex as I recovered. I was then directed to Romans 12:1-2.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Walking with Jesus, even alone


Contact me at edwinuk13@gmail.com