FACES - YWAM Singapore Issue.2017 - Page 22

From The Gun To T h e wo r d Mayang’s steely gaze barely stirred with emotion as he recalled watching his best friend slowly die, after struggling for ten hours on the battlefield from a bullet that shot through his face, and left his jaw hanging by the flesh of desperation. Mayang himself had teetered along the brink of death, when his unit tread unsuspectingly into a minefield that surrounded enemy territory. The mines they’d stepped on failed to detonate, and upon inspection, they were astonished to discover that the explosive devices were not defective. from worthlessness and despair? When I recognise how undeserving I am, and how unfailing God’s goodness has been to me, I can only thirst and hunger to walk in ways that’s worthy of His death on the cross.” The passing of a decade has not obscured the memory of all that God has done for him, cementing a loyalty and dedication that’s unfaltering. “This life is not my own. I’ve been gifted with it. But in this limited time of stewardship, will I inspire others to build their lives upon His truth? Not for fame or profit, but for the deep yearning to draw close to Him. His word teaches us how to live, and it’s meaningless if its implications lie void in our lives.” It’s hard to believe that this brutal and unforgiving discipline of military purgatory was once inhaled, like new oxygen, by the now reformed, and soft- spoken teacher of the Word. But he had desperately depended on it for self-affirmation, and beneath that freedom fighter masquerade hid a man whose fight for freedom was actually for self: his fight from shame, his fight for worth. He had congratulated himself for ‘being brave’, by thrusting himself onto the battlefield frontlines, when in truth, it was the misled belief – I am worthless – that precisely delineated his existence. He didn’t value life, and yet, death constantly dodged him, demonstrating with ringing lucidity that divine intervention can mitigate one’s final hour. But it was through an answered prayer request – to release his father from prison for a crime he didn’t commit – that the Lord finally gripped Mayang’s heart. In exchange for his father’s freedom, Mayang promised to serve God till he breathed his last. As the teachings of the Word become a part of who he is, Mayang discards his veil as a ruthless guerrilla fighter and uncovers his dignity as a soldier of God. He’s made the leap across the abyss of meaninglessness and landed safely, but he knows that the safe space is a narrow one, where taunts of humiliation and prejudice can easily pull him back into the torment he’d escaped from. Sullied thoughts still cross his mind, but it’s the conscious choice to do the right thing that exercises control over his behaviour. He advocates, “IF YOU HAVE THE WILL AND HEART TO CHANGE, YOU WILL.” As his intimacy deepened with the Lord, so did his desire for the Word. And the more he sought to know God through the Word, the more he recognised Him for who He really is. But he cautioned, “We should not take the Word of God lightly. We must honour it, and never falsify the doctrines by misleading with imprecise interpretations. Exercise humility and admit that there are limitations to our capacity and understanding. We will never fully comprehend God’s will, purposes and the depths of his love for us. But if we trust in the Lord who is sovereign, we will eagerly submit and live like He’s worthy.” He left the army and did a DTS in Dehradun, India, but it wasn’t enough. His shallow understanding of the bible further inspired him to enrol into the School of Biblical Studies in Mysore. The army had reined in his once uncontrollable emotions through sheer brute force, but the Word gave him the freedom to be discipled through convictions that are his own. A profound realisation of what God did for him defined his resolute transformation. Mayang acknowledged, “He sacrificed His only Son to die for me. Do I deserve this boundless mercy and grace He’s showered me with? Do I deserve this redeemed life that saved me 20