Elder Tony

Faith Journeys: Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Elder Tony Tan


25 January 2023

Bukit Panjang Centre, Woodlands Centre and ACK Centre were all built through faith journeys. Our current East Centre journey is no different. For each journey, we seek the Lord’s will through prayer, listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and Holy Scriptures, and obey God’s leading. What is most precious about these faith journeys is that it is multiplied thousands of times in the lives of Covenanters – each seeking, listening and obeying the Lord, and experiencing the grace, goodness and power of God in their lives as a result.

My first journey occurred 16 years ago. At that time, my family and I lived in Hong Kong where I was posted for work. We had left Singapore for over a decade and were back on one of our regular visits. On this occasion we set foot in Bukit Panjang Centre for the first time. I recalled vividly Ps Edmund Chan preached New Year’s Eve 2007 Sunday service message from Genesis 32. The call of God, “Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good” (Gen 32:9b) spoke directly to my heart. I knew He was calling me to return to Singapore. Curiously, Covenant EFC was at that time in the process of building Woodlands Centre and there was a call to give and to go to this new worship centre. As my family walked out of Bukit Panjang Centre’s auditorium that morning, I turned to my wife Karen and said, “I believe God is calling us to return to Singapore. This is the church He wants us to join, and I sense He is calling us to help build Woodlands Centre!” 

Incredibly, through a series of circumstances, we crossed our own “Jabbok” as Jacob did in Genesis. We returned to Singapore in July 2007, about seven months after our visit to Covenant EFC. Our homecoming was not smooth by any means. When we landed, I had not yet secured another job. We lived in a rented apartment. The boys had to adjust to a new school and social environment. Everything was volatile and unsettled. We actually felt like strangers and wanderers in an unfamiliar land where God wanted us to call home. The Lord reminded us that we were to be like Abraham who was seeking “the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10). Our first priority was to build the house of God and not our own house. We simply obeyed God’s calling to give to the building of Woodlands Centre and to go as part of the first few hundred Covenanters who served, completed Intentional Discipleship Training (IDT) and started Covenant Groups (CGs) in the new centre. This all happened while our own lives were still in somewhat of an upheaval.  

I can testify now that embarking on this faith journey truly deepened our family’s discipleship.

The journey purges the soul. We learned to put first things first — to seek first the Kingdom of
God, and not our own little kingdom.

The journey focuses the heart. We learned to order our loves — to give sacrificially, serve
faithfully and keep Him on the throne of our hearts.

The journey tutors the mind. We learned to trust God fully and not lean on our limited and
flawed human understanding — to live by faith and not by sight.

My family and I continued to seek, listen and obey in Covenant’s ACK Centre faith journey some
years later. Now, we are doing the same in the East Centre journey. Every journey is unique and
special. Each faith journey deepens us and draws us closer to the Lord and His purposes for our life.