Human value has become subjective based on varying factors: economic status, role in society, and public view among others. In reality, back to our origin, human value is the same for all of us—we were formed by God in His image and likeness. 

So God created human beings in His own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Genesis 1:27 (NLT)

We are not machines, not mere flesh. We’re made in God’s image. Every person made in His image has value and dignity. Each life created in God’s image deserves to be preserved on the basis of God’s ordained value upon each person’s life. 

This image reflects the authority and power God entrusts to each of us. How valuable is this image? No one can say except the reality that Jesus Christ had to sacrifice Himself in order to restore it. Precious life was given in exchange for it.

So what is its effect on us as citizens of the Philippines?

Human rights have to reflect the value God has given. Preservation of life has to be evident. This is a time when we need to be ‘advocates’ to preserve our value not just as Filipinos, but most importantly, our value divinely assigned to us by God. This is why we need to be part of nation-building to advocate for this value to be preserved.

But why must we be involved in the elections?

If the Bible has an obvious inclusion in the narrative, that’s national or tribal leadership. God used Moses to bring an enslaved sector of Egypt out of injustice. That required his God-directed leadership to move them out of where they were. Various kings and prophets have led people to either worship God or not in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, God elected twelve apostles to carry on the mission with His Son, Jesus Christ. However, not all leaders want to carry out God’s purpose. Caesar, for instance, wanted to be worshiped over God.

As citizens of the Philippines, we have been given the role to participate in a political structure such as ours, where we can vote for the next leaders of our nation. As Christ’s followers, it requires for us to prayerfully participate in it not because we are afraid for what’s to come, but, by faith, we take part to advocate for human value. 

Our vote is a statement that we are still participating in God’s work to redeem His people in this nation and in particular the people groups who would benefit much from good governance: the poor, the suffering, the ones suffering from injustice. All of us, especially these people groups, will benefit from a good government. 

When we see their God-ordained value, we begin to have the zeal to get out of our comfort zones and take part in nation-building. It is when we realize their value has to be restored that we can’t tolerate darkness to rule, so we declare and work toward God’s kingdom, which embodies shalom (peace and wholeness) here on earth as it is in heaven.

How can we participate in bringing shalom to our nation?

As citizens of God’s kingdom, we have a responsibility to honor God by serving our nation, and one of the ways we exercise this is by voting. While we may not be able to know who the perfect candidate is—because there’s none—we can prayerfully choose who may potentially be used by God to bring His kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven. 

When you exercise your right to vote, you have advocated for the dignity of the poor and the oppressed—for them to be given due attention as is required by their God-given value.

“Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.”

Isaiah 1:17 (NLT)

From the time I responded to the call of God to go into full-time ministry, I was never the same again. I remember the day when I finally said yes. I could no longer imagine anything beyond a life dedicated to serving God as a campus missionary in Far Eastern University. Little did I know that my journey in obeying God’s call would be filled with uncertainty, mystery, adventure, and surprises—all wrapped up in beautiful gifts that came my way, time and again: transitions.

You may not have gone into full-time ministry like I have, yet your calling is no less important. In the same way that I needed to seek God to know if I should work in the ministry or when it was time for me to move on to another season, you most likely also asked Him to direct you to where you are right now. And you will need to keep seeking Him as doors open or opportunities for redirection happen. 

Transitions are inevitable in life. Every transition calls for change—something that I didn’t really look forward to when I was younger. There’s always a new Victory group to start, a new campus to reach, a new role to learn, a new location to pray for, a new team to build relationships with, or a new season to embrace. But I learned to love transitions after several years of serving in the ministry, because they taught me to trust God rather than my own plans, timeline, and capacity. Your calling to be where you are now came in a unique way. It’ll be unique as well when God tells you it’s finally time to move on to a new season.

Some important lessons that I’ve learned over the years:

  1. We are all replaceable. God’s mission can move forward and His kingdom can grow without you in the picture. There are so many people out there who are way more passionate, extremely hardworking, naturally strategic, or simply better people than you that God can use to accomplish His purpose. I hope that this reminder makes us grateful for the privilege to be involved in building God’s kingdom at such a time as this, in spite of our imperfections. God gave us our roles, and He has the power to take them away from us when it’s time.
  1. We have a very limited time. As one author put it, “Time is a slippery commodity. You can’t hold on to it, and you can’t save it for future use. If you are not prepared to allocate this moment, it is gone forever. Time is here for a moment, and then it’s gone forever.” We have been entrusted with precious time. If we really think about it, more time is wasted, not in hours, but in what we do with the minutes given to us. Are your moments being spent in ways that contribute to fulfilling God’s calling in your life?

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:12 (ESV) 

“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath. We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.”

Psalm 39:4–6 (NLT)

  1. We need to prepare the next generation. If it’s time for you to go, what kind of legacy are you leaving? Will there be someone to take your place? What preparations are you intentionally doing now to make sure that he or she will be fit for the role one day? Invest in others and you will leave a lasting legacy. Yes, you may be replaceable, but you are also reproducible if you choose to reproduce yourself in the next generation. I remember one author saying, “Leadership success is measured by the success of your successor.” Even David, toward the end of his reign, knew the hard work that he needed to put in to prepare for the building of the temple before handing over his leadership to his son, Solomon.

“My son Solomon, whom alone God has chosen, 

is young and inexperienced; and the work is great, 

because the temple is not for man but for the Lord God.”

1 Chronicles 29:1 (NKJV)

How will I know if it’s time to transition?

  1. Desire. You know it. You feel it. You are sometimes confused by it. But God is birthing a new desire in your heart. You may not exactly know what it is, but you know that your desires are starting to shift to something new, in order to serve God’s purpose in your life. And whether we are aware of it or not, God is always in the business of doing a new thing in our lives! 

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”

Isaiah 43:19 (ESV)

How can I be sure that this desire is from the Lord? 

  1. God’s Word. God called Moses through a burning bush. Samuel heard His audible voice calling out his name three times. Mary met an angel delivering an important message from God. Paul encountered Jesus when he was blind. No matter the circumstance, God will let you know. One author says that, “Faith teaches us that there is a Person behind the universe, and that Person responds to communication just as all persons do.” Prayer is the primary way we communicate with God. When we pray, He hears us and He will answer. So pray. Seek the Lord. Discern His will for your life.

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. 

He will not rebuke you for asking.

James 1:5 (NLT) 

  1. Counsel. If you need wisdom, get wise counsel. Don’t try to figure things out on your own. Don’t make a biased decision based on your emotion or past experiences. Instead, seek counsel from those who know, love, and care about you. Ask a few wise and trusted people to speak wisdom and truth into your life. Learn to trust the God-given wisdom of our spiritual leaders.

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

Proverbs 12:15 (ESV) 

What do I do while I wait on God?

  1. Be faithful. Your upcoming transition may not be immediate. So continue to embrace wholeheartedly what God has called you to do today. Learn as much as you can. Always remember that wherever you are today prepares you for where God will take you next. Whatever you’re building, build to last. Build bigger than yourself. Build a platform for the next generation to build on.
  2. Develop next-generation leaders. Identify those leaders. Instruct them well. Impart and pour out your life to them. Let them tag along and train them as your interns. Whatever you do, set them up for success. Develop leaders who are ten times better than you.
  3. Continue to build relationships intentionally. Do not burn bridges. Be all the more intentional in deepening friendships and connections with the people you’re working with today. Trust me, you will want to move on to the next season carrying lasting and meaningful friendships with you.
  4. Look for opportunities to continue to serve. If you believe in what we do in campus ministry, support campus missionaries. If time permits, volunteer to disciple students. Be a strategic connection or provide open doors to help our campus ministry (and advance God’s kingdom!) in whatever way you can.
  5. Trust the Lord. Trust His timing. Allow God’s plans to naturally unfold in your life on His terms and in His time. Trust also that He has great things in store for you in the next season, even if that means a different city, a new nation, a change in role or function, or maybe a life outside of the workplace.

Every transition is beautiful when God ordains it. There’s beauty in it when you learn to trust God and choose to obey. Oh, I pray that you witness how beautiful it is when you finally see the bigger picture of what He is doing in your life. I believe that every transition is a promotion from God: to be entrusted with more, to learn more, and above all else, to know God more. I am grateful that in the midst of all the change, I can hold on to this:

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Hebrews 13:8 (ESV)