Dr. Sunny Philip was born in an ancient Christian family, called "Kaduvattoor Family," in the southern state of Kerala in India. He hails from a family that belonged to the Eastern Orthodox church for many generations whose worship was stymied by traditions and folklores. But God took his immediate family out of this situation by uprooting his parents and causing them to live in various other places in connection to his father's job. This gave them an opportunity to be exposed to different worship styles like Anglican, Episcopal and eventually Pentecostal. By the time Rev. Sunny was eight, his family had embraced Pentecostalism. After taking a B.S. degree in Chemistry, he came to USA in 1977. His wife Mercy was already settled there. He continued his studies and took a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Polytechnic University of New York. He worked as a Research Chemist, Process Engineer, Manager, Enterprenuer etc. until 1994 when he fully surrendered his life for full time ministry. In 1981, he took the initiative to form PYFA, which is a youth organization that serves the youth in the Indian immigrant community in New York. In 1986, the Spirit of God started beckoning him to his original call in life. After much hesitation, he yielded, eventually entering into full time ministry in 1994. Today, Dr. Sunny Philip serves as the Senior Pastor of two congregations in Elmont, a suburb of New York City; one serving the Indian language group and the other and Englsih service for all nationalities. He is also active in mission work in India, serving in leadership for a group that has planted over 1000 churches in India.
Today, Dr. Sunny Philip has a world wide ministry. He has ministrered in North Amrica, Central America, India, Middle East, Africa and Australia conducting revival meetings, seminars, youth rallies etc. He has written three books and regularly write in periodicals. DARSHAN is a bimonthly publication on Christian leadership and vision based living, published under the banner of Vision International, Inc., the outreach ministry led by Dr. Sunny Philip.
Look at the story in Exodus 14. We see Moses and the Israelites at the Red Sea, being chased by the Egyptians. They had no place to go. Everyone in the camp could see the problems. Red Sea ahead of them, Egyptians behind them, mountains around them. Some seized the moment to make another pitch to return to Egypt.
Imagine close to two million people getting on your nerves! Screaming everywhere, words of unbelief and doubts hurling in the air from almost every mouth. They turned the challenge into another spot to question the 'leading' of the leader. If God was really leading our leader, how come we are facing this predicament now?
Moses, like many of us was led to tears. He had no answers to the questioning public except that he was just following the leading of God. If it has sent them to a dead end, then God must do something about it, not Moses. So he cried in the presence of God.
What surprises me more than the problem is the answer from God."Why do you cry to Me? Tell the Israelites to go forward." (Exodus 14:15). To where? Into the water?
We need to back track here for a moment to get the whole picture. In verse 13, Moses gave the people a pep talk: "Do not be afraid. Strand still and see the salvation of ther LORD." Moses wanted them to see the answer. But he himself had not seen it!
God told him that the answer is in his hands! The same rod that did many miracles in Egypt was about to do another miracle for them. God said, "I gave you authority over Pharoah a long time ago, use it." God had actually declared Moses a god over Pharoah (Exodus 7:1). Moses just had to exercise that authority.
Unfortunately, in the din of unbeleif, it is easy to to forget who you are in Christ. When problems overwhelm you, it is quite difficult to see that the answer is already given. We forget everything that God has already done. We forget the promises upon our lives. We forget the spiritual authority granted to us. Instead of standing up as a giant and exercising the spiritual authority, we crumble on our knees and start crying like babies.
When Moses was reminded by God that answer is in his hand and he used it, the Red Sea parted and the Isralelites crossed over as if on a dry land.
Look at this beautiful story in 2 Kings 6. The Syrians had sent a battalion to capture the prophet Elisha, as he was through divine revelations, thwarting the plans of Syrian king to atttack Israel. One morning when Elisha's disciple went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. "Alas my master! What shall we do?" was the only response from the disciple. He could see the problem. But he did not see the answer. Who would not love the prayer of Elisha, which simply asked, "LORD, open his eyes that he may see."
See what? He had already seen the problem. Now he needed to see the salvation. When God opened his eyes, he saw that the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
Today you may be where Elisha was or Moses was- surrounded by problems. Yes, you have seen the problems. But can you see the answer God has already in place for you? If not, pray like Elisha did: "LORD, open my eyes that I may see."
For more information about Dr. Sunny Philip, visit Global Network of Christian Indian Leaders!