HUMILITY & BATTLING SATAN
This Sunday, TERRIFIC HEADLINES highlights the importance of humility in a Christian’s journey through Planet Earth. It is, indeed, a critical determinant of how far a Christian would go in his or her walk with God. The Holy Bible emphasizes in numerous places that God Almighty detests the proud. The Book describes Biblical Moses as the meekest man on the face of the earth. This was why The LORD spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. (Exodus 33:11) It also accounts for why God humiliated he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws. (Daniel Chapter 4) No true Christian, either leader or follower, could afford to disrespect God because of the attendant disastrous consequences. Let’s start with the conducts of church leaders whose activities are described below. Covetousness is permissible when it comes to spiritual gifts. You will see every trace of humility and brokenness.
“There are no theatrics in our church……because from my background, I don’t like anything that is turned into a show or drama. Some pastors like the drama rather than the results. I want the results rather than the drama. I have also looked at the Ministry of Jesus Christ, and I want to as much as possible follow the Ministry of Jesus Christ. So, in the interaction and relationship with people, and the life I live, I want it to be the life of Christ. I want the Jesus’ type of ministry. I don’t want anything fake.” (Pastor WF Kumuyi, General Superintendent, Deeper Life Bible Church)
““My life is a proof of the fact that God can lift up a man from the dungeon and cause him to sit among princes. I came from a background of nothing, raised in a Church that was almost nothing. But then, I am what I am today by the grace of God. ‘’When I was National President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, I resisted flowery introductions and threatened to walk out if I was so introduced. ‘’Like John the Baptist, we should hide behind the cross and only lift up the One who paid for our sins on the Cross” (Pastor EA Adeboye, General Overseer, Redeemed Christian Church of God)
“Cardinal Francis Arinze’s preaching revealed a great familiarity with the Word of God, seen in the context of the living Church from the Fathers to the Catechism of the Catholic Church – and always contextualized in the readings and in the liturgy. ‘’Precisely for this reason, Scripture was present in its full contemporary significance. ‘’Cardinal Arinze’s fifty years of priesthood, in the light of which you helped us to strengthen our faith; you used the right words, words with real significance for our lives and for our behaviour as priests,” (Pope John Paul 11)
“If we understand ourselves as His followers, we cannot be different from Him. Jesus Himself made it clear that all peace makers and peace lovers are blessed. I am a very simple person, Humility is my motto. No one knows tomorrow. I consider my office a position that God in His infinite mercy has bestowed on me as a responsibility which in due time I must give account to Him alone on how I fared in it. Probably peace-making is a gift which God gave to me. This too is a responsibility which I must be careful how I deal with it”. (Prelate Emeritus Sunday Mbang)
“Most Revd Peter Jasper Akinola personifies the epochal change in the Christian Church; now that the gravity in Christianity is changing from the northern hemisphere to the southern. New African and Latin American church leaders like Akinola are bright, courageous and willing to point out the inconsistencies, weaknesses and theological drift in Western churches. “Akinola, like Mandela of South Africa, is a man of peace and his leadership is a model for Christians around the world”. ‘’New African, Asian and Latin American church leaders are bright, biblical, courageous and willing to point out the inconsistencies, weaknesses and theological drift in Western churches. (Rick Warren, writing in ‘Time Magazine’ of Sunday, Apr. 30, 2006)
BE SPIRITUALLY SENSITIVE
One salient fact stands out very clearly: those church leaders, and indeed, all creations of God are not free from challenges. As God’s ambassadors on earth, we must always live to please Him everywhere and every time so that He can continue to empower us to overcome challenges of life. God puts challenges there as rough edges so that all human beings would acknowledge His majesty. God has been faithful to His servants like He did to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and also to His son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. As followers of Christ, the major task of all believers is to preach the Gospel and propagate the charge of Jesus Christ for humanity to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth easily beset us, running with patience the race that is set before us” and “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2) Our race eventually terminates when we report individually to God.
HANDLING DESTINY WASTERS
There is no one in this world going around unchallenged. Not even those top priests that God uses. In fact, they are the people facing the greatest challenges as they must account for their flock and fight to ward off the evil. Biblical Daniel had his prayers answered by God, but the answer being conveyed by angel Gabriel, was prevented from getting to Daniel by satanic forces! It wasn’t as it angel Gabriel was incompetent. He was the same angel that conveyed Good News to Zechariah and Virgin Mary, foretelling the births of John the Baptist and Jesus respectively (Luke 1:11–38) And it took Archangel Michael, an angel of warfare in Heaven to go quit evil forces on the way, so Daniel could receive answers to his petition to God. Dr. D.K Olukoya, General Overseer of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles points out that: “In every generation, there is a stubborn Pharaoh who will not let Israel go. Satan is not soft; he is stubborn to the core. He will not release his victims with ease. The only language he understands is violence. There is a type of prayer to pray when the enemy is hell bent on denying you your freedom. Such a drastic situation requires some drastic prayer points. “There are times in the ministry of prayer when the battle becomes very intense and God begins to demonstrate his full strength as a man of war. Such a battle is described thus “for every battle of the warrior is with confused noise and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire”. Isaiah 9:5. During sessions of intensive spiritual warfare, you can invoke the divine presence saying: “let God arise and all his enemies scattered. God will surely arise at the moment and the battle becomes his. I have stated time and again that any power that tries to challenge a true child of God is set for instant burial. When you are involved in a battle with an array of evil forces, you simply need to shout with holy anger saying: “Let God Arise”. When you pray like that, you are throwing a challenge to the Almighty and asking Him to grant you more strength in the fullness of his power”. (Prayer Passport to Crush Oppression by Dr. D.K. Olukoya)
THE POTENCY OF THE WORD OF GOD
Because Satan is always on the prowl, spiritual negligence could be very costly. And those who would be attacked most are carriers of His glory. The heavy your glory, the more violent the attack of satanic agents that should be expected. Success attracts enemies, which is why nobody fights a failure. Therefore, gird your loins. How? Ephesians Chapter Six answers that question: Put on the whole armour of God: ‘’10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.’’ 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.’’
THE MERCY OF GOD
Are you afraid that you have sinned in the past? If you submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ now, He is able to forgive you all your sins. The Lord is long suffering and plenteous in mercy. In Hebrews Chapter 11 where God listed His heroes of the faith, you will find there, names like Moses who killed an Egyptian, Rahab the harlot, and Jephthah who was born out of wedlock. God forgave their sins, transformed their lives, put His Holy Spirit upon them, and used them mightily to advance His purpose on earth. This exactly is the message of hope that Christ brought into the world There is no one clean enough, or holy in the sight of God (Rom 3:23, Isa. 4:6). All are sinners before a Holy God. This God has made His Son Jesus Christ to die in place of every human in order to give hope to all who would believe. This is why Jesus did not condemn the woman caught in adultery but asked her to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11). There is hope for everyone, except the one who thinks he is good enough and refuses to repent of his of her sin, embracing Jesus as Lord and Saviour” (John 8:24, Acts 9, Gal. 1). (Bishop Wale Oke:‘From Glory to Glory) The conversion of Saul who later became Paul is a clear example of what the power of God could do in any situation and in the life of any creature. Saul of Tarsus, the great persecutor of early Christians later emerged one of the greatest apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. The next step? Go immediately to a Bible believing church TODAY and ask for a pastor to lead you to Christ and enlist as His faithful. It is only after doing that faithfully that you could be said to have just commenced walking of the narrow path that leads to Heaven.
PROUD TO BE A CHILD OF GOD & A NIGERIAN
I am first and foremost a child of God and an aspiring citizen of Heaven before being a Nigerian. There is no Nigeria, or any other nation in Heaven. No matter what anybody says, Nigeria and priests of Nigerian origin are doing Jesus Christ proud all over the world. The Redemption Camp, Mowe, Ogun State has attracted great personalities from all over the world; and they who have gone back to their countries with stories of the move of God in Nigeria. The Chief Justice of South Africa and his wife have, for several years been regular faces at prayer events of the RCCG. I was truly amazed but delighted last night when the wife of the President of Uganda, Mrs. Janet Musevini came out at the Redemption Camp to give glory to God for what He is using Nigeria to do for the rest of Africa. Yes, those were her real words. Before somebody shouts Halleluyah!, let me once again utilize the opportunity provided by this good development to plead with Governments in Nigeria at various levels to create an enabling environment for religious tourism and encourage the private sector and the church to invest in this very critical sector. An impressive figure of over 3.5 million tourists visited Israel last year. Nigeria can do better. Finally, SHOUT HALLELUYAH!