Gates and Social Order

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Looking everywhere, one would see lawlessness and chaos all around in various forms. We seem to have this seemingly resistant strain of lawlessness infecting every fabric of our society, eating every fiber of our being. The stench from the resultant abscess is so offensive that citizens are denying their heritage, changing nationalities and pledging allegiance to other sovereignties. Every sphere of our lives is badly infected by this disease. You find its manifestation in the various arms of government, in business circles, in our civil affairs, in our religious houses and so on. It is everywhere! Because of lawlessness, several citizens do not enjoy essential amenities. Basic health care, standard education, good roads, stable power supply appear to be alien to our world. The law enforcement agencies also appear to be fueling lawlessness rather than curbing it. Anyone denying the fact that things are not right might be living in a self-created fantasy bubble.

With all sense of regard, I put the blame for this decadence and decay at the doorstep of the church. When I talk about the church, I am talking about you and I who call ourselves brothers and sisters of the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, we are the church. Let’s stop pointing the finger at others. Every one of us is culpable!

The church should see itself as the custodian of the gates of the nation it resides in. Gates control what comes in or goes out. They determine what influences are in charge or what authority dominates the territory. The church has a responsibility to the nation it is a part of. It should superintend the forces that influence the various systems that make up our society. It must have a say in the establishment of social order in the nation.

This might seem a far cry from what actually obtains today, because so many people who call themselves Christians, Christian leaders inclusive, have their hands and feet terribly stained and unable to take their place at the gates. The whole breed now appears weak and powerless. And we watch helplessly as waves and waves of disorder and lawlessness pound the nation.

We talk and talk and end our discourses by saying ‘God help us’ or ‘It shall be well’. Yes, God has helped us and will continue to help us but what have we done about the situation? I am not immediately getting on the band wagon of ‘It’s not time for prayers, it’s time for action’. We must do the two. Any spiritually discerning person knows that the spiritual controls the physical. Nothing takes place in the physical domain that has not been determined in the spiritual realm. You can talk all you want, do all you can try to do, mobilize all you can,… if it is not sanctioned in the spiritual realm, it’s gonna crumble like a pack of cards.

The scripture in 2 Chronicles 7:14 is still as relevant today as it was 3000 years ago. If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

You might say we have been praying. But what really have we been praying about? Possibly, praying self-centred prayers, praying interest-based prayers, praying for food and raiment – prayers centred around our needs and lusts. But I know what selfless, united praying for the enthronement of God’s kingdom can do. I have witnessed the power of that too. We need to return to our place of authority at the gates and pray the will of God for our land. Let’s put aside our differences – our doctrines, denominations, tribal sentiments and personal lusts and pray out disorder and lawlessness and pray in an order of peace, justice, fairness and equity over Nigeria. Cast out from our territory the demons of chaos, lawlessness and disorder. Do this in your closet, in prayer meetings, music concerts, church services and everywhere you find yourself.

I am not quite done yet! If you are really going to have effective prayers, you have to have the right standing. You can’t be an agent of disorder and pray against lawlessness. You can’t be circumventing the laws of the land and pray for order. You can’t be using your position unfairly, breaking laws, abusing civility, suppressing justice and expect a change in our situation. We must deliberately decide to think right, speak right and do right. Only then will we have the leverage to determine our destiny and redeem our land.

I urge you wherever you are, to humble yourself, turn from any wicked way, pray the blessing and government of God over Nigeria and watch Him heal the nation. I tell you, when the spiritual contract is executed, all our positive physical efforts begin to yield results. We must pray. We must be upright and stand for justice and fairness. It will then be a reality that one will chase a thousand and two will chase ten thousand.

SELAH.

Photo by Annette Schuman on Unsplash

The Real Feel

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It’s about 3pm now and the temperature in Lagos according to AccuWeather is 30°C. The temperature in Abuja is 27°C. I also noticed there is another temperature reading called the Realfeel® temperature which is 35°C and 32°C for Lagos and Abuja respectively. The Realfeel® temperature reading is what the temperature really feels like on the skin. It can be warmer or colder than the actual temperature depending on the weather conditions. The Realfeel® temperature is determined using a number of factors including the temperature, humidity, cloud cover, sun intensity and wind. A lot of people prefer to use the Realfeel® temperature because it gives a sense of how they really feel.

Relating this to our economy, there is the report on the state of the economy based on certain key performance indicators, which the government of the day can churn out every now and then but there is also the real feel of the economy which the average man or woman on the street senses and which defines his or her perception of how well or poorly the economy is doing. The government can look at its KPIs and adjudge itself to be performing. It could talk about the increasing foreign reserves, the stable Naira exchange rate, the improvement in ranking for ease of doing business in the country. The government could boast of several arrests bordering on corruption charges. It could talk about the savings made in spite of the lower oil prices, the GPD growth or the addition of more power generation capacity.

But the real feel is what the man on the street perceives. It appears to gauge his survival chances. It is the perception of the woman who is hawking by the street corner to be able to provide a meal for her babies. It is about the experiences of the businessman or woman who considers himself or herself to be a fundamental part of the micro-economy of the nation. It is about the payment or non-payment of salaries, the availability of stable power when a loved one has to undergo a surgical procedure. It is about our hospitals, schools and businesses staying open or closed. It is about being able to move around freely or sleep soundly without fear of having an unwanted intrusion in your space. It is about having the assurance that your life as a citizen of the nation is as valued as you think you deserve. It is knowing that the benefits of your sweat-laced labour will be available to you when you need it. It is our primordial understanding of the economy based on other connected indices like security, justice reforms, the corruption index, international relations, etc.

Leadership and government in general must be relational. It must be sincere. It must help define the right perception of the economy for all. It must encourage the development of the right narratives for its most important stakeholder – the vulnerable citizen of Nigeria. It must be concerned about how the thoughts that weave the fabric of the future of the country are strung together. It must offer genuine hope and be actively seen to be committed to the peace and stability of the nation.

At this time in our nation when we remember our latest transition from military rule to the democratic form of government, our reflections would naturally centre around evaluating the gains of democracy. We would think about the dividends of democracy and once again look to the promises of a better future. Like a lady being courted, the citizens of Nigeria need the assurance that the best days are not just ahead but are here in our time. Happy Democracy Day!

©Godreigns Amedari

THIS WILL MAKE YOU THINK ABOUT LIFE

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At one time or the other, we have had to use tanks or hoses. For example, in places where water supply is not always guaranteed, it generally makes sense to get a tank or some form of container to store water when it is available so that there would be water to use when it is no longer available from the usual source. We have also used hoses to water our lawns, wash our cars or even siphon fuel (sorry to remind you of the dark and frightful days of petrol scarcity). In life, the tank versus hose analogy might apply to the human experience and may categorize us.

A tank usually has a fixed capacity while the capacity a hose can produce is dependent on the source it is connected to. You cannot put more into a tank than it is built to hold but a hose can have an unending flow through it as long as it stays connected to its source and it has its other end open. The hose never has to bother about how much content it can hold. It never has to bother about having content for itself. As long as it is willing to serve as a hose, it would always have content for itself and for its recipients. Not a bad lifestyle. I heard someone say, Givers never lack.

A tank is usually stationary but a hose moves around. The hose has the opportunity to see more of the world as it serves its purpose. I can imagine a conversation between it and a tank at the end of the day. The hose would have several stories to tell of the places it has been while the tank has a lamentation on how boring life has been looking through the same window. Wow, the life of a hose seems more exciting than that of the tank. Who wouldn’t want a fun-filled life?

The content of a tank can quickly become stale because it is the same of the same! But a hose would always have new content flowing through it. So while a tank is stuck with the same content, a hose gets to have something different flowing through it per time.

A tank can easily retain residue, requiring it to be emptied to be cleaned. The hose always has fresh content flowing through it. It is cleaned by the same process as its use. That is, as liquid flows through it, it is also cleaned. When we live our lives as tanks, we can easily collect unwanted residue and become unnecessarily burdened. In fact, the residue and filth could get so much that our capacity for what we were meant to carry becomes reduced. The hose doesn’t have to bother about such accumulation of residue. For the tank, to get it cleaned, you would usually have to have it drained of its content. Then you can clean it out. At such points, the tank is out of season. Maybe sometimes we feel like that. We feel worthless because we have to be cleaned out. If we were hoses, we might not have such low moments.

A tank could be on its own but a hose is most useful connected to a source. If a tank is filled up, its source could be disconnected but for a hose, it must stay connected to its source to be of any use. The moment, it is disconnected from its source, it is drained of whatever was in it. Hmm, could this be a bad thing or a good thing? One might think that it is good because the tank can be independent. But from another perspective, the hose’s predicament reinforces the need to stay connected to the source. For us, that means staying connected to the source of life, God himself. This cannot be a bad thing. After all, what are we without God? We are alive and breathing because of Him. When we are connected, we can always be assured of fresh content, we can be guided to where we need to offload our contents, we can be sure that we would always stay relevant and we can be sure we would always remain wet. Blessed is the man who delights in the Lord… He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper (Psalm 1:1-3). So my question to you today is, “Are you functioning as a hose or a tank?”

THE FEAST

chuttersnap-461238-unsplashWhat makes you tick? What starts you off? What revs your engine? What triggers the right hormones? What fires your imagination? What propels you? What excites you? What motivates you? A morning ritual, a song, a hug, a special breakfast, memories of a special moment…? How about a reminder of God’s promises? How about the excitement of eating from the Lord’s table every morning? Yes, it is a feast of fat things. There is a plate of God’s joy for you. Yes, the joy of the Lord is your strength. There is a sufficient serving of His mercies. Yes, His mercies are new every morning. There is a satisfying dish of His grace. Yes, God is able to make His grace abound towards you. There is a refreshing chalice of His goodness. Yes, surely goodness and mercies shall follow us. There is a garrison of His favour around you.  Yes, He surrounds us with His favour like a shield. There is the assurance of His power. Yes, we are kept by His power. Soak in the freshness of His precious lovingkindness. He crowns us with lovingkindness and tender mercies. There is also a supply of the sweet Spirit of Jesus Christ. Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits. Hallelujah!

Psa. 23:5; Isa. 25:6; Neh 8:10; Lam 3:22-23; 2 Cor 9:8; Psa 23:6; Psa 5:12; I Pet 1:3-5; Psa 103:4; Phil 1:19; Psa 68:19

MUST THAT WITCH DIE?

Blog pictureAs I drove to church one Sunday morning, I saw a billboard for a church program. The bold headline was ‘That witch must die’! I gritted my teeth, my fingernails almost digging into the steering wheel as I tightened my grip. I was terribly upset. I did a quick mental scan, wondering where in the teachings of Jesus and His apostles we could find a precedent for this? How did we descend so low? How did the people of the light lose their focus and get involved in daylight witchcraft? I had thought witches and witchcraft were usually associated with nocturnal activities. More seriously, I wondered why some in the church had decided to exchange their glory for the base life. This appeared to be the other gospel Paul was referring to. He marvelled that people were turning from the grace of God to some other gospel which was different from the one they had received. (Gal 1:6-10)

We have a received a gospel that tells the good news that Christ has defeated the enemy and raised us to sit with Him in heavenly places far above all other powers including those attributed to witches. So now, our focus should not be on killing witches in the villages or the cities. On the contrary, what we need is an experiential knowledge of the victory Jesus has given us in Him.

Do you know you are seated in heavenly places far above principalities and powers? Do you know that God can prepare a table before you and give you the victory while the witches are still breathing? Do you know that Jesus came to give life to all who would receive Him including witches? The church was not sent to kill witches but to preach the good news and the full gospel.

Sadly, we have an unfortunate situation on our hands. Rather than stimulating an atmosphere of love, some are busy stoking the flames of hated, selfishness and ungodly suspicion in the body. Or what would you say about this? Two people who are children of the stock of Abraham and who were previously friends, praying to God for the death of each other’s enemy. Which of them will God kill?

Our more important business is to bring the order and domain of the kingdom of heaven to earth. The order of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. An order that demonstrates the realities of victory over sin, sickness and death. An order that lights up the world with the love of Christ and the favour of God. Church leaders must redirect the body of Christ to its mission on earth. Rather than instil fear, they must build faith.  Rather than dignify the law, they should amplify the message of God’s grace.

Christians must discern the body. They must search the scriptures themselves to be sure the things they are told and sold are true. I must say, that we have become quite a lazy and powerless bunch, almost losing our godly influence in our communities. We must continually emphasize the finished work of Christ. We must seek to understand the victory Jesus has already procured. We should pray that the eyes of our understanding are open so that we may know the extravagance of the work He has done for us and the immensity of the glory He has given us.

Christians who know their place would fear no witch. They know their lives are hid with Christ in God!

 

Healing Scriptures

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Give attention to my words. Incline your ear to my sayings… they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh. The Word of God is His ultimate prescription for health and healing.

How about having God’s word read in your ears while you are awake or asleep. I have compiled a collections of verses from the Word of God that speak about God’s thoughts on our healing, health and wholeness. The compilation is strictly God’s word and has been specially arranged by the help of the Spirit of God. You can listen to it over and over as it ministers to your spirit, soul and body. Typically, we do our best to follow the doctor’s prescription for medications given. In addition, I now encourage you to take the prescription of God’s word day and night.

We plug our ears with the latest music beats and sometimes sleep off in the process. How about having God’s word read in your ears, even as you doze off. Think about having God’s word imprinted in your subconscious. While you work, while you cook, while you exercise, let God’s word get into you.

Download this scripture compilation here and share with family and friends. This is an invaluable gift you can give to anyone.

Like this post, share it, get this to as many people as you love. It is God’s unadulterated Word!

You can also listen to it here, again and again!

Or here:

#SOIREES #HANGOUTS #JESUS

#SOIREE

Sometime ago, I got a message from a friend inviting me to his home for a chat over drinks. Coincidentally, about that period I had been thinking about how difficult staying physically connected to family and friends was becoming. Gone are the days when people in the neighbourhood gather together in the evening after work to chat and laugh together. Before mobile phones came, it was not unusual to show up at the door of your friend’s house for a quick hello and get the warmest welcome possible. Weekends used to be great opportunities to bond with loved ones over meals or just under the beautiful skies. This still happens but I am sure you can testify that it is not as frequent these days as it used to be years back. Nowadays, we are caught up in so many activities, a lot of them related to chasing the loot, so that sometimes even phone calls are at a premium. Yeah, we use social media to keep in touch but it is quite on a superficial level. So you can imagine my surprise and excitement when I got that message for one of such rare soirees. I saved the date everywhere possible and got to my friend’s house as scheduled. Sure enough, we had drinks and we bantered along. I also noticed that there were a couple of other people around, known to my host but not familiar to me as at that moment. Then, someone spoke about some presentation to be made on the flat screen TV in the living room which we all patiently watched and listened to. I found out that this was a presentation about a multi-level marketing (MLM) opportunity. The speaker was quite articulate and convincing and the mood had been perfectly set for the presentation. I guarantee you that enough had been done and said to make you give more than a second thought to what was being spoken about that evening.

As I drove home that night I thought about the events of the evening and the extent we could go to sell our ideas or drive a vision. I realized that I had just been at an outreach or evangelistic campaign, although not one to preach Jesus but one to preach wealth creation. I got to know that several of such meet-ups happen around and the ‘harvest’ is usually worth it. But before MLM, there was the great commission, an instruction from our Saviour shortly before He ascended to heaven, to go and make disciples in all nations. So how about having a soiree, inviting friends over, having mocktails and sharing testimonies about different salvation experiences or showing a movie like War room or The Case for Christ, for example? What about just having unchurched friends over for Suya and asking to pray for any pressing needs or healing requests.

The message of salvation has not changed and will not change but our presentation of the gospel should be relevant to the generation we connect with. The dynamics of relationships are more complex nowadays, technology is advancing at the speed of light and there are more activities competing for the 24-hour time quota we all have. Do not forget too that the devil is quite busy on his tasks, maybe busier than he has ever been. Thus our methods of reach out must be persuasive and able to get the required attention of the people we connect with. These days, a lot of time is spent online in the cyber world. Our social media platforms provide the perfect space to preach the gospel. In a way, our life stories are told on the various platforms we interact with. When people read these stories, what do they perceive? When we surf the net and cruise along the internet highway, what scent do we leave behind? Facebook, for example, would ask you, ‘What’s on your mind?’ What response do we drop before heading to the next hangout? Some people see this as an opportunity express the frustration they feel about a certain situation or vent their anger at someone. But it can also be a great platform to consistently share the good news and the impact it has made in our lives. So while we continue our traditional methods of reaching out, we must know that we have an equally powerful opportunity in the cyber space to preach the good news, either by organizing online hangouts, tweeting about God’s faithfulness or blogging about the pleasures of our walk with God. The harvest is ripe, be a willing labourer (Luke 10:2).