Recently, I heard a man of God make the following claim on TV:
“1 million people were filled with the Holy Spirit in a single meeting during one of my crusades in Africa… We can see that happen in America.”
I love this man of God so much and have followed and been blessed and inspired by his ministry since I was 17. But as I watched him make this statement on TV – and which I’m certain was true – I kept thinking, “How has this filling with the Holy Spirit affected the thinking and quality of living of those million Africans? How did that ‘outpouring of the Spirit’ affect their communities and economies? And why in the world would anyone in America want to be like those millions”
I began to reflect on several facets of the African reality, wondering on how much impact the so-called ‘African Revival’ has had. I thought about my own country, Nigeria:
- Poverty: With all that so called outpouring of the Holy Spirit here, Nigeria is still steeped in poverty. Isn’t the Holy Spirit of God the Spirit of wisdom? Why are most church goers still poor and wretched in spite of all the sermons and anointing they’ve received?
- Corruption: Corruption is still deeply entrenched and institutionalized in the leadership here. There’s so much religion, so much zeal, lots of church activities; yet, whatever it is that is going on in these churches seem not to be able to affect the character of their members.
- Education: The quality of education here is so poor that most graduates from our Universities can barely construct a legible grammatical sentence.
- Innovation and technology: Isn’t the word of God, and the Holy Spirit supposed to transform the mind? So, if really it’s the ‘correct’ Holy Spirit that’s pouring on this continent, where are the Apples, Googles, Microsofts of the African continent? What’s the effect of all this ‘move of God’ on this continent?
- The environment: Look at our environment: bad roads, broken bridges, dirty, ugly, and insecure neighbourhoods. What is the impact of all our ‘churchianity’ on this land?
I don’t know about you, but I think that faith that has no transformational effect on the earth is worthless.
It’s amazing how many are still caught up in the frenzy of speaking in tongues, falling under the power, shaking under the power, laughing in the spirit, and all of those sort of things. This is what they call ‘the move of the Spirit’; this is what they call the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. That’s alright; but, I ask, ‘Then what?’ You spoke in other tongues, you fell under the power, you shook in the spirit, you fasted for 7 days and 7 nights, you attended a revival program, and so on and so forth; now what?
A reason, I think, all the church going, and religious activities in this nation has had zero impact upon the nation’s leadership, economy, and so on is that the brand of Christianity propagated here is oriented more towards religion than relevance.
Let’s see how the Apostle Paul expressed it.
“I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue. Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.”
?~1 Corinthians 14:18-20
Let me rephrase the above verse: Go for relevance. Rather than a thousand meaningless verbiage, say something that will actually transform someone’s life positively. Go on and scream about rapture and the bliss of the life to come in the sweet by and by; but I’ll rather preach a sermon that’ll help a man become a better father, than argue about how many angels can stand on top of a pin!
How effectual – transformational – is your faith?
See the way Darius put it to Daniel:
“Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”
In more contemporary terms, has your feverish religious activities produced more order, wisdom, and discipline, in your life? What is the impact of your faith on your dressing, your looks, your career, your cleanliness, your discipline, your productivity?
And If your faith is not transforming your personality, how in the world can it transform your society?
Lets get real
I’m a very pragmatic person. I prefer things that work. And I feel strongly in my heart at this moment to challenge you to embrace the spirit of what Paul wrote to the Corinthians.
“But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue.”
?~1 Corinthians 14:19
By all means practice your religion. By all means get involved in the ministries and missions of your church. However, move more towards those aspects of it all that actually impact your own personal life and enable you to exert positive transformational influence upon your environment.
Shun the illusions and fantasies and focus on what is really effective. Practice a deeper, more substantive, effective, and transformational faith.
Where to start
One simple word comes to mind: order.
Order is the essence of beauty. ?
Order attracts the presence of God. ?
Order releases the power of God. ?
Order produces abundance. ?
Order enhances your speed and boosts your productivity.
?Order maximizes your potentials.
Let’s take pains to establish order:
- In our daily schedule.
- In our allocation and use of funds.
- In how we relate to other people.
- In how we deliver our goods and services to our clients and constituencies.
- In how we do the work of God.
- In what we eat.
- In how we arrange our homes.
- In how we speak.
- In how we dress.
- In what and how we read.
Shun stupid theories and fantasies. Avoid the silly ego shows and popularity contests that pass for religion these days.? Distance yourself from the shallow billboard and sticker brand of religion.
Instead, go for the the transformational brand of faith.