This is another article by Chimezie Agwu. Please, read on: Some people arrogate too much influence to themselves. Their small successes turn their heads and they are puffed up by little knowledge of the Bible. It makes them to claim that they know God. Not taking honest stock of themselves, they shoot at their own feet, and do much harm to unsuspecting followers and their gullible admirers, especially women.
Some years ago, a man clutching his Holy Bible, went to a lions’ zoo in Ibadan. His aim was probably to achieve the feat Daniel did, when King Darius of Medes and Persia, threw him into the den of lion. Expectantly, the lions had him for their lunch! In a Church, some years ago, it was alleged that a Pastor, in the name of deliverance, roasted a girl virtually like chicken, until she died. He was arrested, and sentenced to death. A newspaper reported that a housewife ran amok after sleeping with a pastor. It was alleged that he had wanted to use her for ritual. Recently, there was a newspaper headline: ‘Pastor in police net for defiling four underage girls in Edo’. The girls aged 6, 7, 9 and 11 years.
Some so-called men of God often make bogus claims, telling people that, in spite of their humble birth, they kept close relationship with God until they had their breakthrough. They would claim that someone they prayed for, had an open heaven and in appreciation, he blessed them with enormous amount of money or property worth millions of Naira, which had catapulted them into prominence. Some of them would claim that they were always in close touch with God, and as a result, their actions were guided by the dictates of Heaven.
So numerous and enthralling are the claims of some ‘men of God’ that except a man is himself completely and is fortified against spiritual manipulation, he may be swept off his feet, and end in shame. That is why some ladies, even housewives, after listening to such people, may lay siege to their residence, looking for miracles, but may end up in shame and in doing unimaginable things.
During the prayer session in some Churches, some people, including Pastors, may not participate. They may put on some airs, walking out in a cocky manner and busy with their phones. Such people claim to have known God better than those praying and feel that they can get from Him, what they want. “Though the Lord is great, He cares for the humble, but He keeps His distance from the proud,” Ps 138:6. NLT.
When Peter tried to follow Jesus in walking on the sea, the Scripture records that, when he saw the wind, he began to sink, and he cried, “Lord save me”. Jesus reached out to him immediately and caught him, saying, “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matt. 14:28-31 RSV. This happened in spite of the clearance he got from Jesus to walk on the sea. It shows that we should not take things of God for granted and it is a laudable proof that fear and faith in God do not mix.
Apostle Peter, no doubt, was very close to Jesus, and was confident that he would not deny Him despite the Lord’s prediction that he would do so. When the moment of reality stared at his face, he chickened out before a mere maid! The Bible records that he remembered the Words of Jesus, “Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times”. Unlike Judas, who committed suicide for selling Jesus, he wept bitterly – Matt. 26: 69-75. King David, the man after God’s heart, fought many wars, and God gave him victories. The secret of his victories was that he did not take them for granted. He would pray and seek God’s approval before going to any war. He never presumed God’s love for him.
Some people delight in exhibiting crucifix on their necks, some wear beads as signs of their piety and for protection, when their behaviour leaves much to be desired. Some people place the Bible, chaplet, or religious documents on their car’s dash-board for safety, when driving but ignore the traffic injunction: ‘If you drink, don’t drive, if you drive, don’t drink’. These people, while under the influence of alcohol, may be involved in ghastly or even fatal accident. Some people will say that the accident was ‘an act of God’.
Some nursing mothers place the Bible under their children’s pillow for protection against spiritual attack. These are the same women that visit ‘Prayer houses’, where out of spiritual ignorance, they enter unknowingly, into all sorts of covenants that could be detrimental to the progress of their children and family. These displays of religious articles amount merely to ‘emblematic relationship’. They do not add up as a proof of closeness to God or familiarity with Him.
When the three Jews were tied and thrown into the blazing furnace, they had no Bibles tucked in their armpits or any amulets on them. They walked out of the raging inferno alive and unruffled. Daniel in lion’s den, also, did not brandish the Bible before the ferocious beasts, yet, they welcomed him as their ‘Landlord’. In both incidents, it was their unshakeable faith and absolute trust in God that did the miraculous!
It is not right to claim familiarity with God, while flouting the laws. God is the God of order. The Israelites suffered untold hardship before they reached the Promised Land because of disobedience. Knowledge of a few passages from the Bible is not enough for one to claim familiarity with God. Apostle Paul, in spite of all his knowledge, said: “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection,” Phil. 3:10. Quoting the Bible cannot make you to walk safely through the furnace like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, or you will be consumed. That you are known as a ‘man of God’, should not make you to declare ‘nothing mega’, and then go to commit a crime. The law will catch up with you, and you may not get off the hook without damage to your personality.
Where then is your familiarity with our Creator? God commands us in 1Peter 1:16 to be holy, since He is holy. For one to be holy, one has to live a transparent and righteous life. Our own is like filthy rags before God. Many members of a certain Church, in protest, left because their Pastor was alleged to be having an affair with some members’ wives. The Bishop intervened and then transferred the priest to another Church and peace returned to the troubled parish.
It is not enough to dramatize our familiarity with God. To walk with Him, we must get it right, by making sure that our lives, when seen through the key-hole, will leave no regrets.
By: Chimezie Agwu, ex-bank Manager; 07082882568.
For further comment, Please contact: Osondu Anyalechi: 09090419057; [email protected]