DAY 11: SUNDAY
12TH JANUARY 2014
FOCUS: WAR AGAINST BARRIERS TO THE MOVE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN GOFAMINT (PART 1) – UNBELIEF
TEXTS: Matthew 16:18; Luke 22:31-32
INSIGHT FOR EFFECTIVE PRAYING
There is a promise that provides victory for the Church in all generations – “I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” This prophetic utterance gives the Church an edge over the wiles of the devil and makes the Church a potential winner over principalities, powers and other wicked spirits warring against the advancement of God’s kingdom.
Although the Church of Christ is indivisible, God allows breaking into units, so as to season every corner with the Gospel of Peace. One of such units allowed is “The Gospel Faith Mission International”– a unit that has spread over six continents of the world with thousands of assemblies. The enemy knows that anything that affects a unit affects the “Church of God,” so, what he does is to write a program customized for each unit based on their composition in order to create possible internal weakness leading to distractions and barriers against the move of the Holy Spirit.
A critical look at what is presently going on in GOFAMINT shows that one of the satanic programs written against us is UNBELIEF. Not necessarily unbelief in God and His Word, but unbelief in the unit (GOFAMINT) and the vision given to the leaders through which we contribute to the overall advancement of the Kingdom of God. “The greatest enemy of Church growth is the unbelief of members already in it.”
Adam Clarke defines unbelief as “a want of credit of, and confidence in the word and truth of God, arising not from want of evidence of divine truth, but from a rooted enmity of heart against it, and is criminal disobedience.”
In this context, unbelief is a want of credit of and confidence in GOFAMINT, arising not from want of evidence that it is a God-ordained-heaven-bound unit, but from a rooted enmity of heart against the unit. Today, one could perceive and see a rooted enmity of heart exuding from people in the unit against the unit, creating unnecessary distractions and Exodus of many to other denominations but FROM THE BEGINNING IT WAS NOT SO.
At the very beginning of GOFAMINT, the major force responsible for the growth and strength is Faith – faith in God and faith in the Church. This was manifested in:
- · Identification and ownership: Members carried this Church to wherever they went and they identified themselves with the Church wherever they went. People took this Church as theirs in spirit and in truth.
- · Patriotism: Members sought for what they could do to move the Church forward and not what they could get from the Church.
- · Penetration: The gospel was taken into unusual places with speed.
- · Love: there was genuine love and cordiality among the people just like one found among the Apostles at the inception of the Church age. There was no ethnicism, discrimination nor nepotism of any sort in the midst of the people. All the people dwelt together as one family (Ps.133).
- · Sacrificial giving: Members gave faithfully and selflessly to promote the kingdom work.
- · Recognition and respect for spiritual authority: Members received the men of God with open heart and treasured God’s call and anointing upon them.
- · Unparalleled joy: Members were full of joy and life. “Joy, joy, joy; joy everyday; in Jesus there is joy everyday” was a common song then.
- · Signs and wonders: The people knew how to take their requests to the Lord through fasting and praying and the Lord answered their prayers with miracles.
- · Apostolic movement: Every believer was a soul winner, a Church planter, and every Church was a Church-plantingChurch.
Suddenly, the faith of some started failing and instead, we began to see chronic unbelief or doubt in the system:
- It started with operational doubt, which involves a struggle to keep pace with our mission functions and objectives. We believe in the message but we cannot deliver it like we used to.
- · Ideological doubt: Where we no longer believe the message and the core values. By implication, we do not practise what we believe.
- Ethical doubt: This happens when we begin to behave badly. Unwholesomeness is being paraded everywhere.
- · Absolute doubt: This is a situation where every move of the authority is faulted. There is inordinate comparison, disrespect for spiritual authority, identity crisis, murmuring, unfaithfulness and ultimate massive exodus of members from the fold, leading to sharp numerical decrease.
This brings to mind the statement of Jesus to Peter, “… Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:31-32). When faith fails, nothing else can make up for it. When faith fails, there is no passion to contend. When faith fails, there is no strength to defend (because Faith is a supernatural stimulant that gives a man an unusual strength to withstand opposing forces and wait until change comes). When faith fails, love leaves and when love leaves, hatred abides!
Food For Thought
Jesus saw it ahead and prayed to salvage the faith of Peter from failing. This is what we need to do in this season. We cannot handle unbelief by casting blame, ostracizing people and speaking ill of those who have left, instead, we need to pray unto God that the faith of those that remain will not fail because when they are converted, they will be the conduit to reach out to others and strengthen them.
“After a time of decay comes the turning point. The powerful light that has been banished returns. There is movement, but it is not brought about by force… The movement is natural, arising spontaneously. The old is discarded and the new is introduced. Both measures accord and the time; therefore, no harm results.” I Ching.
LET US PRAY
1. Let us thank God for permitting this Unit (GOFAMINT) to be. “Our history which indicates that if God did not have a specific assignment and agenda for us, we would not have remained a unit of the Church. “We had tried many times to join with other denominations that appeared to have similar aims and objectives like the ones God gave us, but each time we tried, the merger would later crumble, until such a time we realized that God wanted us to stand alone with Him directing us.” Pastor Elijah Abina.
2. Let us thank God for what He has done, what He is doing and what He will yet do. When we do not give thanks to God for where we are, we stop the work from growing. Thanksgiving has a multiplying effect (Joel 1:11-12; Ps.67:3-7).
“He who loves his dream of community more than the community itself becomes a destroyer of the latter….If we do not give thanks daily for the Christian fellowship in which we have been placed, [even when there is no great experience, no discoverable riches, but much weakness, small faith, and difficulty; if on the contrary, we keep complaining that everything is paltry and petty, then we hinder God from letting our fellowship grow.” Dietrich Bonheoffer
3. Let us pray that the Lord would have mercy on us in any way we have murmured against God, the unit and leadership of the unit (I Cor. 10:10).
4. Let us erase the program written by the devil to steal people’s faith in the unit (Col. 2:15) e.g. inordinate comparison, unrealistic expectations, self-centeredness etc.
5. Let us remove every satanic covering upon the unit and let’s declare light be on the Unit (Isa. 25:7-8).
6. Let us pray that the Lord will reveal to the leaders, areas that need reinvention so as to bridge generational gap.
7. Let us pray that there shall be dissolution of doubts in all GOFAMINT members – those that have left, those that are still in and those that will soon join the unit (Dan. 5:12).
8. Let us pray for fresh revelation of God’s love upon every minister and member of GOFAMINT (Gal. 5:6).
9. Let us pray that God shall align the heart of the children to the heart of the fathers (Mal. 4:6).
10. Let us pray for grace on the veterans to set good examples to the younger generations on how to live and what to say – that our veterans will share the story of God’s move in the mission to boost the faith of young people (Exo. 12:26-27).
11. Let us declare that faith in Christ through GOFAMINT shall arise in every member and this will in turn strengthen those that are weak and also bring back those that have left the Church (Heb. 12:12-13).
12. Let us pray for the grace to speak glorious things about GOFAMINT (Ps. 87:1-3).
13. Let us pray for the “virtues of faith” as it was in the beginning – identity, ownership, penetration, patriotism, love, sacrificial giving, unparalleled joy, signs and wonders, apostolic movement.
14. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit shall blow upon this unit afresh and let the glorious spices come forth. Let us pray for the fullness of the Spirit and the operation of the sevenfold spirit of God in GOFAMINT (Song of Solomon 4:14).
15. Let us pray that God will bless GOFAMINT with wisdom and resources to do the work in a way that will not become a burden to the people (Eccl. 10:10).
16. Let us pray for the grace for our pastors to reinvent themselves to having holistic ministry. Let’s pray that God shall bless them with creativity to enhance a relevant and fruitful ministry.
17. Let us pray for the full recognition and operation of the fivefold ministry in GOFAMINT (Eph. 4:11-13).
18. Let us pray for the grace to be faithful to Transformational Discipleship and fully live out our core values.
19. According to our Apostle, Pastor (Dr.) E.O. Abina, we declare by faith that GOFAMINT has entered into a New Era.
20. O Lord, pour out Your Spirit upon GOFAMINT, until every wilderness becomes a fruitful field and the fruitful fields, a forest.
21. Holy Spirit, cause me to be filled with all the fullness of God (Eph. 3:19).
LET THE REVOLUTION BEGIN!