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It was the wilderness years of childlessness. A colleague who heard our story of losing our first child at 14 months, followed by miscarriages, invited us to a night vigil at his church.
Following the service, he told me his Pastor would like to see us, and we obliged. After some prayers, the Pastor began to explain what, according to him, he saw in the spirit.
I was born into and grew up in The Apostolic Church. I was immersed right from a very young age in a spirit-filled and prophecy believing environment. When you hear the words “Bayi Ni Oluwa Wi” (Thus Sayeth The Lord), you know the Lord is truly speaking. Those who know me in my younger days, people like Stephen Kosh with whom I was active in both the Choir and Youth Movement, would sometimes allude that leaving Nigeria stopped me from becoming an ordained minister in God’s vineyard, even though I do not believe that is in God’s plan for me.
One of the gifts of the spirit is the discernment of tongues. Even then, in those days of real men of God, there were crooks trying to masquerade as prophets in The Apostolic Church. It was not unusual for the bell to ring as soon as such false prophecy starts, to stop the man or woman in his/her track.
Back to My Story
I listened with rapt attention as my London-based Pastor reeled out what he claimed to have seen in the spirit. 1, 2, 3, 4… By the time he would get to identify what he saw as the root of our predicament, our childlessness, I already knew a fake, and a quack was in front of me.
When he asked me to go and bring my mother as the root of our problem – a woman that was already at the bosom of her saviour, a woman whose physical and spiritual sacrifices I know first-hand, a mother that every single day I cry for because she never enjoyed the fruits of her long-suffering as well as labour over her children and many others – it took a lot of calmness and lack of facial expression to hide my disgust.
Many families, many marriages and many lives have been ruined by Tifunloran fake prophets masquerading as ‘men of God’. It is your responsibility to ensure you are not part of that statistics.
I Remain A Christian, But I Use My God-Given Brain.
I was born into and grew up in The Apostolic Church (TAC). Whilst I have been to and attended a number of other denominations in my few years, I am yet to come across any like the TAC that bombarded my life from its infancy to adulthood with praying for the nation and the leaders of Nigeria.
Every church service, every prayer session (as a church or in individual families) always had an element of prayer for the nation. So, at least twice a day, for over 30 years, I was praying (like numerous others) for a country and its leaders that refused to get better, rather getting worse.
Please note that I believe in the efficacy of prayer. However, I am not ignorant like some Christians. I acknowledge that the Bible says faith (prayer) without works (action) is DEAD (DEATH). If you have faith or pray tirelessly but do not back up your faith/prayers with Godly and legitimate activities that will transform your faith/prayers into reality, it is a waste of time.
Just imagine, when the Israelites were told to march around the walls of Jericho 7 times in a certain manner, if they did not follow the instruction to details, I am certain they would not have witnessed the spectacle of Jericho’s wall falling flat.
That is why I chuckle to myself when I see students who have not studied one bit, but are asked by some marketers/419ers masquerading as pastors to sow a seed in order to get 7 As in an examination. They forget that the Bible says God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man soweth so he shall reap.
As Ebenezer Obey sang, “Eni r’owo he l’oju ala to ndunnu, e ni ko t’epa mo’se e nitori ebi”. That is to say, you sow laziness and indolence, you shall reap failure (straight F9s) and poverty.
Even though the Israelites did not engage in war to gain access into Jericho, they still had to manually/physically exert themselves in singing as well as marching around the city seven times with a thunderous shout at the end for the city’s wall to fall down.
As such, I do not subscribe to the mentality that prayer is the only key to resolve the challenges Nigeria has faced and the crisis it is now facing in all spheres of human endeavour. I am convinced that Nigeria has had more than enough prayers in the last 50 years.
My point therefore is that there is a place for faith/prayer and there is a place for human action. Both are complementary. They are not exclusive of each other.
Now is the time for action by every Nigerian including our leaders to ensure this nation does not completely fall into ruin.