The truth that we know in part unarguably highlighted by Brother Paul in his first epistle to the Corinthian church is quite revealing. Many who are blown away by the charismatic luminescence of their flawless and angelic preachers might not give consent to this humbling truth but their compromised stand and distorted perceptions have no harm to inflict upon the wholesome counsel of God.
A few months ago, I came across an article while I was surfing through the internet. This article was titled the ‘sixty most influential men of God in Nigeria’ if I may paraphrase, ‘the sixty greatest men of God in Nigeria’. Although, I don’t have any violent contrition against this piece of work, yet I cannot but write in the light of God against the men and means used for this ranking and choice.
First, what are the qualities and values of a great man of God? Moreover, who has the capacity and perfect discretion to carry out this unedifying task? Is this not a subtle way to distract the young folks from the holy pursuit of God and lowly disposition in worship and selfless conviction of service to God and our Lord Jesus Christ? What is the yardstick? Can we say a man is great in God because of his congregation size, anointing and material wealth. All these things appear to be glorious and strikingly wonderful to them that see the visible not unto them who had peeped through the window of time into the eternity of God. God cannot be fooled even if we choose to be; in spite of the Holy Spirit in us and the pure oracle of God in our hands. I don’t write to judge any man but that the truth of God might be made manifest to us.
More so, is it not disappointing that we celebrate men who sabotage the truth for a convenient and luxurious life scope. Have we not exchanged the values of Christ for worthless and meaningless doctrines? Most horrific; we celebrate upon mount Zion men who entertained their lives at the expense of men who jeopardised theirs. We are easily suffocated and electrified by a man gifting and commendations by men that matter. We have forgotten men like epaphirras who laboured fervently in prayers day and night for the edification and establishment of the church of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, I found a book titled ‘Charles Finney; the greatest revivalist’. With all due respect to the God of this selfless man, I disagree with this statement and those who wrote it. If Charles Finney is the greatest revivalist, where is the place of the Holy Spirit in prayer and ministry of the word? What of men like Daniel Nash popularly called ‘Father Nash’ and Abel Clary etc. upon whom God placed the burden and weight of prayer and mighty intercession? Men with broken-heart, travailing soul and holy distress that had no rest until God’s power breaks into the meetings. It was said that before Finney enters a place to preach, these men enter into covenant of prayer. They stroll quietly into that land, secure a temporary accommodation and begin to draw down the mighty hand of God in prayers upon the people. Little wonder there was power available and the glory of the Lord manifested. Although men might forget God’s men, yet God can never forget His own men. Although men might not know God’s servant, yet God is not ignorant of His own servants. Although men might speak evil or a little good about them, yet God honours them and their service for His kingdom.
The scripture says in 1 Timothy 5;25 that; ‘….likewise also the good works of some are manifest before hand; and they are otherwise cannot be hid’. I am always touched by the account of men and women, youths and even children who are not known by men, who have no congregation they pastor, who had not even grown up enough to occupy the offices of the five fold ministry. Who don’t even know anything about the anointing or the deep mysteries of God-but simply stood for whom their fragile heart believed even at the face of peril and terrific death; Men who were tortured and given an invitation to freedom but refused; they chose to die that they might have a better resurrection. They might be nameless but Jesus values them. There might not be any monument erected in remembrance of them, but, the Lord God is their memorial-Their testimonies of Jesus were precious antiquities kept in the museum of heaven. They were too important to be men celebrated but they were God and Angels delight. We who are well known now, celebrated and goodly spoken of by men should take an earnest heed to ourselves. Let us check again and be assured that the heaven is not crying woe!! Upon us while men praise us or in the usual humble way they say ‘we appreciate the grace of God over your life sir!!’, for they did likewise to the false prophets.
As the scripture above has revealed; the good works of some are manifested before hand and men see them but we have been deceived if we think those whose works are hidden are inferior to those whose works are revealed now. We have Gods generals who are famous while some were made the base things and foundations buried in the earth. Some died of a broken heart on their kneels in caves, prisons were no one could see or hear them preach scintillating sermon. Yet the fountain of their life activated by their testimony of faith in Christ, in suffering, cruel persecutions and death keep springing forth holy inspiration into the soul of the militant church. They have only one and unified cry ‘Thy Kingdom Come Oh! God’. God bares record since He is not man. I am not against honouring the elders since the Holy Scripture is not against it. Even in 1 timothy 5; 17 brother Paul commanded ‘let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrines’, but with this article I am correcting the popular opinion that a man is greater than the others because he is more anointed, does more signs and wonders than the others and miracles. This opinion is not consistent with the word of God.
According to Jesus Christ our Lord, the greatest among men is the humblest of them all. His or her occupation, family background, account balance, skin colour, language and portfolios don’t matter. The matter is his or her lowliness and meekness of heart.
Finally, the young men who have determined to serve God should be wary of the temptation to feel big or pursue self glory. Why shouldn’t we rather labour to be small so that God can be big and His kingdom mightily established in this evil ravaged and ragged world. It is an urgent matter that we have to finish for God to emerge, but sadly enough we are always afraid to finish.
God want a set of people satisfied ministering without self-ego. Men who are not troubled by the size of their congregation but by the quality of their life in Christ and the authenticity of their faith in Him; They are unskilled in the armour of the flesh but mighty in the Holy Ghost; Men who pray fervently in the secret but will not magnify their prayers but God that answered those prayers. Men who see the mighty move of God after their secret labours but refuse to attach to it their effort in the open but they rather praise God who chose to work in mercy and love.
Notably, there are many tall trees with shallow roots but there are many short trees with deep roots and tall trees with deep roots too. All in all God is the only one who has the accurate and precise record and judgement of His stewards. Stay clear!
By Akintoroye Yinka