WHAT IS NIGERIA MISSING???
After a bomb blast and a plane crash on Sunday, where are we left as a NATION? This piece was supposed to be an assignment from a friend but I discovered that what he told me to write on carried within it the seed of a write-up…that answers the question of our utmost need in Nigeria.
If you were asked : “What do you think Nigeria needs MOST now?” What will your answer be?
- GOOD LEADERSHIP?
- DIVINE INTERVENTION?
- SEPARATION OF PROTECTORATES OR GEO-POLITICAL ZONES?
I think I like that last option: Y-O-U! This nation needs you and I to stand up to a call. Can we arise to obey Nigeria’s call with love and strength and faith? Before you say YES, I think we need to settle what that “call” actually is! Nigeria is calling for SURVIVAL by REVIVAL. A revival of TRUE PROSPERITY! It’s high time we stopped remembering some good ol’ days if we can as well have greater NOWadays…lol OUR UTMOST NEED AS A NATION…is TRUE PROSPERITY!!! And true prosperity is not a big deal! A nation will be truely prosperous when the inhabitants are truly prosperous. So let’s dig this a little bit.
I’m saying that if you and I can embrace the spirit of True Prosperity, we can achieve the birth of a new and prosperous Nigeria! If you and I can ACTUALLY FULFILL OUR INDIVIDUAL GOD-GIVEN ASSIGNMENTS IN OUR GENERATION, WE WILL LEAVE THIS NATION BETTER THAN WE MET IT! Bible said concerning David that
After David had done the will of God in his own generation, he died and was buried (Acts 13:36, NLT).
We have all been given the greatest gift in the universe: one human life. And we’ve only got one shot at it. If only we knew what exactly we’ve got one shot at… Some live just to have a family; others to excel at work and gain a little bit of power and prestige. And some others live just to make money! Our culture is filled with lots and lots of wrong indices to assess prosperity, the most dominant of which is money.
“Money changes hands—just be sure it doesn’t change the rest of you!”
“If people say you’re made of money, you should work on your personality!”[i]
The world around us defines “PROSPEROUS LIVING” by some achievements which may be lauded today and tomorrow…but which, after a while, are forgotten.
Take this Quiz…
- Name the ten wealthiest men in the world.
- Name the last ten 2 million naira (and above) winners in Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.
- Name the last ten winners of the Miss Nigeria contest.
- Name eight people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer prize.
- How about the last ten Africa Movie Award winners for best actress?
How did you do? I didn’t do well either.
Surprising how quickly we forget, isn’t it? And these are no second-rate achievements. These are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.
I like the words of Denison in describing the opposite of a TRULY PROSPEROUS MAN, he said:
“He possessed all the world had to give him, he had reached every coveted goal; but, alas, his life was a failure, for he had forgotten his soul”.[ii]
Your TRUE PROSPERITY is a matter of your soul—your life! You’ve been given your life. No one else has your version. You’ll never meet anyone who has your exact blend of ancestry, desires, and yearnings. Your life will never be lived by anyone else. You can’t be recycled after you are gone. You are the only “you” in the world!
But we need to also understand that life is racing by, and if we aren’t careful, you and I will look up, and our shot at it will have passed us by. But I’m sure I don’t want that, and I guess you don’t either, or you wouldn’t be reading a write-up on “True Prosperity”. Something in you wants to prosper—and TRULY! It’s not enough for you to do well; you want to do TRULY well. You want your life to matter. You want to live in such a way that the world will be glad you did. But how can you? How can I? Can God use us?
When I think TRUE PROSPERITY, I think ACTS OF APOSTLES. My Album of true prosperity comprises of snapshots taken from the pages of the chronicles of the early church. It’s a story of bushwhackers, fishermen and tax collectors that changed the world. Really, they had nothing more than a fire in the belly to change the world…and they birthed a story. A story of a movement that exploded like a just-opened fireplug out of Jerusalem and splattered to the ends of the earth: into the streets of Paris, the districts of Rome, and the ports of Athens. From Turkey to China to Ethiopia and Nigeria. A story so powerful, controversial, and amazing that two millennia later, its rhapsodies still thrive.
Gloria Copeland said
“I discovered that God’s prosperity isn’t just financial blessings. It also includes healing, protection, favor, wisdom, success, well-being and every good thing you could possibly need—all the good things Jesus paid for you to have.”[iii]
And all these things were abundant in the days of the “ACTS” of Apostles. And even more abundant today!
Ours is the wealthiest generation of Christians ever. We are excellent, enlightened, and experienced. We can travel around the world in twenty-four hours or send a message in a millisecond. We have the most advanced research and medicines at the tips of our fingers. We have plenteous resources! Whether we like it or not, we are the modern-day version of the Jerusalem church. And what’s more? We have no excuses!
It makes me wonder: Might it happen again? Can their be a revival of enough purpose driven lives that are so M-A-D (Making-A-Difference) like the apostles of the early church? Can we reach that state where we all become CHANGE AGENTS? That’s the will of God for us as Christians–to change the world!
You know what? We are in a world that desperately needs changing! See this statistics:
- 1.75 billion people are desperately poor;
- 11 billion are hungry;
- 2 million are trafficked in slavery;
- Pandemic diseases are gouging entire nations;
- Each year, nearly 2 million children are exploited in the global commercial sex trade;
- And in the few minutes you will use to read these paragraphs, almost ninety children had died of preventable diseases.
- More than half of all Africans do not have access to modern health facilities. As a result, 10 million of us die each year from diarrhea, acute respiratory illness, malaria, and measles. Many of these deaths could have been prevented by one shot.[iv]
Yet, we live in the midst of this wreckage. When:
- A mere 2 percent of the world’s grain harvest would be enough, if shared, to erase the problems of hunger and malnutrition around the world.
- There is enough food on the planet to offer every person twenty-five hundred calories of sustenance a day.
- We have enough food to feed the hungry.
- And we have enough bedrooms to house the orphans. Here’s the math: There are 145 million orphans worldwide. Nearly 236 million people in the United States alone call themselves Christians. (And 84 million people do the same in Nigeria). From a purely statistical standpoint, American Christians by themselves have the wherewithal to house every orphan in the world. (But of course, many people are not in a position to do so. The elderly, infirm, unemployed, and those that simply feel no call to adopt. Yet what if a small percentage of them did?) If 6 percent of American Christians did adopt, they could provide loving homes for the more than 14.1 million children in sub-Saharan Africa who have been orphaned by the AIDS epidemic.[v]
Yes, this issue is more complicated than this seemingly oversimplified analysis. There are the barriers of international policies and corrupt leaders, no doubt. But this much is clear: there is abundance. The problem is not in the supply; the problem is in the distribution. God has given this generation everything we need to alter the course of human suffering—and therein lies TRUE PROSPERITY.
Because these issues are so large and so complex, it’s frankly much easier to ignore them. We wake up, eat a bowl of cereal, watch TV for a few minutes for some headlines about Boko Haram, get in the car and go to work. And when we come home, we watch a little more TV for some news about some plane crash, eat dinner, turn out the lights, and sleep well.
We aren’t bad people for living like that; we’re not hurting anyone. Then again, we aren’t really doing anything to help either. The Jerusalem church had to face the immensity of the task before them, and just like us, they probably felt a little under-qualified to so.
I learnt 7 keys from them, summarised below:
- Walking in truth
- Believing and
- Speaking (see http://www.josephkolawole.blogspot.com for an expansion of these points).
They applied those 7 keys, and what did we read? Doors began to open for them and walls began to collapse. Doors to Antioch, Ethiopia, Corinth, and Rome–open! Doors into palaces, prisons, and Roman courts–open! And talking about walls, the ancient prejudice between Jew and Samaritan—down! The thick and spiked division between Jew and Gentile—crash! The partitions that quarantine male from female, landowner from pauper, master from slave, black African from Mediterranean Jew—God demolished them all.
So where are we today? If we are not moving forward then we are not moving PERIOD. Yes, these are devastating times. But it’s also a kairos moment. An appointed time for a revival of truly prosperous Christians. A set-time. And a set-up! Yes, we’ve been set-up! God has given us a choice—an opportunity to make a big difference during a challenging time. What if we did? What if we rocked our world with hope?
Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one.
- Think of three people you enjoy spending time with. (apart from Onitemi, Daniel Adeniyi, Funmi Faloye, Myself)
- Name ten people who have taught you something worthwhile. (apart from Onitemi, ‘Dunsin, Chika, Damiloju Fatusi, Daniel Adeniyi, Ope-ogunseitan Atinuke, Oleka Emmanuel, Adebisi Tolulope, Sandi Carpenter, MaryRose, Joseph Prince, David Oyetunde, Arum GIG, Payme, Lanre Adelakun, Ariyo John Jay, Adeniran Adedoyin, Pastor Joshua Odedele, Odeleye TinuOluwa, Oyedokun Bolanle Deborah, Rei Dare Kolade, Wunmi Adeyeye, Oladapo Boluwatife)
- Name five friends who have helped you in a difficult time. (apart from Onitemi, Elder Oresanya, Prof Fatusi, Ayeni Ezekiel, Tope Olayemi, Elder Gbenga Ayeni)
- List a few teachers who have aided your journey through school. (Late Elder Dairo, Presiding Elder Lawal, My Dad, Mr Odekanyi etc)
- Name half-a-dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you. (apart from Onitemi, that’s too many!)
It was for me, too. I think I even mentioned over twenty for question 2, without thinking for too long! The lesson?
The people who make a difference are not the ones with the credentials, but the ones who are concerned enough to ACT.
So….will you join me in praying for a resurgence of compassion and outpouring of service in Nigeria? Will you ask God to ACT again in this generation that we may ACT?
And may I inform you that the book of THE ACTS OF APOSTLES did not have an ending? The book wasn’t closed! See for yourself: “For two years Paul stayed in a rented house and welcomed everyone who came to see him. He bravely preached about God’s kingdom and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ, and no one tried to stop him” (Acts 28:30-31 CEV). That doesn’t sound like closing words! It’s nothing like “may the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God and the sweet fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” You know why? The book was not closed because your chapters are yet to be written. Will you pick up Luke’s pen and continue?
If you’ll do, here’s a toast and a prayer to you:
[i] http://odb.org/2010/08/17/true-prosperity-2/ [ii] ibid [iii] http://www.kcm.org/real-help/article/true-prosperity [iv] Max Lucado: Outlive Your Life [v] Ibid
“To a long life that only ends after the will of God through it have been fulfilled; to a goodness that outlives the grave; to a love that outlasts the final breath…May you live in such a way that your death is just the beginning of your life…like David’s”. Amen.
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Oluwafemi OgunjimiWow, dis is great though I haven’t finished reading it; @ a cafe and about logging out. Would surely complete reading it on my phone and comment. From the lines read, the lines ‘. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners’ are TRUE and loved by me. The true definition of prosperity is IMPACT via God’s given potential in us.
David OyetundeYou r 1of the change agents Nigeria needs. Prepare sir, 4u r needed 4d transformation. God is raising minds like urs, ppl with passion, insight n zeal whose dependency is d Lord, 4dis task in nigeria. I knw u r willin n d opportunity in now. More GRACE sir
Ola Joseph Kolawole Favour Matthew: Big Mummy, I’m proud of you, too! Thanks a bunch for “always being there”. Thanks for the opportunity to partner with you to teach those lovely kids – Yahaya and Meimuna (they should have finished the exams now sef). Trust all is well with you. Regards to “my dad”.39 minutes ago · Like