Some Sundays ago a Pastor shared a story (a true story) with the Church that stirred up a lot more compassion for the lost in my heart. A story about a god was asleep. I will try my best to recapitulate her story with you and then I will tell you the thoughts her story brought to my mind.
She said when she was young her mother fell severely ill and this of course brought a lot of devastation and desperation in their home. Her mother was an active and industrious business woman but this sickness had incapacitated her and affected her businesses and finances gravely.
They did all they could to bring her mother healing but to no avail. In desperation to get well and back on her feet to look after her family, she went wherever anyone suggested; she wanted to be well and resume her responsibilities to her family and young children.
The Visit To the god.
One of those days, someone close to her suggested they visit a place where they would meet with a man who was powerful and will bring her health back. She was willing to go, she needed her health back.
This pastor, at this very young age, accompanied her mother… she wanted so much for her mother to get well. They got to this place that turned out to be a shrine for a god… Africans will understand what this place might look like.
When they arrived, the priest of the god informed them that the god was sleeping at the moment and needed to be awakened…
I bet you either sighed, hissed or exclaimed at this. When she got to this point, the entire church exclaimed.
This reminds me of when Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18:27
And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.”And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.”
Their god was asleep!
How Can People Believe In This?
She continued; the priest told them they needed to bring some money for him to rouse the god out of his sleep…
At this point my heart trembled with compassion for the lost. So many questions bugged me;
- How are these “priests” able to deceive so many?
- How can people believe in a god that sleeps?
- So if a god is sleeping when he is needed and there is no money to rouse him, what happens then?
- Why is it that people cannot think simple thoughts and understand the foolishness of these gods, their priests and their shrines?
- How can one consider wood,
I understand that when people do not know God, desperation can drive them to all kinds of things and people.
I remember this pastor saying she wished she had encountered Christ at the time. She said she would have been telling a very different story about her mother.
While sitting in the pew listening to her and pondering on all the questions in my mind this scripture came to mind…
But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 2 Corinthians 4:3 & 4 NKJV
I Was Not Any Different
I was a teenager when I lost my father to stroke. My mother had also accepted all manners of concoction from all kinds of people who claimed they had the remedy to my father’s ill health. I have also received incisions on my body because my father taught I needed protection and that, plus some stuff that was rubbed into it would secure me from the devil.
How can one go to the devil to fight the devil in their lives?
Remember when Jesus was accused of casting out devils by the spirit of Beelzebub, a Philistine deity?
Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. 23 And all the multitudes were amazed and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” 24 Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.” 25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?
Matthew 12:22-25 NKJV
The reason this pastor and I can think differently now is because we KNOW THE TRUTH. Then we did not know any better, so we tagged along with any belief or system.
Then The Responsibility Weighed In On Me
Now, going back to the question that bugged me at the time I was listening this true tale and the scripture God brought to my heart. I felt responsibility weigh in on me.
Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:17-19 NKJV
Since the god of this age has blinded the eyes of the lost so they believe the devil, the world and its system, and Jesus says every disciple of His has power over the devil and his demons. That means me and you who follow Christ have authority over the enemy. That means we can “do something” about it. That means we can cause heaven to intervene in the lives of the people.
- We can pray and stop his influence in the lives of people.
- We can pray and ask The Holy Spirit to turn their hearts around to The Father.
- We can stop territorial demons from performing the will of the enemy in a community, city, state and entire nations.
- We can pray for an outpouring of The Holy Spirit in a life and in a nation.
- We can use every means within us and our reach to spread the light of the Gospel into the darkness in the lives of people and nations.
Allow your heart to feel the pain and grief of being empty and trying so desperately to fill it with all kinds of things and people. Allow that feeling to raise compassion in your heart, a compassion that drives you to action.
I live in a place where many do not even believe in God. They believe in science and all other things God has created… in fact, in trying to share the gospel to a lady one time, she told me she believes in what she can see, and feel… she can see science, it is proven and established.
She walked off as she said this and I did not have the opportunity to tell her she could also see God, she could feel Him, she could hear Him and she could even touch Him if she desired.
Now my heart is full of ever increasing compassion for the lost. I pray for people I do not know, even when I do not know their names. I simply describe them and perhaps where I saw them in my prayers just to specify to God who I am praying for.
If I had known God, I , like the pastor who shared her story with us, would have been telling a different story about my father. But I didn’t know any better, and neither did my Mom. If we had the light of God in us, there is no way we would have pursued after darkness to save my father from darkness.
So now we know why the world behaves like it does.
My God Does Not Sleep
The God that Christians worship never sleeps nor slumbers. He has declared so Himself and He cannot lie.
God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? Numbers 23:19 NKJV
…in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. Hebrews 6:18 NKJV
…which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began…Titus 1:2
He watches over His own both day and night, and he can do this because He is Spirit and is limitless.
Our enemy is spirit too, but cannot operate on the same level as Our Father; the Creator of heaven and earth. The devil has been stripped of his powers when Jesus died, resurrected and ascended to heaven.
Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. Colossians 2:15
God has spoken once, Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God. Psalm 62:11 NKJV
I, the Lord, am its keeper; every moment I water it. Lest anyone punish it, I keep it night and day; Isaiah 27:3
Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. Psalm 121:4
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Matthew 28:18 NKJV
Sometimes in the Bible we see people cry out to God like…
Awake! Why do You sleep, O Lord? Arise! Do not cast us off forever. Psalm 44:23 NKJV
This person in desperate need to get God’s attention assumed that He was sleeping and needed to awake. His words do not invalidate what God has said Himself.
Jehovah neither sleeps nor slumbers. He is always with us, always ready to answer when we call, does not get distracted from us by anything or anyone.
We should always rejoice and be glad in this. We need not give money to anybody to wake our God up. Hallelujah!
Now It Is On Us To Share The Word
…that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:19 NKJV
God has committed this gospel of reconciliation to us. It is our responsibility as believers to pray for sinners and share the love of Christ to the lost.
Now it is on us to share this loving, caring and never sleeping God with others. Many are so lost and they do not even know it. But when we intercede and share the gospel, we cause God to intervene and tear off the veils the enemy has blinded them with.
Will you allow compassion to well up in your heart for the lost?
Will you travail in prayer for their salvation?
Will you share God’s love with the lost?
Copyright Ugochi Oritsejolomisan 2018
Photo Credit: Rhema Kallianpur and Clandestino