RAISING A GENERATION OF TRUSTED CHRISTIAN LEADERS FOR AFRICA
Look, a righteous king is coming! And honest princes will rule under him. Each one will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a parched land. Then everyone who has eyes will be able to see the truth, and everyone who has ears will be able to hear it. Even the hotheads will be full of sense and understanding. Those who stammer will speak out plainly. In that day ungodly fools will not be heroes. Scoundrels will not be respected.
Proverbs 29:2 NKJV
When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.
Jeremiah 1:9-10 NKJV
Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, To root out and to pull down, To destroy and to throw down, To build and to plant.”’
He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT
Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.
With the above sample Bible passages in view, I find no Scriptural basis for the belief among we Believers that politics is not for true Christians because it is too dirty; then who is leadership meant for? Who else can reign in righteousness as a prince in the land under the rulership of the King of kings? Who did God really set in authority over the nations and kingdoms of the earth if not His Children, the Princes and Princesses, as He told the Prophet Jeremiah? When He told us to occupy till He comes back, did the Lord exclude us from the political arena? God said plainly to King Solomon that we who are called by His Name (we are called CHRISTians) are the only ones who can make Him heal any land if we would follow the process He outlined in 2Chro7:14 above. Why then do we shy away from governance?
A quick background preamble –
These thoughts have been burning in my heart for the past eight years as I watched the political terrain in my nation Nigeria; more so as we moved near the time of the next general elections when the incumbent President would hand over to another. Our Vice President, Professor Osinbajo, is a known true Christian and even an ordained assembly Pastor of a branch of a large Pentecostal Church in Nigeria. He is also a Professor of Law and a man of impeccable character. The hearts of many Christians and non-Christians yearned for him to take over the reins from the incumbent, especially as we had witnessed his excellent performance on many occasions as Acting President of the nation when the incumbent was hospitalized for many months during their tenure. We were more encouraged when President William Ruto, an unashamed Christian, won the elections in Kenya recently; will this anointing spread to Nigeria, we wondered?
However, the Body of Christ in Nigeria has largely been lackluster to our VP in his over seven years as the second in command in Nigeria’s presidency; and the debate still raged even towards election time that he was not in the will of God and some even postured that he had backslidden the minute he agreed to go into politics! Yet he did nothing wrong during his tenure to warrant this strange judgment. How can we Christians so shun politics that we even shun one of us who told us he was led of God into it and has done us proud?
Then a few weeks ago I was invited to speak at the Retreat of the Watchtower Intercessory group of a Campus youth fellowship at the University of Ghana, Legon; and I was to join by Zoom. I had met this Campus Fellowship eighteen years ago when I was a Missionary in Ghana and had taught in a few of their meetings. So, I was very glad to hear from them and I knew that this was my chance as an elder in the land of Africa to share this burden with them and fire them for service to God and to Africa in the political arena. The meeting took place last weekend and this is basically what I shared with them…
I believe that we are standing on the threshold of history and God is bringing together parts of a mantle He has been weaving in different nations of Africa; He is bringing the parts together to form a whole. God needs that massive mantle to place on a remnant who He can use to change the course of Africa’s destiny so that the stage can be set for Him to begin to bring His end-time plan for the world to pass through her.
You must all have heard the passionate prophecy of the great Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke; that the end-time revival of the whole world which will usher in the second coming of God’s precious Son, the Lord Jesus, shall be given birth to in Africa. The last shall be the first, as it were; and Africans shall be the arrowhead that will take the Goodnews to the rest of the world and make disciples of them so that the Lord will not meet a toddler bride when He comes back for her. We know this assignment of God for Africa has started already, with Africans pastoring some of the biggest Church assemblies in the Western world and all over the world. Today, I am here to let us consider other needful activities we must get involved in, apart from intercession which is the tool that God uses to give birth to anything He wants to do on earth. How do we play our part to the fullest and please the Father as the Church in Africa, apart from interceding to birth God’s agenda? Do we stay on our knees and watch others move the nations – all faith and no works?
Presently, Africa is torn apart with violence, suppressed by poverty and largely preventable diseases, disadvantaged by bad leadership in most of our nations, made powerless by a Church which has been rendered impotent by sin, greed and ignorance; and every minute the continent looks less and less like a vessel which the Holy God would use for such an onerous and crucial task. Blessedly God is known to regularly qualify the unqualified; so that all glory would go to Him alone…
I Corinthians 1:26-29
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.
I Thessalonians 5:24
He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
This means all we need do is agree with God and submit to Him in all humility; but the Church as a whole, not just we Intercessors, have a great part to play so that Africa can be qualified to fulfill her role in the end-time agenda of God and that’s what we are here to learn.
The Focus Bible Text given – 2Chronicles7:14 NLT
Let’s dissect this briefly….
2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT
Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.
The Scripture starts with “then” which means there is something that would happen and then that Scripture would show us the way out; the answer is is the previous verse…
2 Chronicles 7:13 NLT
At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues (pestilence KJV) among you.
- God Himself allows some disasters as punishment for sin, and that includes bad leaders because we ourselves mostly vote in the wrong people for the wrong reasons. Besides, we ourselves are a people mired in unrighteousness and our leaders are chosen from among us and not from Mars.
- Shut up the heavens and no rain falls, causing drought, poverty, hunger in the land and so on
- Command grasshoppers to devour our resources – It is well known that Africa is endowed with most of the possible minerals and fruits of the earth and these are still largely untapped. In one African nation, it is said that you could kick a stone and you may well be kicking a diamond unwittingly. Africa’s natural resources are abundantly copious enough to make every one of us live comfortably for life; but we have mostly had bad managers of these resources and many African leaders – not only political – have proven themselves to be the greatest plunderers of our resources as they tend to corner them for themselves and their families! There was an African leader who was said to be actually richer than the whole nation. In Nigeria, it is said that only six wealthy men possess more wealth than the rest of us.
- Send plagues among you; or pestilence, according to the King James translation – I find no better terms to describe terrorists that roam the continent in search of which African nation to devastate next. This is probably the greatest problem in Africa right now because it is said that a large chunk of our national budgets are used in buying arms rather than building schools and hospitals. Lives are wasted mercilessly and the land in parts of Africa is soaked with innocent blood crying for vengeance and that has a devastating effect on the spiritual well-being of any nation.
Then God gives us the solution in vs14 –
- If my people who are called by my name – the solution is in the hands of a remnant, not the whole nation, not in the hands of the type of political leaders we have presently in most nations of Africa. This is the key to this promise of God but Christians don’t use that key simply because of pride and ignorance; and this leads many Christians, even Pastors, to commit the grave error of blaming politicians for the state of African nations.
- will humble themselves – In many passages of Scripture, when humility is linked with prayer, it means fasting. Let’s look at two –
But as for me, when they were sick, My clothing was sackcloth; I humbled myself with fasting; And my prayer would return to my own heart.
Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions…So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.
We are still going to look at men like Ezra and how God has positioned them to be chosen for such crucial assignments even in a heathen nation.
- and pray and seek my face – This is the same as what the Lord means when He says watch and pray; and this is what sets the Watchman apart from other intercessors. The Watchman is called to stand on a higher level in the watchtower at the top of the walls in the fort so that he can see danger afar off. He is called to position himself at the watchtower as though closer to Heaven, to see what God is seeing. He must never imagine that what others see is all that exists. In the famous passage about the watchman in Isa. Ch 21, everyone else saw a caravan of horses and chariots and camels but the Watchman said he saw a lion and after listening some more to God, he strangely declared that Babylon was fallen! So strange and contrary; but the Watchman must not be surprised because that is his calling – to see and declare what others would regard as ridiculous.
The Secret of The Watchman
The secret of the Watchman is that he knows that the origin of prevailing prayer does not start with him but with God to Whom all things are open, according to Isa.55: 8-11, so he needs to seek Gods Face and get his leading and some understanding from God, of what to pray and how to pray before he starts to pray; or he knows he will just be shadow-boxing!
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Here God is using circulation of water to describe how prayer works. Water evaporates from the open large water bodies, collects in the clouds and falls, just as prayer topics fall from God’s Heart into the hearts of His Children. Then the rain waters our farms, soaks down to the water-table and into our wells and also flows into the water bodies used for our water-works and this is piped into our homes for washing, cooking and such. The same water having performed all these needful goodness in our homes and fields, finds its way back to the large water bodies where it begins the process of evaporating and floating up to reach the clouds and gather to form rain which comes down again…
God is saying in that Isa. 55 passage that water never fails to fulfill some good to humanity before it comes back up to the clouds again as vapour. In the same way, once we can catch the thoughts of God over a matter, trace it to His Written Word, then turn it into prayer, we would be releasing His own Words back to Him and He promises that the Word will surely have fulfilled the purpose for which it was sent. How neat!
The Watchman’s brokenness
The Watchman’s utter humble submission and brokenness before God is what will make him declare what he sees on God’s Face without caring that others might see him as a fool talking utter balderdash! He knows God’s thoughts and ways are not ours in the least. For us to pray and get results in times of crisis, we must be humble enough to know that we don’t have the answers and that is why we came seeking God for help anyway. Suppose He tells you to put the Choir in front of the army as He told Jehoshaphat? Suppose He tells you to make a whole army march silently around Jericho for seven days and then shout, rather than lay siege ramps against it? It takes sensitivity to God and humility to know how to pray and get results.
Back to the dissection of our focus Scripture, 2Chro.7:14 –
- turn from their wicked ways – This speaks of living an unashamed life of holiness before God and man without being sanctimonious and becoming proudly “holier than thou”. It takes humility to accept that we can’t do this by ourselves but only by the help of the Holy Spirit; presenting ourselves to Him as a sacrifice on the Altar and yielding to His transforming fire to burn away the flesh, leaving the residual fire in the bones for service. This is the only authentic divine process by which power passes from God to His Servants.
Raising A Generation Of Trusted Christian Leaders For Africa
So how do we raise a people who can lead the Church and also the nations of Africa? Do we just pray and intercede and hope that they will somehow emerge from the rubble which our nations are becoming under the leadership of unbelievers who are mostly children of Assyria? (That is the prophetic name for the religion of the moon and the star.) This is the strategy the Church has employed till now – we pray and pray and they still emerge winners of elections by hook and by crook, and we shrug and move on, hoping God will help us with better leaders next time. We even postulate and say “God can use anyone”. Ok, so why not you, a Believer?
Beloved, God has already given us the description of those to whom He has given the power to change nations and He calls them my people who are called by my name; the ones called CHRISTians! We are not called by the Name of Christ only for us to congregate in our Churches and hide our heads in the sand when it comes to the rest of the nation. We are called Sheep, not ostriches!
And even in Jer.1:9,10 God said –
Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, To root out and to pull down, To destroy and to throw down, To build and to plant.
We Christians have always seen this command as what we do on our knees only. Really, Beloved? Did the Judges do just that in Scripture? No! They were Godly men and one woman trained by God to actually rule the nation of Israel physically. You can say, “Oh, but we can just have prophets to hear from God and tell the leaders as in times old in the OT”. Yes we have prophets, but I’m afraid we can’t compel our secular leaders to listen to them because most African nations are under democratic rule; how do we hope our leaders will listen to prophets of God when it is not part of our Constitution and laws? We cannot compare our present situation with that of Israel in Bible times because she was under Theocratic rule and the Prophets were appointed and ordained by God to bring His Word to the kings.
Rather, it is false prophets rather that have a field day with many African leaders, buzzing around them night and day, misleading them with ideas from the enemy of man whom they serve. And, anyway, God’s pattern is to speak to a leader directly, especially times of crisis; as He spoke to Pharaoh about the impending drought in the time of Joseph. Which prophet could have told Moses God said he would only use a shepherd’s rod to bring down the greatest dynasty in that era and Moses would believe him? So, God put him in charge and spoke to him directly. It took time but God had trained him by humbling from a Prince of Egypt to a shepherd of Midian; and it was then that he experienced the real power that can ever set a nation free till today. How could Ezra have been trusted with such treasures to take back to Jerusalem if he was not known in the courts of the king of Babylon already? If Mordecai was not close to the gate of power, he would never have been able to save his people from the wrath of Haman.
Africa needs her peculiar People called by the Name above all names
Beloveds, Africa needs you! She needs the ones in whom such a power can ever reside to humble themselves and stop that holier than thou attitude that cringes whenever politics is mentioned! “Oh, never! It’s a dirty game, full of corruption and danger!” Sure it is! But the dirt in our political arena is exactly why Christians are called into the politics – to bring in the Cleanser, The Word of God. The rotten smelly corruption is why the Lord informed us that we are the salt of the earth – salt prevents anything from getting rotten. The danger is why we have the Name of Jesus as a safe tower to run into; and the endless flow of His Blood to mark us to cry over us, “Touch not My anointed!” And I dare say that only a Christian who knows how to seek God’s Face and war in prayer should venture into the political arena in Africa and the Church must raise up continuous prayer chain for them also, see Psa.72:15. The key to surviving in the political arena in Africa is to begin now to be trained; starting by walking with God and allowing Him to break us and remake us into men and women who have died to the flesh and therefore will never join in the rot. The whole of Psalm 72 describes what a glorious nation will result when a Christian reigns in righteousness
Let me give you a Scripture which clearly calls true Believers in Christ into places of influence in our nations –
Micah 5:1,5-6 NKJV
Now gather yourself in troops, O daughter of troops; He has laid siege against us; They will strike the judge of Israel with a rod on the cheek.’…..’And this One shall be peace. When the Assyrian comes into our land, And when he treads in our palaces, Then we will raise against him Seven shepherds and eight princely men (or principal men KJV). They shall waste with the sword the land of Assyria, And the land of Nimrod at its entrances; Thus He shall deliver us from the Assyrian, When he comes into our land And when he treads within our borders.
Micah 5:5 NLT version puts it this way –
…When the Assyrians invade our land and break through our defenses, we will appoint seven rulers to watch over us, eight princes to lead us.
Daughter of troops are we Brides of Christ, the Children of Yahweh, The Man of War. Assyrian terrorists are roaming the continent, laying siege to nations, always looking to smite Christians, the Body of Christ and enforce their religion on the whole nation and take all the leadership positions as well. As far as we know, we have only had three real Christian Presidents in three nations in the history of Africa – Dr Frederick Chiluba of Zambia, Dr Attah Mills of Ghana and President William Ruto of Kenya. Yet this Scripture tells us clearly that we Christians are the answer that will stem the tide of Assyrian marauders and wasters in our continent – Then we will raise against him Seven shepherds and eight princely/principal (KJV) men. They shall waste with the sword the land of Assyria…all we have been raising are Shepherds, Pastors, Intercessors to watch over us; but where are the Princes, the Principal men, the Princely men, the Christian politicians to lead us? It is political power that gives that sword against the Assyrians because Romans 13:1-4 tells us that there is a sword in the hands of those in authority to punish evil-doers –
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities…. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.
That sword is mostly in the hands of unbelievers in power in African nations as we speak and we cannot continue this way, because they have made little or no impact stemming the flood of wasters from the land of Assyria. Beloved young ones, you need to ask now and hear from God if He plans to raise you as a Shepherd or a Prince in the land. Ask what role God wants you to play in the salvaging of Africa from the Assyrians. We thank God for nations like Ghana that have not had the misfortune of being invaded by them; but this is the time to begin preparation by allowing God to put you in positions of authority to keep them back and to throw them out of nations like Nigeria that are groaning under their yoke. But, I beg you, don’t be like some Pastors in Nigeria who claimed God called them into politics in times past but were not humble enough to start their climb from the lower rung of the political ladder – they went straight for the Presidency and became serial presidential candidates! Humility is key to elevation, Beloveds.
Let me just end by saying that God has actually done this in New Zealand. I once read a report that in times past, a Missionary spent a few years giving discipleship training to some young men and women; and over a decade later, they began to find themselves in places of authority in the land as ministers and trusted and influential aides to the Prime Minister. He simply found them to be faithful and trustworthy. That nation is known to be one of the most peaceful nations in the world and it has a stable economy. While about 48% claim to have no religion, 37% of the rest are professing Christians presently and only 1.3% are Assyrians. What God did in a small nation like New Zealand He can do in the nations of Africa and it will spread to the whole continent by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Heavenly Father, Eternal Ruler of the Nations, You gave me this burden many years ago and You have now given me the opportunity to share it with some of Your Children in Ghana on Zoom a week ago and I am now sharing it with Your Children here as directed. Father, breathe on this message and let Your Holy Spirit guide to this place all those who need to hear this; those whom You have chosen to be Princes among Your Children and who may not even know it; and those whom You have chosen and who know it but are in doubt…guide them all here Lord and minister Your Truth to them Yourself and anoint them for the call, in Jesus Name Amen.
Adapted from a teaching given by Zoom at the Watchtower Retreat of Excellent Youth Outreach of the University of Ghana, Legon on 5 March 2023. The Zoom recording has since been uploaded onto their YouTube channel and here is the link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gyaHlfDjOU