Nothing is constant in life except change.
You cannot step into the same river twice, according to an author. The water flowing through the river is constantly changing. The banks remain the same, but the flow is not the same. Each flow comes with new contents, from logs, leaves, debris, fishes, and other animals.
Even revival and the move of the Glory of God come like waves hitting the shoreline. If you have ever slept by the seashore, you will understand what I am saying. There was a night I slept at the 911 Holiday Resort at Ogidigben, several years back; I never knew I could fall asleep. The resort is built on water by the shore, and waves were constantly hitting the shore line with so much noise. Immediately I realised that this has been going on since the creation of the earth, I relaxed and began to enjoy the place, and in a short while, I fell asleep.
Live like a surfer; ride the waves, don’t fight the waves. You did not create the waves, but learn to derive pleasure from riding the waves. Design your surfing board, acquire the skills, and have fun.
Effects of the Reset Button
1. People are going to question the relevance of so many people, places, and possessions
In the midst of the deprivation and lack, during the lockdown of most economies, many institutions could not meet the basic needs of their citizens or members.
There is a letter, in circulation online, said to have emanated from a US-based denomination that has decided to refund the tithes of their church members since 2017. The logic is that the tithe is to ensure that there might be food in the storehouse. Since there is a lack of food amongst the members, let’s give them from the storehouse to buy food. They are one of the richest and best organised churches in the US.
Read previous Lessons From COVID-19 here.
2. Always have a backup plan
I called a young banker this morning, 8/5/2020, at about 6:30 a.m. I was shocked that he was still in bed. He informed me that they were told to stay off work for some time. He informed me several of their branches were asked not to open. I had told them on 2/1/2020 that they should have a Plan B for their lives, because in this decade some of them will become irrelevant to their organisations.
I also know someone who works in an oil company that has been told to stay at home.
As I am writing this line, there are close to 30 million people who have lost their jobs in the United States. This is the United States of America that causes people to share testimonies in churches when they get a visa to visit or stay. The people lining up in very expensive cars to pick up food must reset their living style, just like the generation in the 1930’s did after lining up to get bread during the great depression. Ironically, there are foodstuffs like potatoes and milk being thrown away in farms outside major cities in the US.
3. Sustainability is more important than size and style
People like Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic are thinking of filing for bankruptcy, but Amazon and Alibaba are employing thousands of people. Alibaba and Amazon are generationally relevant now; they were ahead of time.
South Africa Airways might soon layoff thousands of their workers if their government does not step in. However, some other airlines removed passenger seats and converted many of their planes to cargo planes airlifting medical supplies to different nations.
Apart from food, the fastest selling stuff is airtime and data. People need to communicate in the lockdown.
At one time near the King’s Palace at Effurun, there were several barbecue fish joints there. They must have suffered very low patronage during the lockdown. But a young friend of mine came up with the idea of home delivery of barbecue fish, and he is doing well. He was among the first persons to produce face-masks in our area. He has a fish pond too, so you can see the link. He was initially into printing and branding before the lockdown. He is surfing the wave.
4. The closure/regulation of places of worship is not a sign of persecution of the church or the Antichrist
I deliberately put this point in the middle of this lesson, and I say this as a pastor and also a man of God.
The closure of churches and mosques in very many nations, apart from very few, is not a sign that the Antichrist is against the church. Mosques and synagogues were shut too all over the world.
There is a video online of an Imam being flogged by an Islamic police officer in one of the predominantly Muslim states in Nigeria. They did not use a conventional police officer. It would have sparked a riot. Who would ever imagine that an Imam would be flogged in public in a state in northern Nigeria? An Imam that opened his mosque and gathered Muslims to pray was declared wanted and arrested.
Let me make it clear the government which registers religious organisations is saying religious gathering is not an essential service as at now.
If at any point someone reduces your worth in his life, do a revaluation of your relationship. Pastors were arrested recently in some states in Nigeria. One of them and his deacons jumped over the fence when they were about to be arrested. Please the era of touch not my anointed and do my prophet no harm is left to God to decide. Pastors, please conduct whatever you do according to the law. Protect yourself from harm; be security conscious. Fit security gadgets around yourself and institutions. Get a legal team to counsel you before you take actions.
5. Sequel to Number 4, pastors, please be very careful about your utterances on social media and from the pulpit
A prominent Nigerian preacher wondered why markets should be open and crowded while churches are closed? He was called several names; even some members of his denomination openly disagreed with him.
Let me state this here: social media is like a public toilet, according to Pastor Raymond Orogun Ugbeh. Tell your Papa and Mama not to come to social media if they cannot smell shit or fart. These fellows on social media don’t care about your fear of touching the Lord’s anointed.
Let me also say that if the government is saying that markets are more essential for the whole population, that’s because both believers and unbelievers come to the market.
Secondly, there is no relationship with each other in the market. However, if one church member dies, it’s painful to the congregation. Research has shown that from such burial ceremonies, more infections and deaths follow.
I must not fail to say that markets and motor parks are the direct responsibilities of our local government councils. Several of the State and Local Government councils failed woefully in the organisation of our markets in respect of social distancing. That failure should not be an excuse for pastors to compare rowdy poorly-organised markets with the church.
REMEMBER, THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCHES HAVE REMAINED CLOSED EVEN WITH PARTIAL REOPENING.
We must start seeing and embracing the concept of a church beyond four walls. Raymond Orogun Ugbeh taught me about the church without walls and breaking the barrier of space and time, and we started working towards that for two years now. This blog had 1000 views in one day from several countries and territories. There are other days when we get less views, but I am able to communicate with the globe from my sitting room.
My brother, a very sincere man of God, rightly said that there are pastors in need now that churches are closed, and that members should remember their pastors. There is nothing wrong with what he said, but I was shocked at some responses to this true and scriptural idea. That is the new normal. People are going to question everything.
I want to encourage pastors and denominations that the era of depending on tithes and offering has gone; we must look forward towards the concept of 21st-Century ministry.
6. Gender and Leadership
The nations that most effectively handled the COVID-19 pandemic, apart from China, were mostly governed by women.
The concept of women not breaking the glass ceiling in countries like The United States of America, Nigeria, and several nations will need to be questioned and reset.
7. Government and Secrecy
I have said in several of these lessons that the citizenry do not trust politicians in Nigeria, and that’s the reason they don’t obey simple laws about the lockdown.
The time of government of secrecy is over; people will dig up information and question government agencies. Social media is now the 5th arm of government, just after journalism. Our politicians must reset their minds to this new reality.
8. The Vegetative Reproduction of the Word of God
When Jesus said that man does not live by bread alone, He did not quote the whole passage. He only spoke a unit of the Word of God, and it produced results. However, in recent years nearly, every person has become a prophet and they speak so authoritatively about what will happen to people just because you preached from a passage. No! It is becoming outdated with the elite because of recent contrary happenings since the lockdown. People want revelations about how things work and how to get solutions to the issues of life.
When Jesus was born, the wise men from the east got a revelation from the study of astronomy, and maybe astrology. The chief priests and teachers of the law knew the scriptures and eschatology, but they did not get the revelation. Herod, who represents the government, did not get the revelation. It was the people who had the revelation that God gave direction to. They did not go back the same way to Herod. However, the teachers of the law and chief priests, who knew scriptures, ignorantly told Herod where the child was to be born. This led to the killing of several children less than two years and below. But Joseph, who was the custodian of the divine agenda, then Jesus Christ, escaped because he got a revelation. Jesus was safe in the hands of Joseph because of continuous revelation.
God is in need of men He can reveal things to in this generation. The world needs answers and solutions, and only men of revelation can elevate the church, bring back relevance and recognition to the church. The Holy Spirit wants to reveal mysteries to this generation.
The prophetic era, so much talked about, is over; this is the season of revelation. The wave is about to hit the shore, and I am waiting for it. If you like, continue with routine, regimentation and regularity. You will be left behind. If you want to argue, please move on (suggestions, brainstorming, and ideas are always welcome). I don’t have the time for blind arguments; I am praying for revelational grace.
Donald Trump’s valet recently tested positive for coronavirus; a valet is your very personal attendant, who handles your clothes and personal effects. Mike Pence’s aid also tested positive for the virus. The CIA, FBI and all the security agencies could not prevent the virus from entering the White House.
The chief security officer of Chief Ahmed Tinubu died of coronavirus. He was shown in a picture with a swab stick being dipped into his nose like every other patient. This is a man who determined who becomes who in southwestern Nigeria. He was rumoured to be richer than a state in Nigeria.
The owner of one of the major television stations in Nigeria lost his personal assistant and personal secretary to COVID-19 recently. He and his entire family are in isolation.
What you have and who you are is being reevaluated, and as said in one of these lessons on COVID-19, we need to be humble.
If we sit down and really think, if a preacher is interested in winning souls, is it not now that the markets are congested that they should go and preach and pray for people in the markets?
Several of the states and local government councils failed woefully in the organisation of our markets in respect of social distancing, but it must be said our people are too disobedient, rebellious, and irresponsible; even with the best efforts, our people must break rules. One must also state that many people have never experienced this kind of pandemic before, so they are on a learning curve, to be fair to all.
If you want to join me to pray for the new wave let me know.
God bless you.
Read next lesson: I Married My Wife For The Wrong Reasons.