2020 has been the year of revelation if you ask me. And this eye-opening experience has also shaken the body of Christ. It is as if anytime I open my YouTube app; there is a new video that has emerged warning people about so & so preacher, speaker, or evangelist. I will recommend you guys to watch American Gospel on Netflix; it is an insightful piece on what the true gospel is about.
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One day, my heart began racing a mile a minute when I discovered that someone who I admired over the past few years was being accused of emotional abuse, amid many other things going on within their organization. Even some of my favorite worship bands have been called out because of their close association with churches that are being accused of indulging in unbiblical practices, and all the while I am thinking—if everyone is fake, who then is the real deal?
This year has taught me that as Christ-followers, we don’t have to look to anyone to spoon feed us with the gospel. Christianity isn’t a religion, rather a relationship with the Living God. We have also been provided with His Word, the Bible, to help us navigate this life that we live in. A couple of months ago, I was in a church service, where the guest speaker spoke some certain things concerning my life, which were apt to the experiences I had gone through.
This young man doesn’t know me from anywhere, and it is not as if I am in any way popular, that we can say, maybe he recognized me and is privy to some personal information. I was quite blown away by the things he said, that I believed I could trust ‘this one,’ because clearly, God spoke through him. Now, the other day, I heard he was not someone to be trusted, because he perpetuates the prosperity gospel. If you don’t know what the prosperity gospel means, Google is your friend.
Even if the allegations are true, that doesn’t mean God did not use Him in that instance when we met, to speak those words to me. And just because he spoke things that were seemingly true about my life, doesn’t mean I should follow after him and begin to idolize him. Such revelations are meant to draw people even closer to Christ, and not his followers. I am reminded of a story in the bible, when a donkey spoke, or when a hand mysteriously appeared at a gathering and penned some things down on a wall, which I believe gave birth to the phrase—handwriting on the wall.
Those unique events were not calls for people to begin following after the donkey or go to that particular wall to worship it, but that is what people do with preachers these days. When they speak things which resonate with them, then they tend to idolize them, either by adding to their huge social media following, swearing by the things they say, or they start calling them—mommy and daddy. But did they give birth to you? (You can tell I have a problem with this one haha).
One thing we have to be careful about is because human beings are flawed, we can’t just take their word or even their lifestyle for it. This is because they might begin great with the work of God, and then fall off the bandwagon, somewhere along the line and begin to do or preach their own thing. Idolizing them, which is problematic, then becomes a dangerous territory to tread on. Because we put them on a pedestal, far above mistakes, corrections, and flaws. Anything they tell us becomes bible, without us going back to research for ourselves.
This shouldn’t be so. There are instances throughout scripture when angels appeared to men, and the men fell to worship them, and they told them to immediately cease from doing so because we are all God’s servants, only Him are we supposed to worship.
If there was one thing which was consistent with Jesus while He was here on earth, was the fact that He always reiterated this point in many ways—I am here to do the work of Him, who sent Me. Sometimes He might have put it this way—I do not speak of my own accord, the words that I speak, are the words of Him who sent me, or I am about My Father’s business.
Christ was not here to play games or get entangled (no pun intended) in the frivolous affairs of this world, He was here for one and one thing only, to fulfill God’s purpose for humanity. And that is what our lives as Christians should mirror.
Recently, some Americans were lashing out because their authorities refused for them to be back in churches, due to the pandemic, if they had to go back to church, then they had to do so without singing. While I understand how this can be seen as an attack on the gathering of the saints, I do not think it is the end of the world either. I think that now is the time when the true worshipers of God, will worship Him in Spirit and truth.
In John 4:21, Jesus speaking to the Samaritan woman said to her—“Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. Verse 23-24 goes on to say—“But the hour is coming and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Please hear me out, I am in no way condemning the coming together of believers every week to hear the word, and worship God as a community, I, in fact, miss that, and look forward to the day when that can happen again. But due to the circumstances beyond our control, just because a building is shut down, or has been for months, doesn’t mean that the relationship that we have with our Creator should come to a standstill.
Just because we don’t get to see our pastors, teachers, bishops, priests, apostles, or evangelicals every week, does not mean that we cannot worship God in spirit and truth. When Jesus had that encounter with the woman, she was talking about the different places of worship, while Jesus told her that a time was coming, which indeed had already arrived, when people would no longer have to go to a physical place of worship.
Being born again, then indicated that Christians became the temple of God, and as a result, we don’t have to take a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to be close to Him, because He doesn’t dwell in temples made with human hands, rather He resides in us. If God resides in every believer, then even if the physical buildings are closed for some time, we can carry on worshiping God; our relationship with Him shouldn’t be affected. This is the time to even build a close bond with Him, without distractions.
If we live in places where we can’t openly worship God or be seen with a bible, what will happen then? That is why we have to spend time in God’s word, in His presence, seeking Him and learning about Him, continuously. That way when we are faced with a hurdle, what we have been feeding ourselves with, is what would come out.
I can’t recall any time in the bible when Jesus, before He performed a miracle or asked God to do something, had to go pick up the Holy Scriptures, publicly first. He didn’t have to go to the glossary and say—what does God’s word say about healing or provision, or any situation He encountered. Instead, he countered every circumstance with the word He was already full of, because in His downtimes, He often retreated to spend time with His Father, and in those moments, He got refreshed and energized to carry on with His assignment.
When He was tempted by the enemy, He defeated him by fighting back with the word of God, He already knew. That was because Jesus spent so much time, behind the scene, building Himself up, learning about scripture (when he was little), growing in wisdom, and communing with the Father consistently. I doubt that Jesus is worried that the church buildings are closed, when in fact some churches need to be closed and remain closed because of how they abuse and exploit people by perverting God’s word.
Now is the time, when people should study God’s word for themselves. If you are the leader of your home, it’s time for you to bring your spouse and kids together to study God’s word, and worship Him in spirit and truth.
Don’t wait for your pastor to drop a message every week before you get in God’s presence, don’t wait for your favorite social media preacher to spoon feed you with a word from God before you dig into the word yourself. I guess the message I am trying to pass across today is, whether we are in church, or outside of it, Christ says that we have to worship God in spirit and truth. That in fact, is what makes a true worshiper.
So what do you guys think? Leave your comments below and remember to like, share and subscribe never to miss an update on Let’s Talk Nation.
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About The Author: Evi Idoghor is a Christian, writer, and content creator on Letstalknationblog.com. She is a chemical engineering graduate from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Consumed by her love for writing and desire to effect change, she launched her online platform––Let’s Talk Nation––to tap into her creativity and start meaningful conversations that would make a difference around the world.
Most of her writing has been influenced by her time spent in America, where she lived for about 11 years. Also, she lived in Nigeria and South Korea and currently loves traveling the world while learning about other fascinating cultures. You can find her on all social media platforms with @eviidoghor.