ANYTHING IT TAKES FOR THE GOSPEL
Back in the day, while I was still an undergraduate, I would invite friends to join me in meetings in the land of Eruwa. At times, I was the host. At times, it was in my parent’s church.
On one such occasion, I had the honour of hosting a friend. When we got to town, he had a necklace around his neck. Just before we stepped into the church, I spotted it. I pulled him aside and said, “My brother, I have nothing against your necklace but if you desire indeed to minister to this congregation, would you be kind enough to remove it so there is no restrain in their heart and the atmosphere as they observe you”.
His response stuck with me. He said, “My brother sir, I am removing it right away. I will do anything for the gospel”. He ministered powerfully and there was a free course for the Spirit of the Lord.
(This is not an argument for wearing or not wearing trousers, using jewellery, or any other matter like it. Our mindset when we were growing up was that attachment was made from the pit of hell. If a lady wears a pair of trousers, she is a prostitute trying to seduce men. Do you get the context now?)
There are times you would have to sacrifice personal preference for the sake of the gospel. There are times when it is pure wisdom to know the culture of the community you are ministering to and make adjustments (as long as they are not sinful adjustments). You are doing it for Jesus!
One of the greatest hindrances to the move of the spirit is the reign of the flesh. The flesh will always argue because of its tradition. Peter argued because he would never go near a gentile. God had to first work on his mindset before he could send him to Cornelius. I am sure Peter was concerned about his image as a high-ranking Apostle, but his love for Christ was bigger than the sentiments of his culture.
I have missionary friends who share experiences that take guts to go through for the Lord. If it is about self, the gospel of Christ will be trapped in our holy huddles. Is it the water they drink or they bathe with? Is it the places they lay their heads? Yet God shows himself faithful. They return with a huge harvest of souls for the kingdom.
I have ministered in churches where there are certain rules and regulations – we remove our shoes before we get in, and some have both genders seated separately. We do not argue. We simply comply. May I not become the hindrance to the gospel of Christ.
It is not wise to say, “That is who I am. I cannot change for any reason. If they cannot accept me as I am, then I am not interested”. Why would you let “self” hinder you from kingdom exploits? Do not let it happen.
Apostle Paul said: “Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ. When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.” 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 NLT
Do not become a sinner to save sinners. Find a common ground. Make sacrifices. Do it for Christ.
temilOluwa Ola, Eruwa.