The Sunday Mail
The other day I woke up to the song “The Joy of The Lord Is My Strength”. So strong is my spirit because there is a certain joy that comes with knowing that I am standing on the rock of all ages – Jesus Christ. l beseech you to take but a moment and ask yourself who is or what gives you strength in your daily living?
Now to more urgent business, last week, The Sunday Mail Extra made its latest stop at The Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) in Mufakose. The Word of the day themed “Detestable things that God does not want” was delivered by Reverend Pattison Chirongo and came from Deuteronomy 18:9-14 and Isaiah 44:24-25.
Reverend Chirongo spoke of how as boys during his school days they used to consult a tree known as Mpangara for advice and counsel. This tree, they believed, could answer questions no one else could answer.
The session went like this.
There would take a small “Y shaped’ branch and then try pulling it apart.
If it split in half, this meant the answer was positive but if it broke in between, this represented a negative answer. This ritual, he said, was so popular such that everyone believed in it.
Going back to the Word, Reverend Chirongo said the land of Canaan was also inhabited by people who had their own religious beliefs and customs. The Semitic nation had three types of divinations. Shaking the arrows or belomancy saw arrows getting marked with names of the city to be attacked and then placed in a quiver.
The quiver would then be shaken and thrown out in order to determine the will of the spirits. Whatever came first revealed the place and direction of attack. Also practised was the art of consulting household idols as denounced in Zechariah 10:2.
In addition there were others who examined the liver, a delicate organ of the body which they believed that the gods had shaped. They believed that one could learn the divine will of the gods by examining the liver.
Reverend Chirongo went into detail chronicling the numerous reasons why God forbid such practices, chief amongst the reasons was the fact that these practises deceived and misled people.
The whole scripture forbids any use of mystical powers, seemingly good or bad, protective or destructive, socially approved or anti- social.
While Jesus Christ performed miracles, as hyped as they are nowadays, they were no substitute for laziness.
Our God is at work day in and day out and whoever teaches any gospel contrary to what Christ said, is a liar.
Miracles should be Christo-centric.
Come to think of it, Ghanaian preacher Dr Mensa Otabil once said a miracle is meant to bring you to the same level as everyone else so you can compete.
If you are blind you need a miracle to see so that you can compete on the same level like everyone else.
Do not put faith in fabricated things instead of trusting the Almighty maker of heaven and earth.
Israel made a covenant with God in Deuteronomy 9 that God insists on Israel’s faithfulness to Him only. Even today, the same God is insisting that you to trust Him and him alone.
Furthermore death surrounds any hint of sorcery practices and life is found in God alone who is over all powers.
While magic says my will be done, Christianity says, God’s will be done. Magic commands the impersonal forces of nature but Christianity seek God’s wisdom and direction
Our destiny is determined by God’s grace, not by magical manipulation.
These practices are detestable.
Giving an example of a story that was carried in one of the local papers, Reverend Chirongo highlighted how 11 people were arrested for serving human flesh in a restaurant in Anambra state located in the south-eastern side of Nigeria.
Businesses are believed to thrive through serving human flesh, how detestable!
Does God not say he will bless the works of your hands in Deuteronomy 28v11-14? In our beloved country, we hear of children going missing every other day or body parts found at the graveyard among other stories. These things are happening right in our face for us to see that Satan is on a mission.
The aim of demonic influence is to overthrow the Kingdom of God.
This can be traced through the Bible, beginning with Genesis 3 and concluding in Revelations. The origin of magical powers was a result of rebellion of man therefore magic is evil because it replaces a personal faith in God.
In concluding, Reverend Chirongo highlighted that in the New Testament, such acts were also evident.
Consider Simon the sorcerer who was sternly rebuked by the Apostle Peter and commanded to repent (Acts 8: 9-24).
Elymus the magician was also rebuked as “the son of the devil” and “enemy of all righteousness (Acts 13: 6-12)
Demons are real, they are also performing “miracle acts” and l use that phrase very loosely, for these are not miracles in the biblical sense of the word but acts disguised as miracles.
Be careful lest you be fooled to join them. All these years you were a faithful servant of the most High God but in a flash you can be fooled into joining them. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He has maintained the same standards throughout the years and the present church age.
God has given us the free will to choose, but if you think you are better off without Him just remember that any victorious life comes through faith in God, the Father, His son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
Until next week, watch out for The Sunday Mail at your place of worship.