Enoch Adeboye, general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), over the weekend led thousands of church members and others to call on God to defend the country from enemies waging war against her.
Shortly after honouring God through praise at the beginning of his sermon of the July Holy Ghost Service of the church at the Redemption Camp in Ogun State, he called on the congregation, which included people at viewing centres around the world, to pray for the defence of the country afflicted by tragedies and sorrow.
“Father, the Lord of Host; arise and defend Nigeria. Put an end to all the tragedies, sorrows, accidents and deaths in this nation,” he led the congregational prayer.
He continued the call for God’s intervention in his opening prayer that followed: “Father, today in every home where there is sorrow; let the Comforter comfort them in Jesus Name. In this country, let there be no more tragedies, killings, accidents and crises.
“Prince of Peace, please let your peace reign in Nigeria. Arise Oh Lord and defend Nigeria. Defend all the nations that the enemies are waging war against.”
In recent times Pastor Adeboye has been commiserating on social media with families that suffer tragedies. He wore a solemn look as he prayed on early Saturday morning during the service with the theme Stronger Than Your Enemies – Part 7: (Permanent All Round Victory)
The theme runs through about six-hour long service of special prayers, praise and worship, testimonies and sermons, which draws people from around Nigeria and watched in over 160 countries where the church has branches.
The agents of death
In his own sermon, the first part of which was devoted to the need for salvation and a call to the altar, Pastor Adeboye pointed out death as a common enemy of everyone, and the war it wages through it agents – sickness, poverty and bondage.
Drawing a link between sin and the agents of death, he concluded: “So if you want freedom and victory tonight, then you need to get Jesus Christ quickly so that His blood can wash away your sins.”
Tens of people responded to the altar call.
Pastor Adeboye’s sermon on total and complete victory, which followed the altar call, dwelt on the story of Naaman, read from2 Kings 5: 1-14
“When we talk of complete victory, all round victory; it simply means that there is no area of your life whereby you are suffering any defeat again. It simply means that there is no reproach in your life,” he said and noted that Naaman had a reproach in his life that reduced his success or victory in other areas of his life to nothing.
“He was at top of his career, wealthy, famous and loved by the King but he was a leper. This reduced all that he had to nothing.”
The rich man who ate from the trash bin
Recalling an experience in the early days of the church at its headquarters in Ebutte Metta Lagos, he said people have various forms of reproach they try to hide.
He said, during a service what God told him to announce, he was afraid to repeat: That there was a very wealthy man in the congregation who ate from the trash bin and needed deliverance.
Later, during the testimony of the man he couldn’t share in public, he confirmed to Pastor Adeboye that there was no meal he couldn’t afford, but that after eating the choice meals, he would steal into the trash bin at night and eat from the leftovers in it.
The choice for Naaman as a case study was, as he said, because when God finished with him; his body was like that of a newborn baby – his victory was complete, absolute, permanent and he was never a leper again.
“The journey to this victory started within his house. There was one maid there who was brought in from a foreign country who wished the General could visit a Prophet in her native land as there was help at hand there.
“Watch from the story very well; the girl spoke to the wife of Naaman (she didn’t do anything about it). But while speaking to her, others heard, told Naaman about it. Naaman told his King about it, his King wrote a letter to the King of Israel. The King of Israel got the letter, tore his dress and somehow someone told Elisha about it. Note the linkages.
God works in mysterious ways
“God works in mysterious ways. I don’t know how God will do it tonight; He will do it in a mysterious way for you and connect you to the helper of your destiny as He did for Naaman.”
He said Naaman was connected to the one who will give him permanent victory, but he nearly destroyed the plan of God for his life – the Man of God told him to go down to River Jordan and wash in it seven times but he got angry.
Describing Naaman’s big problems as pride and anger, Pastor Adeboye, urged people to put anger and pride in check in order not to rob themselves of God’s blessings.
Still on the Naaman story, he recalled that as Naaman was going away furiously in a rage, one of his servants stopped him to advise him. “If you know anything about the Military; even when Generals are not angry before you talk to them you must take a salute for permission. However, this man was in a rage, but because of God’s special plans for him, a servant was able to stop him and advise him.”
“When God has made up His mind to help you, nothing can stop Him,” Pastor Adeboye stressed.
Forced trip to Akure
He illustrated this with another testimony! He had gone to preach at the University of Ife, as it was called then. But during the trip back to Lagos, God ordered him to turn left to Akure, instead of turning right. He said he obeyed, not knowing what he was going there for.
But on arrival in Akure, he was told to visit a home he was reluctant to go to. The host was in the bathroom and his wife who received him was shocked to see him.
When her husband emerged, he asked in nervous energy, “What are you doing here?”
“God sent me to you,” Pastor Adeboye responded.
“Yes,” the visitor confirmed.
“Ha! Okay, from now on it is Jesus all the way, no divided loyalty,” the man promised.
Pastor Adeboye said the man was seated on the altar as he narrated the story that night,
The Naaman story, he pointed out, also shows how important it is to pay attention to details. “If God is talking to you; for your victory to be total, pay attention to details. Naaman was told to wash in River Jordan seven times and not five or six times. He dipped himself in River Jordan six times nothing happened; it was the 7th time that he came out clean.
“The Bible says that if you hearken diligently to the Word of God to do all the things that He commands you that is when things will happen.”
Concluding the sermon, he said one of the important things to do for one’s victory to be permanent is giving thanks after God’s intervention.
“After Naaman received his victory, he returned to say thank you. He returned to Elisha in 2 Kings 5: 15-19. The man of God said congratulations.
“The reason why most of us never had more than one breakthrough in life is because we never testify about what God did for us. We won’t witness what God did for us to others.
“The elders have a saying that if a child is grateful for what he received yesterday, he will receive another one; and the person who is ungrateful is like an armed robber that stole your valuables.
“If that is to be true then I regret to say that there are many armed robbers among the Christians. Many cannot say thank you to Jesus Christ. He has healed so many people but they would not come out to testify so that others can listen to them.”
Pastor Adeboye closed the sermon with his traditional blessing of the congregation, relished by all: “The Almighty God will bless you permanently. He will support you permanently. Whatever the enemies may want to toy with in your life will go. He will uphold you to the end. This month, He will link you up with Helpers of your Destiny.
“The Lord will bless your offerings, sanctify them and use it for His Glory. From now on, you will never lack. Your victory will be permanent.
“As you go, the Lord will go with you. You will find favour with God and men. On your way, Miracles will follow you. At home, Miracles will be waiting for you. In Jesus Name we prayed … Amen!!!”
As usual, there were testimonies from people God had touched. The most moving was that of Mr. Ola Erokin. For 24 years after marriage, they were trusting God for the fruit of the womb, until last year when Pastor Adeboye gave a word of knowledge that someone who was troubled over children should “relax because your case is settled”.
Within a few months, Erokin said “things began to change” and in April 2018, they had their first child – after 24 years of waiting.