Mornings are gorgeous here. There is a fresh morning scent that has a trace of that tropical feeling Ė like waking up to a Florida morning.
Weíre heading to Abuja, the next stop on my itinerary of churches, and we are passing by Zuma Rock. This monolith sticks up straight out of the ground like a great big black thumb, as if it was a sentry overlooking the town of Suleja. I have been told several times that you cannot fly over Zuma Rock because the demonic activity on top of it causes airplanes and helicopters to crash, or at least thatís how the story goes. This is Africa, and Iím not so sure that it isnít true. At any rate, there are dozens of spooky stories surrounding this huge rock, so I am dying to look it up on the Internet when I get back.
There is a melding of two cultures wrestling in this society. Like a man trying to squeeze into clothes that do not fit him, Africa is desperately trying to change itself into a Western society, but it doesnít quite fit. As much as they want to emulate everything American, the basic nature of this people is still very much African. This is a barefoot society -- they prefer bare feet over shoes -- and in much the same way, while they do well in all things African, their efforts to become just like America translate with an African accent.
I am currently in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, and am preaching at a church that meets under a carport in the back yard of one of the members. There is no church building, so when I came back for services, I only expected to see a small handful of people, but there were about 50, which was only half of their congregation. Nothing stops these people from worshipping the Lord, not even the lack of a building.
They piled into services, not because an American was to preach tonight, but because there was someone who was going to deliver a strong message of repentance and revival instead of the wishy-washy stuff they hear on American TV. They are tired of false prophets with empty promises designed to do nothing more than excite the crowd, and phony evangelists who are only interested in pleasing their audience. They have heard that there will be a strong message of reproof to bring about revival, and thatís why they have come.
I can hardly believe it, but this is the way it is here in Nigeria. They are ready for a true revival and they know it does not come without a high price. They are willing to pay that price so they can have a real move of God.
Not all the churches here are like that. The big fancy ones attract crowds with promises of prosperity and blessings that they advertise on circus posters that are plastered all over town, but the real church of God are the pilgrims who want to seek the face of God, not the success and wealth of that the world offers. I guess itís the same everywhere.
I can feel the zip slowly draining out of me. Even the last few letters donít seem to have the energy and excitement that the early letters had. My prayer hours are getting limp and my reading times donít have the vitality that they had 40 days ago. I just hope that the messages I deliver every night arenít losing their edge as well.
I am nearing the end of this mission and I feel like I have hardly made a dent in the whole of Nigeria, but I know that a handful of seeds can become a field of harvest in the hands of the Master. I am not here to start a revival; I am just here to strike a series of matches that will light up others to start a revival. I donít believe the results will depend on my performance. Just deliver the message, and let God take it from there.
When we yield to God and let Him do the work, it takes all the sweat out of it.