I grew up to still meet my paternal grandmother who witnessed the 1930 revival that shook Nigeria to her foundations.
Many of those that got born again during those revival outreaches were unlettered so they couldn’t read the Bible.There was no internet.There were no study Bibles to check the Hebrew and Greek meanings of words as we have them today.There was no Bible dictionary nor concordance yet their faith was rugged and on fire 🔥 .
How were they able to build their faith without all these?What was their view about faith? How did the ministers explain the concept of faith,the righteousness by faith etc to the new converts then?
Grandma,who was one of the converts of that 1930 move of the Spirit,was taught the concept of faith using Yoruba Language.
She said faith which is translated as /Igbagbo/ in Yoruba Language can be broken down into these three components:
When they went to revival meetings organised by Apostle Babalola,their faith was ready to receive because of this saying.They were ready to hear the word of faith.When they heard, they were prepared to humbly accept the word.Not only that,they went ahead to do what they had been taught.Faith was that simple…
Let’s analyse the Yoruba meaning of ‘faith’ as stated above and see whether it has any scriptural backings:
“Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ”-Romans 10:17
“So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls”-James 1:21
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says”-James 1:22(NIV)
“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves”( NLT)
Things are totally different now.People hear the word,but refuse to accept and do what the word says.Why?
I think two things have made people not to have simple faith in God’s words:
1)Knowledge:Even though knowledge liberates and empowers,it also has a downside:It puffs up!
“…We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up”-1Cor 8:1
We are in the era Daniel predicted when knowledge shall increase:
“But you, Daniel, roll up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge”-Dan 12:4
As people go from one place to another to search for new revelational knowledge,they lose sight of the simplicity of God’s word.
Brethren, don’t complicate matters for yourself! When God says ‘you are blessed’, accept the word and act on it. First accept and walk in that blessing before going to search the Greek meaning and Hebrew nomenclature for ‘blessing’!
The story of Naaman comes to mind: He heard the word from Prophet Elisha but he didn’t accept the message because his knowledge contradicted what Elisha wanted him to do:
“Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage”-2Kings 5:10-12
Naaman’s knowledge puffed him up! He left in rage and was about to make a decision that would have made him die with the leprosy.I perceive in my Spirit that someone is in the same situation now! You have been told what you need to do to make your life better, but it looks too simple and childish! You had better accept and act on that message before it is too late.God’s ways are not our ways therefore we should not expect the solutions He proffers to be the same with ours.
“…God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful”-1Cor 1:27
Thank God for the servants of Naaman that prevailed on him,his knowledge would have robbed him of his healing:
“Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy”-2Kings 5:13-14
Knowledge is wonderful,but I would rather get more knowledge yet accept and obey God simply than allow knowledge to stand in the way of my blessing.
2) Infiltration of the church by charlatans: There are now more false Teachers,Apostles,Pastors,Evangelists and Prophets than in the 1930s.These are last days:
“And many false prophets will appear and deceive many people”-Matt 24:11
“For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect”-Matt 24:24
The infiltration of these people have made people to think every man in cassock is fake!Every message is thorougly scrutinized before people accept such message. In the process,many people put question marks on God’s word.They add their biases to God’s instructions.The end result is a very complicated faith.
While it is true that there are ferocious wolves among the sheep,it is a fatal error to think that there are no good shepherds too.Therefore,if you are privileged to meet a true shepherd,don’t hesitate to have a very simple faith:Hear the message,humbly accept the Word and do what the message says.