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  • Sanyade Okoli

Where’s Your Focus at?


God or the devil?


It may sound like a silly question but it’s more valid than most of us would like to admit.


Here’s the thing, we are Africans and us Africans are generally very spiritual beings. Only a small percentage of Africans could truly say that they didn't believe that there was a spiritual world. That’s just not how most of us were raised. In most places, you are either Christian, Moslem, animist, two out of the three, or all three. What you are not, is “nothing”; no belief. I once heard someone quip that the challenges in some of our African countries were so complex that they had concluded that we needed to worship all the different gods available. Enough said on that as it leaves you unsure as to whether to laugh or cry.


The fact that we are spiritually conscious beings has its pluses and minuses. On the one hand, we have a God-consciousness that makes our hearts receptive to things pertaining to Him. On the other hand, however, we often also have an undue consciousness of the devil and his activities.


Only a naïve African would surmise that the devil isn’t real, demons aren’t real and curses aren’t real. They are! I know.... I have my own personal experiences but those are not stories for today. So, for me, that’s not what is in question.


What, for me, is the issue is the amount of airtime we give the devil. We attribute every seemingly negative thing to him as if neither God nor human beings have any power or authority to operate on earth. In so doing, we are essentially ascribing greatness to the wrong god.


The other night I went to bed really troubled about a matter. Consequently, my sleep was fitful; I was simply unable to get any proper rest. Then suddenly something powerful dropped in my spirit:


My God is bigger than satan so there is no work of the enemy that is beyond God! There is no curse that is beyond the finished work of Christ! There is no demonic attack that God cannot overcome! There is absolutely nothing satan can do to me or my loved ones that God cannot and has not already secured my victory against.


Satan has been threatening and intimidating me for too long! I’ve had it!! It has finally registered in my core that my Daddy is bigger than him. Enough of his whispers that he can and will attack me and my family in ways that I cannot overcome. They are lies from the pit of hell (all pun intended 😊) that keep us bound in so many ways.


These are the lies satan has been spreading that has resulted in so many Africans failing to take bold steps towards their destinies. So many of us have been accepting the status quo because we have concluded that nothing better can happen; succumbing to feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness. Lacking all sense of agency, the belief that, together with God, we have the ability to change the course of our lives.


For so long, too many of us have been made to believe that we were labouring under a curse such that we have spent all our time “fighting the devil” and very little time taking the necessary steps to actually transform our individual, family, community and national fortunes.


Imagine with me for a while, a situation where in addition to praying we were actually taking concrete action towards achieving our breakthroughs: up-skilling as we actively job hunt; strengthening our business strategies based on new realities; being kind to the people around us to ensure that we enjoy harmonious relationships with loved ones; taking great care of the environment around us so that, street by street, our communities transform; doing what is right regardless of who is and isn’t watching. Think of the difference that would make; not just in our lives but across many levels including our nations. Backing prayer with action, fully believing that God has gone ahead of us, removing the roadblocks in our paths and securing the victory against our enemies (spiritual and physical). What a difference that would make!


I’ve always wondered how come this same devil that is keeping so many of our African nations from deploying the necessary infrastructure to enable economic growth just allows the Western world to keep building and building.... Is he partial?!


It’s all in the mind.... mindsets.... mindsets that have left us victims to circumstances instead of asserting the victory Christ won for us in all its fullness! How debilitating! Nothing good can come out of over-emphasising the role the enemy plays in our lives. Is he God?!


Sha, my spiritual warfare is about to go to another level - taking hold of the word of God to pull down every thought pattern in my life that is contrary to His truth and bringing it to the obedience of Christ so that I am free to not only be all He has called me to be, but also to do. Pray, be and do! Wanna come?! 😉😊


Reflections

  • Ask Father God to show you the areas of your life where you have focused more on what the devil can do than on what He can do (your current fears would be a good indication of this).

  • Ask the Lord to show you what limiting mindsets you have in these areas.

  • Ask Him to reveal the root of these limiting mindsets.

  • Forgive whoever was involved (which could even include God) and let go of the mindsets (literally tell God you are handing them over to Him).

  • Ask God what His truths are in those areas.

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