A Day in the Life of a Tabernacle Christian
Waking up on the ground, well, mostly on the ground for the 3 inch foam mattress didn’t provide much of a barrier, I felt refreshed. Mercifully, it was cool in the early morning and I just lay there savoring the moment. Although tin roofs are all the rage in the bush (because they last long) they produce an “oven effect” trapping the heat from the equators sun. The trapped heat does not dissipate until around three A.M in the morning (unless you are fortunate enough to have a thunder shower). Add to that the net you must sleep under to guard against malaria carrying mosquitoes and there is practically nothing you can do to cool down before the early morning hours.
After a while I stood up, fumbled for my clothes, and started my morning routine. My first challenge was the Africa pit latrine some distance over from my hut. I hate African Lous. No, let me amend that, “I really hate African loos.” If there were ever a preview of hell it would have to be the bush loo (pit latrine). One day, I saw something moving inside as one looked down into the hole just to make sure I was not putting my posterior in mortal danger. You remember when it says that in hell the worm never dies? Well, what was moving in the bowls of that particular loo was a mass of maggots in frenzied motion. I thought to myself, “at least it is not a snake.”
After breakfast, which consisted of milk tea with sugar and some bread I asked everyone to come into my hut and have a seat. Frances, one of the young men, remarked at breakfast that he sure would have liked some boiled corn but alas there was none.
We meet like this almost every morning. We gather around in a circle and pray asking God to lead and guide us for the day. We then go around the circle asking if anyone has a dream, vision, or word from the Lord they would care to share. I started doing having such meetings in the mornings because I realized from talking with different people that God was speaking to us a lot. The problem is, though, that people don’t share what God is saying to them and so the communication He makes does not achieve its full effect. When I started having meetings in the morning and specifically asking people to share what God was saying to them I became amazed at how much communication God was giving to us through different members of our group.
I shared with the group that I wanted to go and visit a certain prophet. I asked the group what they felt the Holy Spirit was saying about that idea. One of the prophetesses stood up and said the Lord did not want me to go that day. This was a disappointment to me for I really wanted to see this prophet but I since I asked I submitted. The prophetess said further that she had a dream and she should go to this particular hut on the other side of the village so she could not come with us.
After I bathed and got myself together I asked some of our leaders to come with me that day. I asked them to inquire of God which way we should go and one of them said “towards the lake.” I felt in my spirit that was right and the others agreed also. We started off walking and thankfully it was a pleasant day. It rains a lot by the lake and if you are not careful torrential rains can come upon you suddenly and make you quite miserable. As we walked I asked the Holy Spirit to lead us and He would tell me which path to take when we would come to a fork in our way. Gradually we wound our way up one hillside and down the other until we neared a curtain widow’s home that our church had been helping out on occasion. If felt by the Spirit that we should stop by and so we all head for it.
Elizabeth, the widow, greeted us and invited us all to come in, sit down, and make ourselves comfortable in her small hut. As we entered her door we saw a plate of boiled corn sitting on her small table. Elizabeth invited us to have some saying that just before we came the Lord impressed he to make some. Fellow-shipping with Elizabeth we asked how she and her three small children were doing. Elizabeth told us times were tough and she had almost no food left but otherwise she said she was doing well in the Lord. Upon leaving, each of us gave what money we had and thanked her for the hospitality (especially Frances!)
Departing we asked once again where we should go and the Spirit again directed us again in a certain direction. Eventually, we ended up at the home of Zakayo who is an apostle and one of the other members of our leadership. We greeted Zakayo who looked shocked. Zakayo showed us into his home and to my surprise another one of our leaders was sitting at a small table inside. This particular leader was from a great distance away and I thought to myself that God must have wanted us all to be together for some reason.
After we sat down and exchanged pleasantries, they asked me why I had come with our leadership in tow. I said, I really didn’t know, we were just led by the Holy Spirit to come. As we continued talking the Holy Spirit started speaking through me about love and unity among the brethren. I spoke about trust and how that we all need to pull together in order to accomplish His will. About then there was a knock on the door, and Morris, the only leader that was not present at this impromptu meeting entered. He was visibly shaken and his hand trembled as I shook it. I was amazed; every leader from our movement was now present at that meeting! These were people from a long way away too. What were the odds?
I knew this gathering of our top leaders must be from the Lord and I continued speaking whatever the Holy Spirit quickened to my heart. I finished by saying that we must keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace so that God may be glorified. Everyone present agreed and after making some more small talk we left Zakayo’s home and traveled back to our main base.
Later that night, at my hut, the prophetess and one of her friends finally returned from their mission. She told me that when she arrived at the hut that she had seen in her dream a young child was lying outside the doorway that was very sick. No one was home either. She and her friend laid hands on the sick boy and prayed. God had instantly healed him. I rejoiced at the testimony and thanked her for yield to His Spirit. Wow, I thought, how cool was that?
Several weeks after this I learned from Morris (the last to arrive at the meeting) that Zakayo was meeting with him and the other leader of our movement to discuss breaking away from us and starting their own ministry. When we showed up they assumed someone must have tipped us off and that we were coming there to confront them. Hearing this I marvel that God was able to orchestrate all that down to having us arrive at the exact time they were getting together. God was able to speak to our brethren the message they needed to hear even though I was clueless about what was truly going on. Ultimately, Zakayo and the other leaders stayed with us in our work because God was able to intervene through His Spirit.
I truly believe in the power of God’s still small voice. I have seen God do amazing things though people simply listening, hearing, and obeying on time. God avoided a potentially damaging split in our church movement through simple respect and obedience to His Spirit. I praise His name for doing so.
In each of our lives we can hear God’s voice and do His will if we will make ourselves available. Had I been stubborn and went to see the prophet I would have missed God’s true will for me that day. Elizabeth and her children might have gone hungry and Zakayo might have made a decision that would have brought disunity. The voice I heard in my head and heart did not shout at me or demand I do what He was saying but simply and gently urged me to hear and do His will. To me this is the true power of God and it is available to anyone who will listen. Quiet yourself in the morning and simply allow God to speak to your heart and mind. Allow Him to program your day and direct your actions. Give Him control of your morning and drop your other plans if it conflicts with His. Dare to believe God and see what giving control of yourself to Him can accomplish. I testify to you that if do this you will not be disappointed.
Suggested music “To Obey Is Better Than Sacrifice.” by Keith Green
Suggested Testimony “The Kieth Green Story”