Pastoring a church in one of the areas of Lagos State known to be inhabited by predominantly low income earners is for me a wilderness experience; a military training academy designed by God to bring out more of His treasures in me.
The circumstances and events that culminated in my becoming a Pastor made me realize that I am a Joseph. I now believe that for any child of God to live beyond physical and spiritual obstacles, he/she must realize that he/she is a Joseph.
Every evil intended for Joseph and every hardship he faced brought him closer to God’s purpose for his life. For Joseph, every evil turned out to be a stepping stone to a higher level of God’s purpose for his life. As a dreamer, he could see possibilities without resources and his dreams empowered him.
Our Lord Jesus Christ was not a dreamer like Joseph but whilst on the face of this earth, he obtained better results and every evil intended for Him either could not get to Him (because it was not His time) or worked out for the fulfillment of God’s will for Him because He is empowered.
If you argue that Jesus lived without sin, calmed the storm, walked on water and accomplished the goal of the Father for Him because He is God, you may not be completely right. Jesus Christ is God but came and walked on the face of this earth as the son of man. He could feel pain for He was flesh and blood; just like you and me, 100% human!
He was an empowered human; He empowered His disciples for various assignments whilst on earth and as a born again Christian, you are already empowered, praise God!
Christians who are more endowed financially may easily agree that they are empowered. The other group of Christian who are still struggling under the weight of economic hardship, joblessness, business failure, bankruptcy, poverty, lack of decent accommodation and other forms of difficulties occasioned by the global economic meltdown may disagree that they are anything but empowered.
Several motivational speakers and empowerment practitioners made us believe that we are only empowered if we have money. All empowerment programmes including the ones initiated by Government are geared towards teaching and giving us one principle or the other with which to make money.
I once fell into that trap when due to the financial situation of my church members including jobless graduates, I was led or better put moved by compassion to start teaching them how to make money in an empowerment programme that held every Saturday afternoon.
I taught them FOREX trading, internet investment opportunities (e-gold), network marketing and the likes but I discovered it was not working. I shared my predicament with one of my Pastors and he laughed at me and told me I was teaching my church members how to make money and that if I want to teach empowerment, I must learn from Jesus. He referred me to the book of Matthew 10:1-20.
My Pastor told me that “empowerment is the ability to produce results without resources”. I understood from the scripture above that Jesus empowered His disciples and for the avoidance of doubt, instructed them not to embark on the assignment with any self support or money. I also understand that any man who puts money or physical considerations first before God will not be able to accomplish anything.
Longman’s Family dictionary defines empowerment as “to give official authority or legal power to”. How then did the practitioners of empowerment seminars and motivational speakers arrive at their own definition? In my spiritual ignorance and no thanks to the practitioners and motivational speakers, I believed and taught empowerment to my church members as money making.
Please buckle your spiritual belt as I take you on a journey to discover how Jesus lived and taught empowerment. Empowerment says “you can work anywhere you desire without human connection, you can start business without physical cash, you can say to people come and they come, you can do as the Lord pleases for there are no limitations in the spirit”.
Again, be reassured that you will find practical expression of our Lord’s empowerment principles in your everyday life. The pages of this book contains practical experiences of ordinary Christians like you who discovered they were empowered to be amongst the most powerful human beings on earth, to live impactful lives and to make the difference in their generation.