MESSAGE OF THE LORD BISHOP OF THE DIOCESE OF AWORI (ANGLICAN COMMUNION) TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE DIOCESE ON THE THEME FOR THE YEAR 2019.
KEYS TO UNLOCK THE HIDDEN GLORY
Lyrics: “Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me/2ce
Melt me, mould me, fill me and use me
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.
My dear people of God,
The above statement of covenant I wished to enter into with God the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost as we entered into the year 2019. It is my hearty desire that, I and my entire household, including all our workers and families receive a new spirit of the living God to operate this year 2019, so much that our leadership will generate a search light that will locate the Hidden Glories of our members both at home and in Diasporas.
It is then my pleasure to congratulate my people in the Cathedral Church of St. James from the Dean and to the least of our members for another edition of the annual magazine “The MileStone”. This is where I share the theme of the year with the entire Diocese. Thank God for the resilient efforts of the committee under the leadership of my brother and friend, Mr. Dayo Alalade.
The theme of this year 2019 was revealed to me while one of my children was leading the family morning devotion. After the ministration, she called for prayers, as I bow my head, I heard God clearly saying, “I will reveal all the hidden glory of the diocese” The text was given the following week at the mid-day service at the Bishop’s Court Chapel to be “Luke 9:32(b).”
The genesis of our theme could be traced to the creation. In Genesis 2:7 “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breathe of life and man became a living being.” It occurred to me that man was already hidden on the ground bodily. Similar to this is in verse 24 where God commanded the earth to bring forth the living creature according to its kind. It is an indication that all these creatures were already kept in the earth before they were called out. When God was to create women according to Gen.2:21-23, showed that woman was already hidden in man, it was when Adam saw the woman he knew and called her woman “because she was taken out of me”
The story of Moses appeal so much to me in this respect. When God wanted to deliver His people (Israel) from bondage of slavery. This great assignment was to be executed by Moses (the servant of God). His birth started from his mother, to the river, transferred to the Pharaoh’s palace, ended up in the wilderness from where the purpose of God was accomplished. It was not until Exodus 9:22-24, 10:12-15 that Moses knew he was carrying such anointing that, mere stretching hands can command hail in all the land of Egypt. His rod divided the red sea. At God appointed time Moses glories were revealed one after the other.
The story of Joseph is also relevant in the book Gen.37:4-11, his brothers made frantic efforts to kill and burry his glory, He was casted into the pit Gen.37:24, sold to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver, he was taken to Egypt (verse 28), He was imprisoned 49:20. Eventually, Joseph’s glory finally shined Gen.41:38-57.
David was the youngest among his brothers, he was sent to his brothers at the war front to check their welfare, only for him like Ant to confront the Philistine – Goliat. Hear, what Goliat said in his rating of David (1 Sam.17:42-44) “So the Philistine said to David, Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods and the Philistine said to David, come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!” Goliat cursed David by his god, saying, he would give David’s flesh to the fowls and beast. What did David do? He also drew near and displayed God’s Glory that had been enabled in him.
WHAT THEN IS HIDDEN GLORY?
HIDDEN: Not accessible to view, something designed to elude detection, something that is concealed out of sight. A fortune covered, buried, inactive or suppressed.
REVEALED: The biblical meaning means: to make known through divine means, something secret of hidden. There are so many abilities, glories, anointing, strength, stars, prosperity, successes, royalties, etc in us. There are categories of glory – small, medium, big, full. There could be former or later (Haggai 2:9) “The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts and in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord of hosts.”, 2 Corin 3:18 says “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
For those who started this diocese with us or joined us at the early formation, will not argue that year in, year out the glory of our diocese is being reveal at various levels. For those who knew how St. Peter’s Konifewo, St. Jude’s Ajibode, Christ Ang. Church Owode, All Saints, Iloye, St. Paul’s Atan even the cathedral of St. James were at their trying periods. But today, all these churches had showcased their potential in glory. The diocese of Awori was at a time begging for existence, poverty was written all over our faces but today the glories of the latter has become the envy of many. Today, the diocese can boast of many achievements (glories) in terms of number of churches, landed property, increase numbers of workers. The first class bishop’s court, modern bishop’s office, All and Every Grace Christian centre, the triumphant place, etc. All these are evidences of dreams come true. They were all embedded in the diocese even when it was difficult then for any of the churches to pay assessment under Lagos West. The then Awori Archdeaconry that was branded as the weakest has now transformed into a prosperous diocese. Halleluyah! Halleluyah!!
This happened because the aim of God for His Church is clearly stated in Isaiah 43:1-7. As believers, God created us so as to reveal His glory. According to our text in Luke 9:32, right from conception, Jesus has carried a special GLORY which has been revealed at His birth, when he was twelve years old (Luke 2:41-52). When His parents took him to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover. At His response to the scripture, everyone who heard Him was amazed at His understanding…” yet this was not His full glory, for it was only known to the limited community. When He was to be baptized, the fullness of His glory was not the declaration (verses 16 & 17) “”. This day could be said to be when Jesus was commissioned or consecrated. He was immediately led to the wilderness to be tempted after which the Bible testified in Matt.4:16 “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.”
In Matt. Chapter 6:13-19 showed that up to three year Jesus disciples have been with Him, they have no full knowledge of Him. The best they could confessed was His miracles, teaching, etc. Only Peter had the full and proper revelation of whom Jesus is.
Jesus took Peter, John and James to the mountain to pray Luke 9:28-32 (CP Matt.17:1-3). Here we have the full revelation of the person of Jesus Christ in verse 5, it reads “while he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadow them and behold, voice out of the cloud which said “This is my beloved son in whom am well pleased: Hear Him”. The disciples heard and fell because they were afraid. The disciples concluded that its needless for Jesus to come back to the rest disciples because they saw a glory that extraordinary and supernatural. At the mountain the glory of prophecy and that of the law were all combined on Jesus. By this revelation, Jesus is higher than both the law and the prophets.
FOR THE BEST TO BE REVEALED IN US THIS YEAR: We should be ready to do the following:
- DON’T SLEEP: The two account of Matthew and Luke showed that Jesus took the disciples to the mountain for prayers but they slept off. They woke up to behold the glory. We are to keep on praying. The level of your prayer will activate your glory. Those glories that are dead, frustrated, weak, stolen by the devil, incapacitated etc. only effective, efficacious and faithful prayer will make it happen. Let all our churches be on fire of prayer. Our vigils should be spirit filled, prayer meetings are now to be taken more seriously and well attended. Any church worker found very lazy or shows uncaring attitudes to prayer is not fit for the diocese of Awori.
- RIGHTEOUSNESS: When we are righteous and holy, we can attract glory. Sin buries glory, it perpetually keep our glory inactive or suppressed. For us to command our hidden or sleeping glory to shine, righteousness is required2 cor.3:9-10 “For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels”
- COMMAND GATE TO BE OPENED: Like the priests and prophets of old at the Temple/City gates, we have authority and mandate to command the gate of glory to be lifted (Psalm 24:7-8). This is the aspect we refer to as INVOCATION in our worship. You cannot afford to surrender your authority to anyone, not even your Vicar. Command your hidden glory to “COME OUT”. As long as you use the name of JESUS, your glory will begin to shine and devil will not be able to stop it.
- SHOW LOVE: Peter in his first general epistle 1:8, we are here advised to love and believe in God who is the GLORY. This love should not be only to God but to members of our families, church, our neighbours, spiritual fathers and mothers etc. Through these we are bond to access God’s glory that will serve as catalyst to unearth our own hidden glory.
- UNITY AMONG US: In our text, the three disciples were in the same place, while Jesus moved further. Jesus wanted them to be together and pray. In John 17:22 Jesus addressed His disciples saying “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent me, and have loved them as You have loved me.” Here Jesus is simply advising us that as members of the Cathedral, as a diocese, we must not be divided. We must support one another to showcase our individual potentials. We should avoid anything that can cause rancor or disunity among us as reflected in our Diocesan anthem stanza 2 “Praying, working, forward looking, let unity abound”. If we walk in different ways outside our common goal, there will be retardation, the glory will be buried permanently. Let us know that we are all one in the scheme of God for the Diocese. If we carefully studied why Biblical Patriarchs like Moses, Joshua, David even Jesus were outstanding was as a result of their oneness with God and their followers.
- GUIDANCE AND COUNSELLING: The position of effective communication cannot be overemphasized especially between us and our youths. If we lead our youths to understand the doctrine, traditions, practice, principle and philosophy of Anglican Church, through them, the full potential of our Church will be harnessed. If the leadership of the Church can be patient enough to care, love and spend quality times to guide, instruct and counsel members of our Church effectively, every hidden talents, glories, potentials, abilities etc will come out and shine for the common goods of the diocese. Those who know better should be able to bring up the under priviledged. We all looked unto God for guidance as declared by David in Psalm 73:24 “You will guide me with your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.” Guidance will attract the glory of innocent manifestation to shine.
- BE ALWAYS ON DUTY: we all must always be ready to perform our God’s assigned duties. The door of our churches must always be kept open to receive those seeking for God intervention in their affairs. Church leaders must be on duty 24 hours daily to attend to everyone. Prophet Isaiah describe the benefit of this mandate in Chapter 60:11-13 “Therefore your gates shall be open continually: they shall not be shut day or night that men may bring to you the wealth of the Gentiles. The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the cypress, the pine, and the box tree together, to beautify the place of My sanctuary and I will make the place of my feet glorious.” We must be careful as leaders or church not to condemn anyone. It might be your effort that God is waiting for. You may not know if that person Paul is referring to in his first Epistle to the Corinthians 15:43.
- BE READY TO SUFFER: Many things in this world don’t come easy. For any mineral resources to be refined and made useful, it has to pass through fire. As Christians, for us to call out our hidden glory, we must be ready to work and suffer pain. Jesus, our master before He was glorified, suffered persecution, threat, pain and finally crucifixion. If then we are His heirs, we should then agree with Paul in his message to the Romans 8:17-18. Peter also testified to this in his first letter 5:10. For us to shine will require much labour, work and perseverance. Be ready for outreaches, evangelism, etc spend and be spent with your talent, treasure and time. This is a clarion call to all those still sitting on the fence as the second coming of our Lord is nearer than before.
- BE VESSEL OF MERCY. Rom.9:23 “and that he might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory.” What you can’t access through effort or human calculations, mercy can get for you with ease. Mercy is closer more to accessing our glory than any agency. The thick wall between us and our glory is ‘SIN’ it is our greatest enemy. Many at times your hidden glory is to be delivered to you, sin will say NO. Sin is a weapon in the hand of Satan to prevent you from celebrating your divine gift. Kindly take time to study the following passages and celebrate your way out Exodus 34:6-7; psalm 25:10; 86:15; 89:14; 145:8-9; Lam.3:22-23; Micah 7:18-19; eph.2:4-5; heb.4:14-15; prov.3:3-4. You are to show mercy to others for you to enjoy God’s mercy. The following scriptures is for your guidance prov. 4:31; Micah 6:8; Zech.7:8-10; matt.5:7; Matt. 25:35-40,45; Gal.6:7-10, etc.
KEY TO OUR HIDDEN GLORY
In the biblical interpretation, A KEY is a symbol of POWER and AUTHOPRITY. In the book of Revelation, Jesus describe Himself thus “I am He who lives, and was dead and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of hades and of death.” This is testified to in Isaiah 22:22.
The Bible further define this key as the NAME OF JESUS John 14:13-14 “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” The name is the key that opened ALL FORTUNE. The practical example to confirm this key is found in Acts 3, when a man who had been lame from womb cried for arms from Peter and John at the gate of the Temple. Peter took hold of his hand and said “silver or gold, I do not have but what I have, I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Instantly, his feet and ankles became strong. His glory that was more than money was given to him by using the key (the name of Jesus Christ) Cp Act 4:29-31; 2 Cor.1:19-20.
It is the plan of God this year 2019 that we all live a glorious life. God has planned it, He has provided for it. He called it “A life of glorious glory”, He has perfectly equipped it. BUT the door is closed, because, it’s not meant for everybody (Mat.22:14,11:12). The implication of these two passages is that only few will have access to these hidden glories. Only those with the key will open the door himself or herself.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE MASTER KEY
- ACCEPTING AND LIVING IN CHRIST: If the key is Jesus Himself, it then means only those who live in Him, who know, belong, obeyed, listened, and follow Him as their shepherd, savior, redeemer, teacher, friend etc. will have access to the key, i.e. the Christians, saints and those who are born again. Study the event in Matt. 16 (particular attention be paid to the confession of Peter and the result that follows). The name of Jesus is the PASSWORD for the door to open. If you don’t know it, the door of your glory remained shut. I call on all members of this diocese, be you clergy or laity, if you are not yet in Christ, to access your hidden glory will be too difficult because it cannot come to you by accident. You will be responsible for your fortune or misfortune. Accept Christ today and receive THE KEY.
- KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORD OF GOD: This is highly necessary to have ‘the key’ There are questions about the key you have to answer like peter and other displaces. The answer you can easily get in your commitment to Bible Study, meditation on the WORD, hearing and doing the word. Therein, you find PASSWORD of many life closed doors Luke 5:5 says “But Simon answered and said to Him, Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” The writer of the Epistle to Hebrew says this concerning the WORD ‘a wise man’ Matt.7:24, Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path”. When you know the WORD, nothing will be too embarrassing to you. You will have answer to every situation in your life and the life of others. Many problems will be solve with ease because of your knowledge in HIS WORD.
- PRAYER: This is the MASTER KEY. The life of Jesus was full of prayer. He would do nothing without first pray to His father. I am talking about effective sincere and faithful prayer. The prayer of the saint as described in Hebrew 11:6, Jere 33:3 says “Call on me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” We must be ready to pray this prayer more than ever before. Churches must organize more time for prayer. Let us call on God to release the key to open our treasury of breakthrough, testimonies, joy, prosperity, glories, etc. A prayerless church is a powerless Church. There should be more intensive prayer programmes among the youths, women and girls organization, men organization. All the ministers in the church should call for prayers under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Hear what John said in his first Epistle 5:14 ‘Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will. He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”
- PRAISE: When you praise God very sincerely from the bottom of your heart, the door will open. It is the key to freedom Jer.20:13; Exod.15:2; 1 Pet.4:11; 2Chro.20:22. When you praise God, it takes your focus off your problems, weakness, issues and inadequacy 2 Chr.20:12, Acts 16:25-26.
Brethren, this year will be great if we follow the above principles with every strength in us. When God promise, He is ready to fulfill His promise but we must play our own part. We should not take God or His Church for granted. Obedience is key to our success in this world no matter the perversion. He is God of yesterday, today and till eternity. It is my prayer that as we follow God’s lay down rules, all our HIDDEN GLORIES’ this year will not only come out but SHINE to the glory of God and change our lives for better.
Rt. Revd. Dr. J. Akin Atere
Bishop, Diocese of Awori