BELIZE JOURNAL Pt. 2: In his seminar for Belizean leaders in Belmopan on June 14, visiting Nigerian speaker Dr. Gbile Akanni cautioned us to discern between God’s plans and the enemy’s plans. We must not be unaware of Satan’s schemes, as Paul says. For he has his own plans for Belizean leaders.
“What kind of Belizean leaders does the devil want to raise up, or to reduce them to?” asked Dr Akanni. “Wherever there is correct leadership the devil wants to dismantle that leadership. Or to reduce that leadership to submit to him. The devil will not aim at members of a local church, but their leader…He wants to take over leadership. If the church is blossoming, the discussion in the kingdom of darkness is, how can we scatter it? He knows once you have caught a leader, you have caught a congregation.”
Dr. Akanni took Peter as an example. Peter was the most prominent leader of the twelve disciples. He received—directly from God—the revelation that Jesus was the Christ. For that, in Matt. 16:19, Jesus gave him the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Four verses later, Jesus had to rebuke Peter for being Satan’s tool. “Get behind me, Satan! …you do not have in mind the things of God.” This was because Peter could not accept God’s plan that the Christ must crucified.
Later, on the night before the crucifixion, Satan was aiming at Peter again. Peter would be the Twelve’s main leader when Jesus died. Jesus said, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31-32).
Peter thought he had enough strength to follow Jesus to death. But in Gethsemane he lacked even the strength to tarry with Jesus for one hour in prayer. “When a leader becomes presumptuous about his strength while others are praying,” Dr. Akanni says, “the devil is sifting him. It was with trembling in prayer that God brought you up as leader. Do you take your prayer life for granted? Jesus said men are always to pray and not faint. When you are being sifted, your desire to pray is gradually removed.”
Sifting removes the wheat from the chaff. Satan holds up the chaff in your face. He says, “See how flaky you are.” God holds up the wheat. He says, “See what I have produced in you.” What does God want Belizean leaders to hold up in prayer?
PRAY WITH US: Father God, all wisdom and authority belong to You. We thank You for revealing to Your Belizean leaders that Jesus is the Christ. We thank You for creating us in His image. We thank You for recreating us as sons like Him. With You in prayer, we look in the mirror to see more of Him. We hold up the chaff of what we used to be. We confess it. We thank You for removing it from us. We thank You for putting it on the cross. We declare that Satan can no longer use it against us. The old has gone. The new has come! We declare new mercies and new grace for Belizean leaders every morning!
We hold up the wheat of what we are now. We thank you planting it in us. We have treasured it in our hearts. We offer it now on Your altar. We offer it in communion with You, and with those we lead. It is not ours to keep. We let this wheat fall to the ground and die, so that it may produce many more seeds. Show us where to plant these seeds. Show us how to water and cultivate them. We trust You to make them grow. Whenever we look in the mirror, we want to see more of You. Let Your kingdom come in us, and Your will be done through us, so we can see more of heaven on earth. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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Living Seed Peace House, Nigeria
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