Samuel O. Doku
American history is littered with antebellum stories in which slave masters, who professed to be Christians were reported to be the most vicious and atrocious of the salve holders, with Frederick Douglass castigating preachers of that time as the most asinine slave masters.
From that perspective, some African Americans today detest Christianity and God anytime the two are mentioned in conversations, citing the First Amendment of separation of Church and State, as an excuse. To the unbelievers, Sister Mary Ribama had a message in her teaching on the prayer line of Amazing Love Church Ministry Int’l: “Don’t be afraid to serve God because he is a powerful God who can deliver you from your predicament.”
In her reading of the Scripture, which she took from Exodus 14: 5-14, Sister Ribama stated that after Moses had liberated the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, on the way to the Promised Land, they also detested God and complained that they should have been left alone to stay in slavery because they were happier in slavery than they were in freedom. Those Israelites from Egypt detested the Lord because they felt he had abandoned them, so they resorted to the worshipping of a false god in the form of a golden calf.
In other words, although the Israelites were liberated physically, psychologically they were still in bondage. They were set free physically but mentally they did not free themselves. As a result, to those still in mental bondage regarding the word of God, Sister Mary says, “Do not be afraid to serve the Lord. Persevere and worship him, and trust in him only. This year is a special year; because it’s a special year, the battle will be special but don’t be afraid. The Lord is omnipotent, omniscient, and ubiquitous. He is everywhere, and he knows everything, and he is all powerful, so don’t be afraid; he will take care of you.”
Interestingly, the same feelings of abandonment that prompted the Israelites to detest and deride God are ever present today in those who detest his name and the First Amendment is their golden calf they worship. Again, Sister Mary says, “We are all the children of God. He’s our maker watching over us. He saved us in the past and is leading us in the right direction. Before the beginning, he knew the end. Let us trust in him and persevere to follow him. Refuse to declare your condition as useless.”
She observed that 2017 is a year of great expectations, but the expectations will come with great battles. “It is a special year so it will come with special challenges, so as you pray, seek directions from the Lord who will take you to your destination at the appointed time. Moses prayed for direction and protection from God. God will fight your battles, so don’t be afraid of anything. Once you have the Lord, you have everything,” said Ms. Ribama.
She also quoted from Isaiah 43 3 where the Lord promised the Israelites not to be afraid and that He would be with them wherever they went, noting, “God’s word is one of comfort. It’s not by our might or power. Our blessings lie in the hands of the Lord. In our lives’ journey, many things will come our way, but Christ is there to lead us to our destination. .”
Ms. Ribama stated that the devil is always tempting Christians to take us apart and assured participants to commit to the Lord and refuse to feel intimidated by Satan. She referenced Daniel 10: 12 where the prince of Persia stopped an angel of the Lord from delivering a message to Daniel in response to his prayer and God sent archangel Michael to go and relieve the angel to enable him to continue the journey. Because of the interference, it took the angel 11 days to get to Daniel.
“Sometimes the vision may delay because of the devil’s interference, but persistent prayers ensure the vision comes to pass. An angel came to Daniel to assure him. Watch your heart. Don’t allow anything to tear you apart. Be like Daniel. Put the word in your heart. With God, you will always succeed,” said Ms. Ribama.
Pastor Jean Paul Ntap added that “God is always able, so it’s important for Christians to understand and know his power. When you surrender yourself with his knowledge and understanding, he opens doors for you and blesses you.”