By Samuel O. Doku (Washington, DC). In Senior Pastor Georges Ntemi’s sermon on Sunday, he sent a message to unbelievers about the reality of God’s existence in which he simply said that to experience the miracle and wonders of God, one must first believe in Him and in His Word. The theme of his sermon was “Perception is reality.”
To naysayers to the word of God who erroneously think the Bible is fiction and Noah’s Ark was fictitious, the apostle of God noted, “With the Word of God, you have to believe first before you see. Jesus Christ asked a man suffering from leprosy to stretch his hands. He believed it and he stretched his hands and he was healed. Once the Word is in you, you start having a supernatural life. Only believe the Word to be true, and your current life would be turned into a supernatural life.”
Toward that end, the Senior Pastor prefaced his sermon with an affirmation in the power of the Word by asking the congregation to tell somebody there is power in the Word of God. He then told the congregation that if they imagine greatness, greatness would be their portion, but if they imagined mediocrity, a weak life would be their lot. “Perceive a life of greatness, and your life will be great,” said the man of God.
In furtherance of his sermon from a couple of weeks ago, the Senior Pastor gave a detailed analysis of Elisha’s perception of greatness first, before he rose from the humble position of Elijah’s mentee to become one of the great prophets in the Old Testament, who just like his mentor, Elijah, were the only prophets to raise previously dead boys back to life.
Before angels carried Elijah to Heaven in a chariot, Elisha prayed to God to anoint him with a double portion of Elijah’s spiritual powers, and it happened. Elijah resurrected Zarephath’s son to life, and Elisha raised a Shunammite’s woman son back to life. Earlier, the Shunammite woman was barren, and Elisha prayed for her to conceive.
Senior Pastor Ntemi cited 2 King 4: 8-9 where the spiritual effervescence of the Shunammite woman resulted in her generosity toward Elisha by housing and feeding him. “The Shunammite woman had the spiritual perception to see Elisha as a great man of God where others couldn’t see. She knew the man of God needed rest. It’s not about food; it’s about seeing things in the spiritual realm,” said the apostle of God.
He gave the etymology of Shunem and stated that it’s a double place of rest. “Elisha needed rest. He needed a place of refuge where he could compose himself, so the Shunammite woman went to him and said, ‘there is a meal and a resting place in my house for you.’ Nothing in the Bible is by mistake, so pay attention. The way you perceive yourself is who you are,” said the apostle of God.
The Senior Pastor continued, “If you perceive a low life for yourself, you would live a low life. If you perceive a life of wretchedness for yourself, your life would be wretched, and if you perceive a life of greatness for yourself, your life would be great.”
To emphasize the power of God’s Word, the apostle of God regurgitated John 1: 1-3, “In the beginning was the word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him and without him was not anything made that was made.”
He called on the congregation to have reverence for the Word of God and place it at the center of their hearts. “We need the Word in our lives. Some people don’t know there is a purpose in the Word. The Word of God is everything, but if you don’t know that, how do you live a peaceful and joyous life?”
Proverbs 4: 20-22 says, “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine ears; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them and health to all their flesh,” said the apostle of God to sum up the importance of the word.
The man of God told of how he flies constantly, but he is never afraid to board an aircraft because he prays fervently before boarding the plane so he knows God will always protect the plane. From that perspective, he is unafraid of what goes on around him.
The story of the rich leper, Naaman in 2 Kings 5 is one of pride, greed, humility, and one that is miraculous, so Senior Pastor Ntemi narrated it as a teaching moment for the congregation. When Naaman went to Elisha to be healed, he told Naaman to go and wash himself seven times in the River Jordan and he would be cleaned. Elisha refused to take the riches Naaman wanted to give him, so the latter became upset, thinking the man of God was deceiving him.
But his servants told Naaman to obey and just go and do as he had been instructed. He listened to the servants and went and dip himself in the River Jordan, and he was healed of his leprosy.
Now, Gehazi, one of Elisha’s servants followed Naaman and his entourage and told them to send the gifts he had for Elisha which he had refused to the temple. When Elisha heard of what Gehazzi had done, he cursed him and invoked Naaman’s leprosy upon Gehazi.
Naaman thought he had money, so he could control the man of God, but not Elisha. “Being on God’s side is being in the majority. And when He is for you, who can be against you. Just like Naaman, there are some in this congregation who refuse to believe the Pastor but believe whatever witchdoctors in their villages tell them. God’s way is always the ultimate, so believe,” said the apostle of God.
He also cited Psalm 109: 9 in support thereof, “For he satisfieth the longing soul and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” Naaman’s soul longed for healing and he was healed as a result of which his soul became hungry to obey the Word of God, so he was filled with goodness.
Senior Pastor Ntemi noted that as a man of God, he sees things in the spiritual realm, so sometimes when he is doing certain things, people close to him think he is crazy. “People of God must see things spiritually. What you see with your naked eyes can be deceptive. But if you see with your heart, the Lord will give you a spirit of discernment to see only the good.”
He assured the congregation: “You are a new creature; you are above, not beneath. You are not ordinary but extraordinary; you are supernatural and great in Jesus Christ. See yourselves as living a life of greatness, and it will come to pass,” said the apostle of God.