Nigerians are known to be very religious people, but I think (and I know so many people will agree with me) we are over doing it. Yes, I believe there is a spiritual realm which superimposes itself on the physical but, we still need to take a chill pill and be reasonable about certain things.
See, the devil has no power! But he is cunny and he preys on our weaknesses. That is his strategy. We must also know that the devil is very beautiful which means, when he presents you with a supposed opportunity it usually looks pleasant. The devil knows how to do what we call – packaging and that’s all he’s got, alongside his craftiness. Let me give you an example of how he works.
If you are a parent with bad anger management and the devil is looking for a way to attack your child, all he needs to do is get your child to annoy you and before you know it, you’re making negative statements in to that child’s life and future. That’s all. And then when things begin to go wrong for our children we keep casting and binding even though we don’t know how to control over tongue and manage our temper. This is the reason self-control and patience are fruits of the spirit. It is also the reason the bible talks so much about us bridling our tongue, because it is an avenue for the devil to penetrate our lives.
You are a nagging woman who got married a gentle and easy going young man, knowing fully well that all men hate nagging and want peace. He will just find the easy way out – ignore you and in the long run, he might begin to pay attention to someone else outside. Next thing is, the devil has turned my husband’s back against me and has sent a mermaid to take him away from me but you can nag for Africa! And you are not doing anything to change that attitude.
Moving on from the modus operandi of the devil, there is this thing we do that is really absurd. Our over religious attitude makes us think our Pastors, Imams, Alfas, Elders, Deaconesses and top shots in the church or mosque, are above mistake. But we need to remember that they are also human like us.
It is for this reason mothers prefer their daughters to marry a Cleric or Cleric’s son because to them, it guarantees a peaceful home. But we hear from time to time of religious leaders who do all sorts to their wives and even have extra-marital affairs. That is not to say that there are no men of God with good homes and that are experiencing marital bliss, but my point is, concentrate on the man himself and not his status. Why? Because, he is first a man who is a product of his upbringing, character, behavior and habits, before he is a man of God! And like I say, your personality will ALWAYS reflect in whatever you do.
If you are aggressive in nature, you will be an aggressive Imam or Prophet and vice versa. And that does not make you bad.
Another aspect of our being over religious that amuses me and makes us look really unserious is expecting God to come do our work for us.
The perfect example we can all relate to is the just concluded women’s world cup that took place in Canada. The super falcons were to play a make or mar match and everyone would expect that the coach, Edwin Okon, would have done his homework on the opposition team. We anticipated an inspiring pre-match briefing in which he will give us an insight into what to expect. But to our uttermost surprise, the coach came out saying he didn’t need to study the opposition and in reply to the opposition camp that said they knew what to expect from us and that we were predictable, our coach said, nobody can predict another team expect for God and that only God knows what every team can come up with. In the end, we were well beaten and returned home to our drawing board (that never gets full) as usual.
For God sake, the other team also serve God! So I don’t understand what the coach was trying to do by praying to God for victory without doing his homework.
See, even the bible makes it clear! When Jesus was ascending he said, I will send you a comforter who will REMIND you of all things. Remind there means, you must have read or studied something and probably forgotten. So, for the holyspirit to work if you have an exam, you must have read else, he cannot remind you of anything.
Finally, I would like to say that the physical is a manifestation of the spiritual but we should strive to attain perfection. Because, the more we blame spiritual forces for our misfortunes all of the time, the more we live in delusion and it gives us this feeling of it is completely beyond the physical and that there is no step we can take in the physical asides prayer, that can solve it.
My advice is, pray hard and work hard, taking conscious steps to work on your weaknesses so the devil will have nothing to prey on. This is because what the dark world does, is prey on our weaknesses not like they have so much power.
So like we do say, work smart not hard, because it is what the devil does, he works smart!
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