Author: Dr. Festus
Excerpt from the Introduction
The pain of discounting the work of grace
Once I arrogantly told my wife with a tone of absolute finality that I don’t want to be a millionaire but a missionary. My wife answered me wisely that it is well if I become the missionary and she, the millionaire in the family. I thought she was not spiritual, and at that time, if a prophet told me to fast and pray forty days for her conversion, I would gladly do it. Scriptures like “but godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith be content. But they that be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil:” was not far from my mouth. I glorified poverty even though I was not poor. I made out a doctrine from this verse of scripture and the man of God Lazarus, who died with sore all over him, was one good reason for justifying my poverty theology. After all he made it to heaven while the rich man lifted up his eyes in hell and begged Lazarus for assistance. Funny enough, it was to me as if Lazarus made heaven because he brought nothing to this world, he had nothing while he was here, and died taking nothing with him. Looking back now I could not believe the depth of my ignorance; especially as I was raised up a preacher in a Bible believing church where the study of the Bible was elevated to a scholarly level. At that time, you would not want to sit under my pulpit ministry if you were rich, but you would find immeasurable consolation if you were poor. How did I grossly misinterpret the statement of Paul?
“But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”
At the first look at the above scriptures, the tendency is to mistake the message of contentment for a justification for the doctrine of poverty, which I did in the early part of my ministry. I later understood that the message of contentment is both for the rich and the poor. That was the beginning of my re-examination of the scriptures as to the will of God for believers. I have a strong desire to lead believers away from the path of pain that accompanies discounting the work of grace which the Lord has done for us. I did a lot of discounting in the past, for so many years, and my losses were colossal. I would turn away from glorious opportunities that the Lord had brought my way to elevate me. I would decline great financial benefits, and at the next opportunity I would be praying earnestly for God to bless me. God used many available opportunities to talk to me, but I would ascribe such voices to the devil. The Lord did not give up on me, but decided to use my circumstances to wean me out of my wrong believe. The climax of the weaning was when the Lord gave me a mandate to go, and empower princes and princesses to take the throne of their respective endeavours. The meaning of this was that I must first find the way to the throne before I can lead others to the throne of their endeavours. That also means that I must purge myself of my poisonous theology of glorious poverty before God will begin to work his work in me. This book is about the outcome of the purging and weaning out of the doctrine of poverty and the tutorial under the mighty hands of the Holy Spirit.