Nigeria is a nation of over 146 million people—the largest populated country in Africa. It comprises more than 250 ethnic groups of which the following are the most populous and politically influential: Hausa and Fulani 29%, Yoruba 21%, Igbo (Ibo) 18%, Ijaw 10%, Kanuri 4%, Ibibio 3.5%, and Tiv 2.5%.* In mass Nigeria is over twice the size of California. The nation is located on the Gulf of Guinea and shares borders with the countries of Benin, Cameroun, Chad and Niger. Our team ministered in the city of Jos which literally means Jesus Our Savior! Jos is part of the Plateau State (Nigeria has 36 states) which sits in the middle of the country.
Wakawa, the resident, spiritual team leader and advisor to the State Governor shared with me the strategic importance of the Plateau State. Nigeria is over 50% Muslim with the majority of its adherents located in the north. The Muslims would love nothing more than to overturn the Christian population and influence of the Plateau State. If that were to happen, the nation would decidedly turn Muslim and Wakawa believes because of the influence Nigeria has in Africa it would be a pivotal shift in making Africa an Islamic continent.
On September 7, 2001, Muslim extremists brutally attacked a marketplace in Jos. Six days of violence ensued resulting in the death of over 1000 people. Not coincidentally, Al Qaida terrorists attacked the U.S. Twin Towers and Pentagon on 9/11. Seven years later in Jos, followers of Jesus understand that their freedom to worship cannot be taken for granted and that they face countrymen, determined to forcibly convert them to Islam or drive them from the state. Consequently, there is a commitment to Christ and fervor in discipleship decidedly different from the hum-drum, when it is convenient, “easy-believeism” too often evident in America. Jos Christians daily wear a commitment forged by living on the spiritual frontlines of a war that is overt and clearly dangerous.
Galatians 1:3-5—Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
When Jesus died on the cross He fulfilled a strategic move by God to provide redemption from sin for a world full of evil doers. When Jesus rose from the dead, He strategically squashed Satan’s dominion over the earth, and gave every person the right to believe in a certified, one-of-a kind Savior. Jesus is a rescuer. Every generation needs salvation from a present evil. The challenge for those of us, who live in a relatively free society, is to remember that we are in a spiritual war. Unless we understand this, we will take our liberties lightly, worship our Savior casually, and over time suffer a horrific cost. The consequence of compromise and an inability to train up replicating God-fearing leaders is spiritual sterilization. If you don’t believe me, just ask your brothers and sisters in Africa.
Beware of praising Jesus Christ while all the time you cunningly refuse to let the Spirit of God work His salvation efficaciously in your life. Remember, the battle is in the will; whenever we say “I can’t,” or whenever we are indifferent, it means “I won’t.”—Oswald Chambers in Now Is It Possible?
©2008 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)