Stop Whining

Anyone who thinks ministry travel is glamorous is welcome to accompany me the next time I go to Nigeria. I spent nine days there in January, and during the trip I came face to face with my spoiled American self. It was not a pretty picture, especially after I learned that my luggage did not arrive with me.

When I complained in a privileged American tone to the uniformed woman at the customs desk, she offered no sympathy. "Come back in five days," she said.

So there I was in a hot, sweaty country with no deodorant or cologne, one pair of underwear, no contact-lens solution and none of my trendy American clothes. When I arrived at the conference I was attending, my hosts gave me some African outfits ("colorful pajamas" is a better way to describe them), along with a pair of sandals. I became an African for a week, eating their food (goat, rice and fried plantains), enduring daily power outages and sitting in meeting halls that had no air conditioning.

Before the week was over, I had forgotten how badly I was "suffering." In fact, I didn't care if I ever saw my suitcase again. I had crucified my whiny selfishness and left it to rot in Africa.

It really wasn't the missing luggage or the rust-colored bath water that made such an impact on me. It was the brave people I met--the true heroes of the faith who showed me that the selflessness of New Testament Christianity is still alive in the 21st century.

One man named Abu told me that he was beaten by Islamic radicals and left for dead near a campus in northern Nigeria, where an angry mob once burned as many as 300 churches in one weekend. He was revived after some Christians prayed for him, so he went back to the same spot where he had been preaching and began another sermon--only to be chased out of town by a gang of Muslims wielding machetes. Today he sneaks into Nigeria because he is on a Muslim hit list.

Shaba, another hero of the faith, told me that members of his family tried to kill him last year because he was winning Muslims to Christ. He knew a pastor in the city of Kano who was beheaded a few years ago, but he says he must stay in the north and continue to share his faith in spite of the risks. "We need to go back to the book of Acts and stop thinking of ourselves," he told me.

A courageous leader named Laide shared that she is covertly sending Nigerian women into Islamic countries in North Africa to intercede and pave the way for evangelism teams. Her prayer group once blocked Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi from coming to Nigeria to fund Islamic terrorists. One morning, Laide and eight of her team leaders laid hands on me and prayed that Charisma would carry Nigeria's revival fire to the United States.

That flame will not be kindled in your life or mine until selfishness has been dethroned. Obedience has nothing to do with comfort or convenience. The crucified life is not a popular concept in today's prosperity-oriented church, but we'll never make lasting spiritual impact if we don't embrace suffering and sacrifice.

Maybe we Americans would develop genuine New Testament faith if we lost our luggage more often--and learned to see the world through the eyes of our persecuted brethren.

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Donald Trump certainly needs your prayers.

    Why You Must Pray for Donald Trump

    Here are eight ways I plan to intercede for President Trump regularly.

  • Here's a prophetic word for Washington, D.C.

    Prophecy: The Lord Is Raising Up Daniels in DC

    I believe we're on the precipice of a Third Great Awakening the Lord spoke to my heart about in ...

  • Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    I have been puzzled about the subject of inner healing for some time.

  • 2017 is the year that swords will clash.

    Prophetic Word: 2017 Will Bring a Clashing of Heaven and Hell

    "This is a time to cross over and not pull back."

  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • Cindy Jacobs

    2017: Year of the Breakthrough

    "There will be a significant increase in miracles and signs and wonders."

  • The devil will try to silence you in any way he can. Don't give him the satisfaction.

    Satan's 2 Most Potent Lies to Render You Ineffective

    There's something in you so powerful that Satan doesn't want it out. Kyle Winkler reveals ...

  • Foot washing

    Shaking the Gates of Hell With a Basin of Water and a Towel

    "When I saw His foot, I knew He had come to take back territory the enemy had stolen from His ...

  • Are you willing to volunteer for God's offensive army?

    Prophetic Word: Preparing for God's World War 3

    God is searching for soldiers of the cross who are willing to volunteer for His offensive army.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit