In the Church effort to transform lives through preaching and teaching, many a times [though not always] emphasis is focused on asking people to change from one religious house (fellowship) to another. It’s a common phenomenon to hear some heralds urging people to transfer from their traditional churches to new assemblies. This may form resentment to the genuine seekers who become suspicious of the preachers’ motive.
Yet, the reasons advanced by those messengers may score highly in view of nurturing the new in Christ life that has begun. Apparently, it sounds sensible to advocate for the means and environment of conserving the new born spiritual babies.
This, however, can only be vindicated by deliberately establishing a systematic strategy for discipleship. It makes sense when the new fellowship raises beyond the level of “shouting hallelujah,” “incessant hand clapping,” and “deafening and bloodcurdling noise of FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!” It may ultimately pass the test if the leadership in the new huts has people’s hearts at heart – not a passion for gaining their possession or a pride for growing crowds. THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN POPULATING HEAVEN AND POPULATING CONGREGATIONS. Truth: Heaven admits people with CHANGED HEARTS not for CHANGING HUTS!
When the motive of preaching the Gospel is to reconcile men to God (2 Cor 5:18-20), the preacher’s call changes from “come to US” to “come to JESUS!” To the simpleminded, his might sound too difficult to comprehend; but to those that desire to do God’s will, it’s the way to make JESUS [not our churches] known.
If the minister’s priority is to see people’s hearts being changed then his/her energy will be expended toward that goal. The message that can produce spiritual transformation is Bible based and not material obsessed!
Let’s illustrate this truth with the current political landscape in Uganda and many other countries. Many of our politicians have crisscrossed from party A to party B, from party X to party Y. There seems to be a loud and clear selfish motive of “what party can give me an advantage?” This doesn’t matter whether the ambitious contender has the party’s ideology at heart or not. What matters is: “WHAT’S POPULAR TODAY?” Majority of these candidates are mere opportunistic gamblers driven by their insatiable hunger for power, fame, money, and material possessions. They are driven by these potential benefits – NOT by a heart to serve the people. No one can force himself and fight to kill others with a mind to serve them – NEVER!
Truthfully, the world needs leaders [Spiritual or Political) whose hearts are changed. Acquiring big titles or adorning different colors without change of hearts can never refine our polluted atmosphere. Bringing new guards or retaining old cadres on the block without change of hearts is as good as serving fresh food to people struggling with indigestion.
A quick look at what is happening in the judicial system leaves the suffering populace wondering whether some judicial officers truly promote justice or they hide behind the letter of the law to administer injustice! A little experience in our courtrooms makes people dread some magistrates and judges who hold the gavel. It has gradually become obvious that many of them are either heartless or oblivious to the suffering of innocent Ugandans!!
Without disparaging the “supposed custodians” of justice, it’s rather fair to ask: “Who shall ever bring sanity and restore trust into this system?” Change of titles [by way of promotion], being clad in penguin suits, and wearing gray crowns without changed hearts is as good as dressing a wolf in a sheep skin or dressing Mr Cat in a doctors coat to treat the chicks of a bird – Disaster!
“Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your hearts, and with fasting, and weeping, and with morning. And REND YOUR HEARTS, and not your garments, and turn into the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil” (Joel 2: 12-13).
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Psalms 51: 17).
The world is desperately in need of leaders with CHANGED HEARTS – not slogans, not symbols, not colors, not parties, not promises, not salaries, not titles, not offices or names. All of these are useless without changed hearts. We need services from genuine hearts and clean motives.
Dear Lord, gift Uganda with Spiritual, Civil, and Political Servants with clean hearts.
“May the words of [their] mouth(s) and the meditation of [their] heart(s) be pleasing in your sight” (Psalms 19; 14).
Rev Patrick S. K. Ndyanabo