Monday, September 13, 2010

Slavery (part I)

By Odon Bulamba (23rd January 2004)

It’s a joy to meet together because God gave us this privilege to be together, I think that God deserves to be glorified. Each mouth must have the privilege to praise God for all His goodness. God is really good and his goodness is infinite for us. From time to time when I think of my life, I find out that I am not good but by God’s grace and His mercy, He keeps accepting me as I am. Maybe it is the same for you, maybe it is the same for everyone. Sometimes we are sinners when we sin against his will, when we think we know better than God but He is always here and forgives us and He considers us as His children and doesn’t care about what we do.

This same God gives us life. When we wake up in the morning many people are ungrateful, they don’t have the courage to say, thank you God because you made me see a new day. And maybe I am among these ungrateful people. There are people who look with a great effort for the gift of life in the morning, many people spend millions of dollars to stay healthy and just to stay alive but as for you, who are alive without giving anything to God, you completely forget God in your life. You say, this is our life, I live my life but don’t forget that someone gave you this life, the life you have is given to you in credit and one day you will have to give it back to God, whether you like it or not, you will have to give it back.

Although this life is a little bit difficult and complicated, God always helps us to go through difficult situations and we are winners. Yesterday I had problems and today I have forgotten about these problems. Yesterday I was in distress and I would cry but today I left distress. Sometimes I come to the point when I wonder if it is useful to keep living because of the problems, maybe because people reject me, maybe because I don’t find what I want, maybe because I am proud, maybe because I don’t like others but God with His love doesn’t keep record of all my bad decisions, He keeps going and gives me life in abundance.

When birds wake up in the morning, they keep singing to glorify God but when you wake up in the morning, the first thing might be to find a cup of tea. My wife where is the cup of tea? Oh husband there is this and this, my child must do this and this but where is God’s glory? There are many people who wake up in the morning and when they see the sun, the turn and say, ‘good morning sun, oh this is a lovely day’. They say that and they don’t think to say, ‘O, this is a lovely God’. They completely ignore God’s existence in their life and they start getting attached to doctrines and religion. As for us the Baptists, we are like that, and for us Pentecostals to pray or not, God is the same. But when there is a danger or a serious problem you’ll see that everyone will start looking for God’s face.

Five years ago I was in Kenya and one day I left the camp to go to Nairobi and on the way I met some armed robbers. They hijacked the mini bus and took us into the woods and for them it was not a joke because if they asked you to do something and you didn’t, you would die. I can tell you that on that day people started crying and praying to a God that they did not know. Out of fear they started to looking and searching for faith in God and many people in this world live their life in that way.

When God gives them an opportunity to know Him, they always say, ‘I don’t care, I don’t mind, to be there or not is not my problem’. But when there will be a serious problem, because the fear of death is there, they will start shaking and say, ‘God help me, o God help me, how can I get out, help me Lord’. But this God will tell you, ‘sometimes I would come to you and you wouldn’t call on me, so you are calling on me because you are afraid. Are you afraid of being afraid or are you afraid of me?’ That’s the churches serious problem today, we are afraid with worldly problems, but we don’t fear God who created us but this God can transform this world in one second.

If God says, today it is finished with this world, it will be finished. Even if Osama Ben Laden comes in this house with four forms of explosives and God says that nobody will die, then nobody will die. Even if the explosion is great, if God says that Marcia will stay alive, she will stay alive. But if God says that everyone in this house will die, then everyone will die. God has our lives in His hands and we must accept to have our lives in His hands. We cannot say that our lives are somewhere on the shelves, we cannot say that we live far from God, we must always remember that our lives are in His hands.

To find food is easy in NZ but leave this country and go to Vietnam and you will see how people suffer. I even know countries where people eat once every two days. So if today the Mum ate, the next day it will be the Dad and then the child, they have turns to eat. Here we have food in abundance and people think that it is normal and don’t think that it is a blessing and when it’s time to eat food, we must give a sign of acknowledgment just to say thank you to God because He gave us enough to eat, or thank you God because you gave me an appetite to eat.

Go to the hospital and you will see how many people who are not able to eat, they can smell the nice food but their body cannot eat but as for you, God gives you the strength and appetite to eat and the ability to find the food but you are not able to glorify God for that. There are so many things I could say. We go away from God’s glory and we come apart from God’s glory. Imagine having a child and when you give him things he never says anything, you will ask yourself is this child happy or not. Why does this child not thank me, I give him clothes and other things and it might lead the parents to say I will not give anymore. God might say, “That’s it, I will not give you anything more because you are not thankful. I won’t give to you anymore because you don’t acknowledge what Me Your God gives to you”.

Many people don’t reach the age that we have, many people die younger than us and at our age there are still people that depend on their mum and if you compare yourself to others, do you think that you are special and that is why you are what you are. No, I think that it is because of God’s glory and his love which is why you are what you are today. Sometimes we have to know how to humiliate ourselves and if you do not know how to humiliate yourself, you will perish. People don’t believe that there will be an end to everything one day but I can assure you that there will be. The same way that your lives have an end, everything will pass away one day. People want to accept it only when there is proof but unfortunately when death comes, death doesn’t say this is just a trial I will come back later. If death comes it comes once forever and there will be a judgment, whether you like it or not you will be judged unless you are attached to Jesus Christ.

We are going to talk a little bit about slavery. I will probably need two or three sheets of paper. When we talk about slavery we think of the dominator and the one who is under dominion. When we see the one who has dominion we see the one who has power and when we see the one who is under dominion we see some weakness. So I’m going to ask you, what are the characteristics of those who dominate? Let’s take for example colonisation, you have the colonised and the coloniser. And what do those that colonise do? They make the laws, they might have power, they command, they have weapons. What do they do to those who are colonised? They mistreat them, force them to accept their culture and exploit the riches of the country, they bring education and the gospel. They also bring diseases and hospitals, they bring schools, jobs, and forced labour, they bring humiliation, and fear and hatred, and technology.

And how is the attitude of those who colonise towards those who are being colonised? They are usually wicked.

And when we think of those who are colonised, how is their attitude? They hate, they rebel, they despair, they are deceived, they are badly paid and cannot eat well. They can sleep in difficult situations. They get weaker everyday and complain and cry to God. Imagine that you’re a boss and you have servants in your house, what will be your attitude towards your servants? To give orders, and to be strict, and always try to find something for them to do, maybe they will wear a uniform. Will you wear a uniform as a boss, the same uniform as your workers? Never. We can do a long list.

I’ve got a list and we said all these things. It’s difficult to see how much the colonised people suffer. Sometimes people cry when they see just how mistreated colonised people are. And in Moses’ time, the people were whipped to do forced labour, they were woken up very early in the morning and although they could be right, they were always wrong. And when they would talk to the boss, they were not entitled to the truth. Although they could explain ten thousand times they were always taught, “you are wrong, you are wrong”. They were always condemned, they were always minimised, they were always humiliated and to kill them was a small thing. I know that someone told me one day that they would prefer a cat in the place than a person from such a race. If my cat was killed, I would cry much more than to see an islander being killed. This person gave a very small value to this person.

Let’s have a look at these things and let’s see who are the colonisers and replace them with our bodies and let’s replace the colonised with our souls and think a little bit about it. Our bodies always make laws for our souls and we force our souls to accept things that our souls don’t like. Although our souls will say, this is a sin, my body will say I will do it, I have to do it. We show to our souls that we are more powerful and we mistreat our souls. We force them to accept our culture which is full of sin. There are many more examples and if you start analysing every night how many times your body has mislead your soul, you will find out if your body is a slave of God or a slave of the devil.

How many times our body has made our soul sick, how many times our body humiliated our soul to the point that our souls are always scared. If God would come back now where would I be, if God would call me now, where would I go and our souls cry and sometimes they hate our body because they find they are mistreated.

But as you know when colonisers come they occupy the territory that is not theirs. When people are slaves, some people have a power over them and our souls too are invaded by our physical forces; our envies, hatred, lies, disputes, quarrels, and all the fruit of the flesh always put our souls into slavery. But believe that one day there will be a riot, there will be a day when these souls will come before God and testify against you and that is the day we call the judgement. That will be the day of freedom for the souls, where the souls will stand up before God and say, Odon mistreated me like that, Gustave mistreated me like that, Steve mistreated me like that, Lebon did this and that and on that day nobody will stop these souls.

We have a principal us people, we say, too much is too much, that’s enough, that’s enough. Our soul that had been mistreated will reach this point one day, to say too much is too much. My body you must rest, that is it and the soul will leave the body.

How many slaves have fled? How many colonised have killed themselves because of anger? And for today how many people hang themselves because of problems and sin that is around them. People take the rope and hang themselves. Now I take a rope and give it to Saida to hang herself, will you hang yourself Saida? No. Nathanael? Maybe yes, maybe no. It’s not easy, you might take the rope and put it around your neck and when it will tighten you will start to fight and say, oh no this is not the time. Maybe you will have another chance to save your life. Maybe you will have the chance of being helped by someone. But when the soul will make up its mind to revolt against you, you will never find another chance to get out. That is why while we still have life; that is the time we must be thankful to God, that is the time we must do our best to please our souls, we must do our best to please our God, and not only please our bodies or our surroundings.

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