Years ago I started an identity series titled I Am. This year is dedicated to more posts from that series:
I feel it everywhere I go these days.
The anger, frustration, disappointment, depression and the myriad of emotions displayed online and offline are echoes of this one voice.
The voice that says that we have no power and no recourse as Kenyans – there’s nothing we can do about the status quo.
It’s the Goliath of our day. One we have to face as believers in this land. But where do we begin?
Much like David who preceded us, we are equipped with tools for this battle. However, we need to know what they are and how to use them to our advantage.
The first stone in our arsenal is vulnerability.
As believers, we must be willing to admit when things are not okay. We can be great at numbing our pain. Through the jokes. The active avoidance of all things politics and governance. Hiding behind Scripture and Christianese phrases.
Believe me, I get it. That need to escape to a better existence if only for a little while. I’ve buried my head in the sand a time or two. But it won’t work. It can’t work.
Acknowledging the existence of the issues we’re facing as Kenyans doesn’t make us less Christian. Consider for a moment that perhaps the reason some believe that God is callous is because we have portrayed Him as such by running from the issues of our day.
The psalmists in the Bible would lament to God on behalf of their nations. They would invoke covenant and camp in God’s presence until they got a response. It wasn’t a shopping list of complaints. It was a spiritual repositioning of self to the perspective of God followed by a spiritual alignment of their nations into the will of God.
We are the priests of our day. When was the last time you made an honest-to-God prayer for our nation?
Our second stone is righteousness.
How well we represent God in our nation is dependent on the extent of our right standing with Him. Do we know His heart and mind for Kenya? For the Kenyan church? For our local church? For us as individual believers?
We can’t walk with God if we’re not in agreement with Him. We can’t be in agreement with Him if we’re not on the same page about who He is and who we are in Him.
My days in ministry have taught me that often times people lose hope in God because they believe He hasn’t answered their prayers. Only He responded eons ago but they didn’t understand His response because it didn’t look like what they were expecting.
I can’t help but wonder how many of us are in this sinking boat as Kenyan believers. We’re screaming at Jesus to wake up, wondering why He doesn’t care that we’re about to drown. And He’s looking at us wondering why we aren’t using the power and authority He’s given us to calm the storm.
It does us no good to pray for Kenya if we don’t take time to understand who God is to us as a nation and how He will answer our prayers. More so, how He will use us to answer the prayers we’re making.
Our third stone is diligence.
Diligence in the spiritual realm requires us to build our relationship with God. If you subsist on a spiritual diet of hot takes, trending videos and Christian memes, then don’t be surprised if your spirit is tossed about by any challenge that comes your way.
There’s nothing wrong with hot takes, trendy videos and Christian memes. But if someone aspires to be an Olympic champion and all they do all day is binge watch shows and eat junk, would you take them seriously? The state of your spiritual walk is directly linked to how much you’re putting into it. We cannot claim to excel in spiritual disciplines and gifts when there is no tangible fruit of the same.
Diligence in the physical realm is what will make room for us at the gates we are called to function in. All the anointing in the kingdom of God cannot make up for being lacklustre in how we do things. We serve a God who is excellent in His ways. There is a standard He has set for us that we need to aspire to. Not from a heart posture of striving for perfection. But from one of dedication to progressively learn, grow and bear fruit from one season to the next.
Our fourth stone is honour.
If there’s a virtue that has suffered massive casualties in the transition from one generation to the next, it’s this one.
Far too many of us confuse honour for agreement. Honour doesn’t mean you’re in a constant state of agreement with someone. It means that you commit to loving and respecting them in the good, bad and ugly. There is no healthy relationship that doesn’t deal with differences from time to time. Disagreement can be voiced with wisdom and gentleness. It can be addressed with love and unity in mind.
But when we allow our pride to take lead, we end up dishonouring each other. It doesn’t matter what fancy label we put on it in the natural realm, dishonour registers exactly as what it is in the spiritual realm. Nothing good comes out of it.
I like how Transformation Church puts it: “We honour up, we honour down, we honour all the way around”. We honour those in authority over us. We honour those under our authority. We honour our peers.
My commitment to honour others means the esteem I have for them isn’t based on circumstances which constantly change; it’s based on the revelation I have of who they are in Christ.
Honour will rarely make our flesh feel good. But the capacity it births in our spirit is astounding. So much of what we’re waiting on God for is tied up not in prayer but in honouring those He’s put in our lives.
Our fifth stone is love.
We must love God and love people. We must – it’s not a suggestion, it’s a commandment given to us as believers. Much like honour, our love for God and people needs to be founded on our revelation of them. Otherwise, it will flicker and fade when unfavourable circumstances come our way.
Love is the cornerstone of the other four stones and so much more. Our actions may be right but if our intentions are not based on divine love, we’ve missed it by a mile. Our words could be accurate but if they are not spoken from a revelation of divine love, then our utterance of them may as well be noise.
Love is the most excellent way. It takes humility to admit to ourselves that we don’t know the first thing about love. It takes humility to go to God and ask Him to teach us how to love. May we never be so lofty that God’s grace cannot find expression in our lives.
I speak it everywhere I go these days.
I am Kenyan.
I no longer bemoan my position in this land.
My lot is in the hands of my Maker.
My sleeves are rolled up, working and doing my part.
Do not be deceived.
Your voice matters to God.
Your voice makes a difference in Kenya.
Boldly. Diligently. Lovingly.