Every encounter with God changes a man’s status—Bishop Egwowa
Mattew Egwowa is the Bishop of Church of God Mission, Mafoluku, Lagos. He spoke with ENIOLA DANIEL on the way out of the current economy crisis in the country, the ongoing Revival in his church, as well as, his 56th birthday anniversary.
Why did you choose ‘Burning Bush,’ as the theme for the ongoing revival?
Burning Bush is a story of an encounter with God, because every encounter with God changes a man’s status. It’s likened to the story of Moses, who had an encounter with God and you know, his story changed, when he met with God.
How do we relate that encounter to our contemporary world?
There was a popular Disk Jockey (DJ) in the late 70s, called Nduka Ochideze. He was the number one DJ of Imo Broadcasting Service. He was popular, charismatic and talented, and his expertise usually grew towards the year ending. From September to December, he used to announce the season in a spectacular way.
The dangerous months of the year are September, October, November and December. The devil uses the negative words we pronounce to wreak havoc, ranging from robbery to kidnapping and accidents. People talk about ‘EMBER’ being synonymous with evil and some Christians use the months to prepare against evil. To me, that alone was a major problem.
I have observed that towards the end of the year, there is natural increase of human and vehicular traffic. People move around and most transporters are in a hurry to make more money. It is the rush to make more money that puts many lives in danger. Some, who want to make money to take home, even go to the extent of making monies through dubious means.
All this appears more physical than spiritual. Unfortunately, however, people have attached some level of mystery that these months have some demons and evil associated with them, and which are killing people and destroying lives and properties. But I have some insight to what is happening. I discovered that towards the end of the year, people could be divided into two categories.
The first are the people, who experience a breakthrough during the season, and tend to forget God and leave Him out of their businesses and other projects. The second category comprises those who think God did not answer their prayer, and who, therefore, withdraw from Him because they see Him as One that has disappointed them. So, their commitment to God reduces. They also reduce their commitment to Him in terms of praising, going to church and evangelism. They forget that the devil does not go on recess. So, he capitalises on their moment of trial and reduction of faith to wreak a lot of havoc. Hence, ‘Burning Bush’ is a vision intended to reignite people’s faith and fire, so as to scare away the devil.
What should people be expecting from the revival?
God used Burning Bush to get Moses attention. So, this programme is to get people attention, so that they will have prosperous life throughout this year and next year. One day with God is like a thousand year, and we are trusting God that as people encounter Him, they will get arrears for their delays.
We shall be meeting everyday twice: 10am to12noon for the lunch session and 5pm to 8pm for the evening session. We have different international guest speakers and artists, such as, Apostle prophet Leslie from Cameroun, Prophet Sam Praise from Ghana, Bishop Fred Idahosa and comedian Akporo, among others. I will also be celebrating my 56th birthday anniversary on October 1, 2016.
Are Nigerians suffering because they are yet to have an encounter with God?
Yes. In the Bible, it is said that in the year that king Uzziah died, I also saw the lord. Uzziah was like a hindrance to the people, because according to the Bible, Israel had a level of comfort during the administration of Uzziah. They were at peace, and had comfort with no stress, until the man died and their eyes were opened.
There are some king Uzziahs that need to die in this country, though we are not praying that anybody should die. Such Uzziahs can be autocratic leaders or people’s way of life that is not helping the country. It may also be corruption or poor attitude to work. I usually tell people in conferences that until we change our poor work attitudes, nothing would work.
What is your view of the present economic downturn in Nigeria?
We choose those that preside over the affairs of our country. If you know someone is a bad leader and you still voted for him, then you caused the problem. And if you didn’t vote at all, you also caused the trouble, by not voting for the person you think can do it better. No one can alienate himself from the troubles in the land. So, the only solution is prayer, because the president cannot solve it alone.
Each time the Israelites derailed, God punished them with a bad leader. In Nigeria, we are democratic, so the only solution to paving the way is prayer.
It is only when God intervenes that we can get credible solutions. When Moses encountered God, three things changed in his life: From rearing animals, he started leading people. His location also changed from wilderness to the city of Egypt, where civilization began. Also, he was carrying a dry helpless rod for years, but after that encounter, that rod became instrument of signs and wonders.
So, we need God and His encounter for this country to change.