At retreat, clerics harp on Yielding to divine guidance
Speakers at the five-day 2022 Asaba Clergy Retreat, which was held at the Ibru Centre Agbarha-Otor, Delta State, stressed the need for clerics to allow the Holy Spirit to direct their lives and ministries.
Speaking on the theme: “Spirit-filled Life And Ministry,” the text of which was taken from Ezekiel 47:1-5, the retired Archbishop of Niger Delta and Bishop of Niger Delta North Diocese, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev. I. C. Kattey, enjoined the clergy of the Diocese of Asaba, to partner with the Holy Spirit, who is not only the owner of the work that they do but also the one who has called them into the ministry.
While reminding them that ministry without a call amounts to a waste of time and that a priest who is not called becomes a church killer, he added that God values the worker more than the work, and could delay any work until He finds a suitable worker.
Kattey who highlighted works and activities of the Holy Spirit in the Bible warned that any attribution of God’s miracle to the devil constitutes a sin against the Holy Spirit, which cannot be forgiven.
The archbishop urged clerics not to stiffen themselves to the influence and operation of the Holy Spirit in their lives, and ministries, even as he assured them that God’s disciples will receive Holy Spirit as promised in the scriptures.
“The promise is that the disciples will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon them. They are not to involve in ministry until they receive the Holy Spirit. None can do the work of God without the Holy Spirit. If you do the work with your energy you are on your own, but when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you will have revelations and you can’t be the same again as God will be leading you in ways that you can’t understand. If you have the Holy Spirit your world opens.”
Kattey who warned ministers against doing God’s work for pecuniary benefits, or forcing/faking the manifestations of the Holy Spirit and miracles said: “You don’t pay money to receive the Holy Spirit and you should not use the gift to make money. Paul was not against speaking in tongues, but he frowned at its misuse. He also said that what is important is making heaven, not the indoctrination of others. Do what God has called you to do, don’t imitate anybody,” he counselled.
On his part, Venerable A.N. Asiekwu, stressed the need for Christians and ministers to be filled with the Holy Spirit, while Venerable Celestine Aniamaka, encouraged believers to desire it and avoid anything that could hinder its operation in their lives.
Other speakers at the retreat included the Bishop of the Diocese, Rt. Rev. Kingsley Obuh, and Venerable Princewill Ireoba, led a three-day Bible study.
The 2022 Asaba Clergy Retreat was organised by a committee headed by Ven. Christian Okonkwo, and assisted by Ven. Samson Anwasia, a former Rector of Trinity Theological College, Umuahia. The event rounded off with a Holy Communion service.