‘Let’s walk with God, Ndukuba, Egbunu, others counsel Christians
The Second Session of the 11th Synod of the Metropolitan Diocese of Abuja ended with a thanksgiving service, last Sunday, at the Cathedral Church of the Advent, Life Camp, Abuja. The Synod, presided over by the Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), The Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba, who is also Bishop of the Abuja Diocese, was themed: “Planted by the Waters: The Beauty of Walking with God” taking from Psalm 1:2-3).
In his address delivered on the opening day, the primate called on the congregation to walk with God, as He requires it. He said God blesses and punishes people, based on how they walk with Him.
“God demands from every of His servant, a close walk with Him. Every person whoever that pleased God had walked closely with Him. To walk with God is to obey Him in total surrender and submission to His Word, His Will and Instructions. God commands blessing and punishment based on the extent of our walk with Him. He says, ‘Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me, I will bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sins’ (Lev. 26:21). Faithful men of old who pleased God walked with Him,” he said.
Walking with God, according to Ndukuba, entails at least seven things: metaphorically being a tree planted by the source of water, delighting in the Law of the Lord, meditating on God’s Word, obedience to God’s instruction, being led by the Holy Spirit, mission and evangelism and righteousness of God.
The Bishop of Abuja identified factors that could distract them from walking with God to include enemies of God, prosperity of the wicked, flesh, sin, suffering, affliction and persecution.
Speaking earlier during the opening service, Bishop of Kaduna, the Rt. Rev. Timothy Yahaya, stated that it is only in following the Lord that joy could be found. He enjoined them to be obedient to God’s Word, as given in Joshua 1:8. He said: “Success outside obedience to God is not good success, and engenders dissatisfaction and frustration.”
At the Synod’s closing/thanksgiving service, Bishop of Lokoja, The Most Rev. Emmanuel Egbunu highlighted blessings awaiting those who walk with God. He noted that the idea of blessing pervades the entire Bible and that Psalm 1 is like the gateway to the sanctuary and uses literary device of contrast to communicate the message of blessedness.
Quoting the Bible, Egbunu said: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, shows the great roles counsel has over our lives.” He regretted that special advisers and counsellors in our country lead us into destruction, even when they are paid huge amounts.
He called on people to return to the Lord and His Word, saying, “When we speak about the beauty of walking with God, it comes from delighting, meditating day and night on the Word of the Lord.”
The Synod was attended by Chief Osita Chidoka, who chaired the Synod’s opening ceremony/launching of Bishop’s Charge. Others included Dean of the Church of Nigeria, the Most Rev. (Dr.) Buba Lamido; former Primate, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh and over 30 Archbishops and Bishops. There were also Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Senator Andy Uba; Sir Chikwe Udensi; Prof. Jerry Gana; Sir Olusegun Adekunle; High Chief S.N. Ukachukwu and Prince Sunny Ukachukwu.
Meanwhile, Archbishop of the Niger Delta Province and Bishop of Ikwerre Diocese, The Most Rev. (Dr) Blessing Enyindah, has enjoined Christians to walk with God and be blessed. The Archbishop, who led the Bible Study sessions of the Synod of the Diocese of Abuja, themed: “Planted by the waters: The beauty of walking with God” taken from Psalms 1:2-3, explained that the text is a gateway to the book of Psalms and the entire Bible, as it provides the key to the blessedness espoused in the Psalms and the Bible. Noting that the Psalms are the outpouring of the writers’ hearts, he said David had his fair share of blessedness and proclaimed the blessedness in walking with God from his life experience. He said the statement: “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly…” shows that being blessed is a choice.
“Some may choose to have other sources of what delights them other than God, and still, some may choose to not meditate on the word of God… Anyone whose decision is to be a blessed person should note at least, five choices to make upon reading the Psalm,” he said.
Describing walking with God as having a special, godly and acceptable relationship with Him, Enyindah said it is a lifestyle that agrees with God on daily basis and devoid of distractions. Such life, he said, must be different from the world in attitude and dressing, among others.
He said: “Brethren, when we walk with God every day, the world cannot help but recognise that, in spite of our imperfections, we have been with the Lord… The blessed man is the child of God, who refused to be distracted by the world or controlled by the spirit of our generation.”
He urged people to meditate on God’s Word by applying it to their lives. He attributed the problems and skirmishes in the church and society today to the people’s failure to apply God’s Word to their lives. He described the Word of God as both the mirror that helps man to check and see where to change and to lighten the dark world.
He added: “We live in a dark world. This darkness cannot be dispelled by philosophy, education, economy, science, common sense, practicality, experience or even a combination of all of them. God’s Word is the only remedy.”