The Observer (Kampala)

22 January 2013

Uganda: Miracle - Prosperity Is Not Spiritual Growth

During one of our recent overnight prayers as we concluded this year's Daniel fast/prayers at church, a visiting pastor knocked some sense into us.

Strange, how one statement out of the thousands of words one speaks, can strike a chord with you. As Pastor John Baraka preached and shared his testimony, he said, "Okukulaakulana ssi kukula; n'okukula ssi kukulembera (prosperity is not spiritual growth and neither is prosperity leadership.)"

It is something that had been troubling me about the body of Christ in Uganda, a lot. Look at your own church; aren't there ministers who promote themselves from certain church ministries the moment the Lord prospers them - be it financially, with marriage, a job, etc? One serves God diligently, until his or her prayer is answered.

Then they assume the blessing is as a result of spiritual growth and stop doing what they were previously doing for the Lord, demanding for a 'higher' office. An usher suddenly feels 'too big' for sanctuary keeping or seating the congregation. With his or her level of prosperity, s/he should surely be ushered in now and seated with the pastors!

The Lord can prosper you without you necessarily advancing to a higher level spiritually. You would still need to be taught, guided and pastored, regardless the physical elevation.That is the true test of humility. A lady who prays at Covenant of all Nations church told me she once went early to their then makeshift church premises, to volunteer in the ushers' ministry and ferry in the plastic chairs, because that ministry was undermanned.

But she and her husband were shocked on getting to the church before 7am, to find that one of Kampala's rich businessmen - he owns a top furniture centre - had beaten them to it. He had parked his Range Rover and was singlehandedly carrying in the hundreds of plastic chairs from the store, organising and dusting them, ready for the morning service. That story was so humbling.

Even with physical elevation from the Lord, wait for Him to elevate you in things of the spirit too. Wait for the leadership that comes from God alone. Don't bulldoze the church administration into doing things your way, because you bring the fattest tithe. Don't insist on becoming a pastor now that you have money and power, without the Lord's ordination.

Don't forget where the blessing came from, in the first place. Spiritual growth and leadership will come with God's grace and timing. You don't pay for it.

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