Recover the power of God in the church

BY: Jude Hama
The Apostles and believers in the Early Church demonstrated great courage and resilience in their Christian beliefs and practices.

Our discussion in this article on the challenge to recover the power of God in the Church in Ghana today is at the time of our celebration of 2022 Pentecost Day. 

The church leaders, the Apostles, and the believers in the Early Church were required to wait on God to be clothed with power from Heaven before going out to serve Christ and His Kingdom:

“He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my

Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:46-49 NLT).
“And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus. …And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 1:4&5 ESV; 1:8&14; 2:4a NLT).

This is a Spiritual law: Those who would effectively proclaim the Gospel and faithfully serve Christ and His Kingdom must first wait on God to be clothed with power that comes from Heaven. And we see this spiritual law at work in Acts chapters 2 – 6 and indeed all of the Book of Acts and the entire New Testament writings.

The Apostle Peter who was clothed with power on Pentecost Day was no longer to deny his Lord and Master Jesus – the “tumi wura”:
• He preached the Good News of Christ’s death and resurrection for the forgiveness and salvation of every person in the power of the Holy Spirit. There was the conversion of 3000 people in response to his Pentecost Day sermon.

• He healed the cripple at the gate, in the temple in the power of the Holy Spirit. He used the opportunity of the crowds that gathered to see the healing miracle on the crippled man to preach the Gospel. This brought the total number of men who became true believers in Christ to 5,000! This amazing harvest of souls into the Kingdom of Heaven could only be done in the Power of the Holy Spirit.

• He carried out Church discipline on Ananias and Sapphira in the power of the Holy Spirit. And holy fear filled both the believers in Jesus and non-believers. In fact, nobody could just carelessly join the meetings of the believers of Jesus. And yet daily, the Lord added to their number: “The Apostles were performing many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers were meeting regularly at the Temple in the area known as Solomon’s Colonnade. But no one else dared to join them, even though all the people had high regard for them. Yet more and more people believed and were brought to the Lord—crowds of both men and women” (Acts 5:12-14 NLT). The Church demonstrated real zero tolerance for corrupt practices and lack of integrity.

The Apostles and believers in the Early Church demonstrated great courage and resilience in their Christian beliefs and practices. They did not go to bed with the religious authorities of the day. When threatened by the authorities, they stood their ground in the power of the Holy Spirit and declared: “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God” (Acts 4:19).

The Church in Ghana today too “must not give to Caesar what belongs to God” when they are pressurised to do so. The Church, for example, must not promote the practice of sexuality that God forbids. The Church cannot embrace what God in His Word clearly prohibits in every area of human endeavour. It is godliness that will exalt us as a people in our national life.

Do we too as leaders and members of the Church in Ghana today also live and do Church ministry in the power of God? In the power of the Holy Spirit? Here are a couple of practical questions: Is the Church in Ghana seen or perceived by Christians and non-Christians as where “Tumi wura” power is, and this power is correctly used for the up-building of the Kingdom of God? Is this power used for the promotion of God’s Kingdom values in the Church and society?

Secondly, are Christian leaders and church members seen and deeply respected as people in the corner of utmost power? In the Bible story on Daniel in public service, we see Daniel demonstrate the power of God through peak performance on the job and a distinct lifestyle of godliness and integrity. Daniel is seen to be in the corner of utmost power. His God is the God of utmost power! This is acknowledged by the King and all in society.

A scandal of Christianity in Ghana today is how church members and non-Christians do not acknowledge the power of Christ, the power of God in the Church as supreme and sufficient for every aspiration, need, opportunity or challenge in every area of human life. Where do people turn to when they want to succeed in their profession and business – when the top job position becomes vacant? When there is election to select parliamentarians? When faced with severe challenges of sickness or child birth? Where do we turn for help?

In, for example, a true story, a constituency chairman wants to direct an MP candidate to a spiritualist to access help that will enable him to overcome his contestant in the primaries and in the general election! And perhaps many such candidates who are even church members grope in the dark of evil and ungodly practices and rituals to win political power, job positions or posts, but next they dress up piously to church for a “Thanksgiving Service”. Giving thanks to whom? God – The Thrice Holy God, the Creator God, Who is supreme, is not mocked.
We have to recover God’s power in the Church in Ghana.

The author is a consultant in authentic Christian Spirituality and Discipleship and former CEO of Scripture Union.