Opinion

Enoch Adejare Adeboye @ 81: A man engrossed in grace!

By Olakunle Yusuf

“By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went out to a place he was going to receive as an inheritance. He went out, not knowing where he was going.” Hebrews 11:8.

Every journey begins with a step. I can remember attending Holy Ghost Congress, tagged Lekki ’98. It was historic. I can still see it in my mind. The crowd was unprecedented. That’s one step for man, one giant leap for mankind. History is filled with stories of faith, men and women who dared to dream, explore and discover.

In 1998, Pastor E.A. Adeboye became the first pastor of Nigerian descent to organize such a crusade. Twenty-five years after, Holy Ghost Congress is now an annual week-long programme with large turnout of people, both within and outside Nigeria, to the glory of God.

It is in his credit that we are seeing a new generation of missional young adults who are willing to lay aside the comforts home to give their lives on a foreign field. I believe we are seeing a new generation of Christ followers who are faithful to the gospel. We need more.

Unfortunately, far too many live anything but an adventurous life. They seem content to be absorbed in the daily grind. They think adventuresome life of faith is for someone else they could never become. We are among a dysfunctional society desperately in need of role models and heroes who refuse to limit what God can do. We can’t afford to buy the 21st century lie that our best days are behind us. He would challenge you to dream big. According to him, “If God is your partner, make your plans big.”

These are evident in whatever he is involved in or orchestrated. I do remember in the year 2013, I was a post-graduate student of the Redeemed Christian Bible College, Redemption City, Mowe, Ogun State, Nigeria. I took a tour of the Redemption Camp as it was known then. And I came to the conclusion that only grace from God could make this possible.

Personally, I gleaned from him that ‘safety first’ is not the motto of a risk-taker. It may work in a factory, but it doesn’t work on the field of faith. It has never been the motto of the courageous. E.A. Adeboye said, “The fastest road to hell is the gradual one.” People of courage and grace make a way where there is no way. Instead of cowering to the pressures of this culture, Christians need to become a force for positive peer pressure. We need to break out of the box and drop the baggage. Boxes are designed for storage and shoes, not saints.

Born in March 2, 1942, in Ifewara, Osun State, he attended Ilesa Grammar School, Ilesa, Osun State, in 1956. He obtained a BSc. degree in Mathematics from University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 1967. He also obtained a masters (MSc.) degree in Hydrodynamics and a doctorate degree (PhD.) in Applied Mathematics, from the University of Lagos, in 1969 and 1975, respectively.

According to this revered man of God, his dream was to become the youngest vice-chancellor in Nigeria. But today fate and faith would have none of that. Now, he sits atop higher institutions, including Redeemer’s University, Nigeria; Redeemer’s Polytechnic and others too numerous for mentioning.

He once mentioned that he was privileged in wearing shoes when he was 18 years old. Today, he puts on the shoes of faith and takes an incredible work with God. A study of Adeboye, or Daddy G.O., as he is fondly called, is a study in diligence, courage and possibilities. God is looking for men and women who believe that, with Christ, nothing is impossible.

We have been lulled into settling for average for so long that average seems acceptable. He believes a desire burns within the heart of each person to make a difference, to leave a mark. Unfortunately, we have been average for so long that when people are above average, we tend to think they are eccentric. This is the story of Nigeria, a giant, practically on its knees. We can’t continue like this.

Like Adeboye, some of the most courageous people in history were people who could have easily ended up on the shelf of mediocrity. Abraham Lincoln was a failure most of his life, until he became President. Stonewall Jackson was failing as a teacher at Virginia Military Institute, yet in the crisis of battle he blossomed. D.L. Moody, an uneducated shoe salesman, ended of being one of the most famous evangelists of the 19th century. What is the major takeaway in these examples? Don’t settle, soar!

An old adage says, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” No venture, no vision, no legacy. I am praying for God to raise up a generation who will venture out and discover the view is worth the climb. Daddy Adeboye had ventured a lot and still does. God longs to find a man or woman He can trust with a great opportunity. Let somebody shout halleluyah!

•Pastor Yusuf, lead consultant, Above Media, can be reached via

abovemedia@yahoo.com

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