I HEARD OF ARCHBISHOP IDAHOSA’S DEATH IN LONDON TWO DAYS AFTER WE HAD LUNCH TOGETHER WITH ARCHBISHOP OSA-ONI IN LAGOS
I CALLED BISHOP OYEDEPO FROM LONDON BUT HIS SECRETARY ANSWERED AS HE HAD IMMEDIATELY LEFT FOR BENIN
ARCHBISHOP IDAHOSA TAUGHT US TO THINK SO PLAN AND PRAY BUT ALSO THINK.
IF YOU START PLANNING FOR THE NEW YEAR ON JANUARY 1st YOU HAVE BEEN LEFT BEHIND.
–Bishop Francis Wale Oke.
Now at this particular time, three things I want to counsel you to do.
Number One – Take time to THINK!
Wise people think. They think over their past, they think over their present, they think about the future. So they can reorganize their lives, they take time to think. God has given us sanctified common sense, that’s what Papa taught me.
God has given us sanctified common sense. He put the brain in our head so we can think. And God Himself said, “come now, let us reason together”.
So God wants us to, you will sit down at this time, over the next 41 days, it may be one day you will take out or three, or a whole week or longer time to review your life – past, present, future. To review what you are going to do or get done in 2022. You think and you reason with God.
According to Ephesians 3, if you read 20 and 21, God is able to do exceeding, abundantly, you know it. Above all that we…talk to me now (ASK)…or think. Am I correct? Okay, let us read that scripture together. One, two, read aloud.
“Now, unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us”.
Can somebody say, “AMEN?” Two great, great powers that have been given to us – power to think, power to pray. But the pentecostal church, we have been doing so much of praying – pray, pray, pray – and that’s right.
We are not even praying enough, we should pray more. But we have neglected the dimension of thinking. So 50% of the capability that God has made available to us, we are not using. He wants us to take time to ask, he wants us to take time to think.
At this season when the year is coming to an end, mark time out to sit alone in the presence of God, not just to ask but to think. Make time to think.
Number Two – Make time to PLAN!
Don’t just think and leave it there. Turn your thinking into planning. Map out the remaining 41 days of this year. What do you want to use the remaining days to achieve? Map out 2022, month by month, what do you want God to help you achieve in January to December? Which days are the high points of the year?
The important days of the year that are very important, and you plan. Which event? Plan! Jesus Christ, our Lord, He taught us planning when in the book of Luke, let’s see what it says. Luke 14:28:
“If any of you wanting to build a tower…for which of you, intending to build a tower sitteth not down first and counted the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it”
That is planning. A successful ministry does not just happen. You think, you plan.
Those who think and plan, the difference is always clear between them and those, all they do is pray, pray, pray, pray. Plan your calendar – oh no no, when we get there, Holy Spirit will take over – no no no. Holy Spirit wants to take over now. Think, Plan.
Number Three – You PRAY.
Having taken your time to think, having taken your time to plan, you now commit your thoughts to the Lord. In Psalm 37:5, King James Version, we know that scripture. Psalm 37:5:
“Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass”
You have taken your time to think, you have taken your time to plan, now begin to pray. It becomes meaningful. You carry you thoughts on your heart and you are committing it to God and you are talking and praying.
Prayer can be empty without having properly thought, having properly planned. Prayer becomes concrete, powerful, forceful, substantial, when you have taken time to think, and you have taken time to plan. In Proverbs 16:3, King James Version. Proverbs 16:3 –
“Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established”.
That is, you have thought, you have planned, now you begin to pray.
The prayer can be one day, two days, can be with fasting, depending on how serious you are at this critical time. This is not the time to be going about with all manner of celebrities, eating, drinking, no no. It’s time for sober reflection, to stay in the presence of God, to think.
A friend or mine said, “if you don’t think, you will stink”. To think, to plan and to pray. So that before the end of the year, you have laid out your agenda for next year.
My friend, by January one, it’s too late to prepare for 2022. It’s like trying to catch a plane that is already taxing. The plan is already on the tarmac taxing and you want to board it, it’s late!
By January one, if you don’t prepare beforehand, it’s too late. So, maximise the next 41 days. Reorganize your life to live wisely, to invest each day – don’t just spend it. Invest in your tomorrow, in your future.
I want to close. Let’s go to that scripture, Ecclesiastes 3:11 that I referred to, New King James version. Alright. God has made all things beautiful in His time. Sorry, Ecclesiastes 3:11, NLT, thank you.
“Yet God has made everything beautiful for His own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart…”
I am a creature of time but God has planted eternity in my heart. Do you know what? Each of you that are here, you will never cease to exist. There is no time that you will cease to exist. No. It’s not a prayer, it’s a fact. At old age, when the spirit gets out of the body, this body gets down to the dust, okay? But that’s not the end of your spirit.
Your spirit goes somewhere and where your spirit goes is a factor of your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
If you are born again, Hallelujah. If you are washed by the Blood of Jesus, Glory to God! If you have received Christ as your Lord and saviour, wonderful!
To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. When you die, you go straight to Heaven. Somebody say, AMEN! That’s where Papa is. Where is Papa? Heaven! Surely!
Mama, let me tell a story. It’s a little personal. Two days or so before Papa died, I was traveling to UK. So, I called Papa. Papa was in Lagos. He said, “Dr Wale Oke, meet me in the house in Lagos”. So, I went there. (Archbishop) John Osa-Oni was there and myself.
And Papa was talking, so full of life! Ebullient, his typical self! And then, we ate together. I now said, “Daddy, please pray for me. I’m traveling to UK tonight”. And he said, “okay, go well”. And he prayed. So I traveled to UK. Two days after, somebody called my line in UK, a British friend.
He said, “did you hear the news? Archbishop Benson Idahosa has gone to glory”. I said, “you are a liar!” I was very…I said, “you are a liar! Two days ago, I was with him. I ate with him in Lagos. You are a liar!”
He said, “the email is going round”, and then he gave me some details that, “oh, he was hosting some guests and all of that”. Aha! I said, “are you sure?” Okay. I said, “I will get back to you”. So, I called my friend, Bishop David Oyedepo, from my office in London. It was the secretary that picked it.
“Where is Oyedepo?”
They said, “he was on his way to Benin”. Ahh (Sighs). Could it be true?
So, I called Papa’s office. It was Helen that picked the call. She was very sad. I said, “Helen, it’s me! Bishop Francis Wale Oke”. She said, “Daddy, I know. I know your voice”.
“Where is my Papa?”
“Can I talk to Papa?”
She broke into tears.
Ahh, could it be true? I didn’t know what hit me. Me, I hate London buses. I hate them. They go too slowly. Mummy likes them, not me. I want something that moves fast. I’m a child of the Archbishop, how can I like something slow?
You are moving too slowly, I will shout at you. But that day, I wasn’t going anywhere. I joined one of the London buses. I went to the top level and they were just driving.
I just wanted to while away time, I was lost. When the bus got to the last bus stop after hours, the man came to me, the conductor, he said, “my friend, where are you going? We have gotten to the last place”.
So, I had to climb down. I was just thinking. Does it mean Papa will not enter the Garden of Victory again? I will not hear his voice, ‘Dr Wale Oke’, again? He was serious on me. I was sad. Three days after, Mama, I fell into a vision.
It’s one of the ways God speaks to me. It was a big, massive hall. It was heaven and it was a hall full of choir. And it was Archbishop that was conducting the choir. It was…this is me…he was in a white robe, I mean, ebullient as ever, conducting the choir and they were singing. And then a voice said, “That’s Benson”, and then the vision disappeared.
That was where my healing began. God saw that I was so heartbroken, I was lost because Papa was too alive to die! There was no death in his face. It was too sudden. And I was confused, I didn’t know what to say.
I knew on getting back home, people were going to ask me questions and I didn’t have an answer. I ordered my office to open a condolence register, a big red log book at the entrance of our headquarters. By the time I returned from UK 5 days after, the whole thing was full.
People came from everywhere – Ogun State, Lagos State – because, you know, they knew me and Papa. They knew me as his protégé. I was so broken hearted and God gave me that vision and I was like “awww, he’s in heaven, conducting the choir. Leading as usual, leading, leading, leading. Joyful as usual”.
And my friend, if you are born again, you are going to Heaven, you will see Archbishop Benson Idahosa. But if you are not born again, my friend, you won’t go to Heaven…
Your spirit will go to hell, to be there forever.
God has planted eternity in our hearts. When you die, you will still continue to live in hell forever or in Heaven forever with Jesus, Our Lord and with Archbishop Benson Idahosa.