Ichabod means the glory has departed.  The glory of God, the presence of God, departed from Israel (1 Sam. 4:21 – 22).  When God called the boy Samuel as priest and prophet after the death of Eli, God’s presence returned into His temple.  In Samuel, God found a man of uncompromising faith, integrity and whole hearted follower of God.  Samuel stirred the people’s hearts back to Jehovah their God (1 Sam. 7:3 -6).

The prophet Samuel acting according to God’s instruction anointed the first king of Israel, Saul, when the whole nation demanded for a king, thus rejecting Jehovah God as their king.  The nation of Israel wanted a king who would lead them into battles just like the other nations and God granted their request. 

 After Saul, David, the man after God’s own heart became king, then his son Solomon.   From the days of the kings on wards, progressively, the nation began the journey of spiritual backsliding and evil like never before.

 During the reign of Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, the nation became divided into two kingdoms- Judah and Israel.  Jerusalem became the capital of Judah, the southern kingdom while Samaria was the capital of Israel, the northern kingdom.  Of Judah’s 21 kings only 8 served God.  The northern kingdom had 19 kings, not one was righteous.  Eventually, God had to send the two kingdoms into captivity leaving only a remnant in the land. 

The prophet Ezekiel saw the glory of God depart from the temple – God’s glory lifted from the threshold of the temple, then to the mountains and departed (Ezek. 10:18 – 19, 11: 22 -23).  The glory of God departed because of the hardheartedness, disobedience and sins of the people.

The present day church in Nigeria is treading the same path as the kingdom of Judah and Israel.  In the mid eighties and the early nineties when brethren came together to pray we saw God’s divine intervention mightyly manifested.  These days we are not seeing the glory of God in our churches as it used to be.  This is because the presence of God is lacking in most of our churches. 

We have turned what should be the gathering of God’s people unto Him into social gatherings, business enterprises and entertainment centres.  Like the Laodicean church we have locked the Lord outside His own church!  He stands outside, knocking, waiting for us to let Him in! (Rev. 3:20).  However, this won’t be for long.  If we refuse to humble ourselves and repent and return back to our first love the Lord will not only spew us out of His mouth, but will come into His temple (the church) with whips and overturn our tables (Matt.21 12).

 What we have going on in the Nigerian church is not true revival.  What we have is multiplications of church buildings and people trooping in and out without true repentance.  We are yet to see a true revival in our nation.  The lack of God’s presence in many of our gatherings makes our Lord do only a few miracles in our midst.  Our church buildings are full with people but empty of His presence.

Ministers of the gospel must stop hyping the congregation, repent of the sins of extortion and exploitation of God’s people. The emptying of people’s pockets in churches must stop.  Ministers of the gospel must start preaching the true gospel message and begin to seek those things above where Christ is seated in the heavenly places (Col 3: 1). 

If we want true revival in the church in Nigeria we must truly repent of our sins.  We must humble ourselves before God, confess our sins and begin to walk in true holiness before God.   I am not talking about CAN or PFN organizing a revival programme. These two bodies representing the church have lost their voices in this nation for more than two decades.  I am talking about each individual Christian, each local assembly. truly humbling themselves in true repentance from the pulpit to the pews.

“Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp stand from its place – unless you repent” (Rev. 2:5).

“Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.

So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm.

Gather the people sanctify the assembly, assemble the elders, gather the children and nursing babes; let the bride groom, go out from his chamber, and the bride from her dressing room..

Let the priests, who minister to the Lord, weep between the porch and the alter; let them say, “Spare Your people, O Lord, and do not give Your heritage to reproach, that the nations should rule over them.  Why, should they say among the peoples, “Where is their God?” (Joel  2:12- 17).

If the church of Christ will truly humble and repent of her backslidings, compromises, apathy, lukewarmness, the love of money and the world etc., God’s manifest presence will come and abide with us in our lives and homes and local assemblies.  We will see God open the windows of heaven and pour down His abundance.  Then this shall become a reality in our individual life’s and corporately in each local assembly “It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24).

 When this happens there will be no need to beg the young people to come to church. There will be no need to improvise entertaining means to attract them, they will come willingly, even running to seek the Lord.  Church meetings will no longer be boring to them because of the presence of the Lord in the midst of His people.

God is calling His people to repentance, may we heed His voice.

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