The first and biggest victory in life is victory over oneself,” Pastor Enoch Adeboye said at the ongoing Holy Ghost Congress of the Redemption Camp of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), where he identified the three major enemies of man as death, the devil, and self – the individual.
“On behalf of Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redemption Camp of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, the Board of Trustees, and the Governing Council of the Church, I declare the 2017 Holy Ghost Congress of RCCG open,” Professor Fola Aboaba, a professor of Agricultural Engineering, who is in his 80s, announced at about 8 pm on Monday to formally kick of the event the Redemption Camp of the Church.
The night had started earlier with prayer and intercession, followed by an hour of Praise and Worship, but telltale signs that something big was happening at the Camp were visible at available spaces from the gate of the camp down to the auditorium with people selling various items that may be required by participants of the Congress.
As the Congress progresses, every available space along the major routes would be eaten up. So was every space in the three-million-seater auditorium, where the first ministration of the day was made by Alex Bamgbola, chairman of the Lagos State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria.
Dressed in an all-white outfit , with a white cap pressed on a long hair, his emergence on the pulpit surprised some people, who were wondering what a man from a white-garment church was doing there. But as he said later, he is one of the spiritual sons of Pastor Adeboye, with whom he had shared a vision recently.
He spoke on the topic “God is a spirit,” in measured tones, each word emphasized as if in reverence to God. Quoting from Bible passages, he showed how God referred to Himself as a spirit, which leaves man with no choice than to treat and relate to him as a spirit.
That, he said, required that God can only be worshiped in spirit and in truth, and not in any other way.
“Nigeria is noted as a praying nation but many of us need to change the way we worship God,” he said. “We have to worship God truly and in spirit.”
He prophesied to participants they would eventually sing the song of victory, like Abraham and Sarah did when they were waiting for a child.
After greetings, recognition of some quests and announcements, the National Overseer of the Church, Pastor Obayemi, led the congregation in thanksgiving for the success of the Holy Ghost Services.
This edition, according to officials, is the 20th annual session of the church’s monthly Holy Ghost Services which, indeed, started in 1977.
Among the dignitaries present at the event were Benue Governor, Samuel Ortom, and his wife; and Bola Obasanjo, wife of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Three testimonies were given on the night, among them a lady who showed drugs she refused to take when God cured her of cancer, and left her doctors in UK wondering where the lumps in her body had disappeared to during a surgery to remove them.
Pastor Adeboye’s session was preceded by choir ministration, which included a song on the theme of the Congress he had written. He looked trim and much younger as he mounted the pulpit, a few minutes to 11 pm.
After the opening prayers, he declared: Let somebody shout Halleluyah. I want to welcome you all to this Special Congress. I am very sure that God will settle all our cases once and for all. Today however, we will lay foundation for what God will do.”
Ministering on “Victory over Self,” he counted the three major enemies of man as death, the devil, and self – the individual. He however said, with the intervention of Jesus, death has been conquered, and it is now “like our horse to ride to our Glorious Home heaven.”
Similarly, through God, it is now possible to overcome the devil by resisting him, commanding him and staying away from sin to avoid him.
But, as he illustrated, man’s greatest enemy is himself. “The biggest enemy of all is yourself. If you win the battle over yourself then the rest is history.”
There was no time for many of his usual testimonies, but he gave one of a gentleman, whose breakthrough got stalled anytime he got close to one. It was discovered that anytime he was close to having a breakthrough; he was tempted to commit adultery, thereby denying himself of the opportunity of a better life.
When he was challenged to make a commitment to God by praying that he should be made impotent if he committed adultery again, he backed out initially but later agreed.
Today, according to Pastor Adeboye, he has had multiple breakthroughs that have turned his life around. Rather than blame others and look for excuses for our problems, Pastor urges us to do first self-examination to ensure we are living right.
“The first and biggest is victory over you,” he stressed.
He however noted that victory over self, as difficult as it is, can be guaranteed by God.
He added, “If truly born again then you are a child of God and if your salvation is genuine then something in you will say No to sin every time. So, if you are really born again then the seed of God which is in you will guarantee victory
“Jesus overcame and so you and I too will overcome. In the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ that no matter the temptation, you will overcome.
God won’t allow you to be tempted more than you can bear, and for every temptation, He will provide a way of escape.
God said specifically that sin shall have no dominion over you.
The power of God Himself will keep you.
The Holy Spirit will help us. We cannot run this race on our own…we need the Help of the Holy Spirit.”