Seldomly, I write as a travel journalist and in my gathering of thoughts during my adventures with the pen writing about hospitality destinations, brands and in-view, personalities, I have never thought of the bible let alone Abraham who was a chief hospitality personage—this I now know because I was part of those who received wisdom and knowledge( which is the highest blessing you can ever receive ), during the message "Divine Breakthrough in Hospitality" by Apostle Benson Enakhena.
It was utterly shocking to know that hospitality that is no more existing in the hearts of many of us, caused a very big breakthrough in the life of a man God made father of many nations that we are today. We clamour for the manifestation of God's blessings to him owing to being his sons and daughters but are we as hospitable as he was? are we doing more just as he did more by not settling with the over 2000 servants he was feeding by ensuring the strangers that were passing by drank and ate the best in his house before they passed by?
Well it appears that sometimes the answers or solutions to the questions and problems in our lives, lies within how hospitable we are to not only those around us but most of all, those we know not at all—only in a heart of love can you find a sense of hospitality and Abraham who obeyed God like no other, lived a life of what God is as well, which is Love.
Saddened with the fact that a heart of hospitality is no more being exercised let alone felt in the church today, Apostle Benson Enakhena in this message, forks out two breakthroughs in the bible that came through hospitality and discloses a crazy giver.Enakhena who is so much not the kind who sugars things, broke his members with the utmost truth.
As he fondly does, he started with his plank of preaching, accompanying insights with relatable issues saying "hospitality is caring for one another, it is when you accept and welcome visitors into your home and give them water to drink...and ask what is the problem? how can we solve it? even if you do not have the solution, give a listening ear, show concern. The business we have today is I am going to pray and God will give me blessings.Well, I am going to give you something to go and do a research on, when a man prays God will give him what you deserves, not more than what he deserves...God gives you what has been taken from you but when you go out of your way to bless others, God gives you much more than what you deserve. If I ask you now that how many shoes do you desire this year? you may say five then you begin to pray for that five but before God gives it to you, do you know that God is waiting for you to give out the one you have to someone who has no shoes before He can now give you what you are asking for?
|Mahogany Hotel and Suites(Ibadan)|
"There is no more hospitality in the house of God. Hospitality must begin in the life of a beginner.When we are talking about the church we are talking about me and you, starting from the altar to the congregation, the altar is not set aside. Recently someone asked me, Pastor why are you not preaching about giving? I said no no no...when a pastor is living a life, watch his members, they live the life their pastor is living. If I want my members to become givers, I should start and let my members emulate what I am doing and anyone that cannot emulate what I am doing, he/she cannot key into the anointing of God in my life. If you want to be like me, you want to be greater than me, you must key into what I am doing. You cannot be behaving like an Egyptian in America, they will reject you. I am telling you today, if you are in this church and there is no sense of hospitality in you, no spirit of giving in you, you are telling God just give me whatever you want to give me not even beyond what you deserve.
"Let me tell you something, do you know what Jacob did when he stole the blessings of his brother? when he was coming back he said "this I am going to share with my brother", at that moment his heart desire was to settle with his brother, already showing a heart of hospitality. He was not coming back with the blessing to dethrone his brother, let me go and bring him down, no. He was coming with a heart of reconciliation and sharing. When the Lord looked at him He said "I have settled you and your brother"...I am appealing to you to give through a father of a nation.
"Prayers are very essential but there are things you must do to ignite that fire to overflow. I have told you, if you cannot give to the members in the congregation don't bring anything to me, I will not take it. There are people suffering in the congregation, if you cannot help them don't bring for me. We have a welfare box in this church for those in the hospital, prison and the widows. Besides announcing it every last Sunday of the month in the church, how many of us has after each service bothered to put something in the box or as you come into the church you say oh, I have eaten today how about those who haven't and have no way of going about having to eat and you put something in the welfare box? You have one thousand naira and you cannot give out hundred naira from it but you want God to give you one million naira?
With his insights as prongs and his voice the handle, Enakhena forked out the first breakthrough from the book of Genesis 18: 1-15. After reading the first chapter, he asked: did the Lord appear to him as God? Chorally the church answered no. He went on saying: In every stranger there is a favour, there is something he knows that you don't know, there's something he has that you don't have, take it or leave it. When God told Abraham "I will give you a seed to rule over nations", he did not tell him that until he showed hospitality. There are certain things God wants you to do, He will not tell you, He wants your conscience to do it. It is the reason why some prayers are being delayed, the reason why prayers are not being answered, it is also the reason why we are not where we ought to be. Abraham was feeding over 2000 servants and this same man was sitting under a tree when he saw strangers passing by, the bible says he stood up, and bow before them, and call them in saying come and take water, come and have some food after that you can pass by. Hospitality.
After saying Abraham gave the best to strangers, Enakhena asked: did Abraham tell the strangers he doesn't have a child? God knows what you desire better than you do but God wants you to do something. If you are not ready to part away, don't be prepared to take. Reading further, Enakhena asked again: Is there anything too hard for the Lord to do for you? No again was the choral answer.
Father, show me what to do for me to go to a higher level. Father that thing I refuse to do, that is stopping me from getting to a higher level, show it to me.
The father of John the Baptist, the Chief Priest, when the Angel appeared to him, he said by this time next year you shall have a child, his name shall be called John and he argued with the Angel...what happened to him? he went dumb. Then why didn't the Angel do the same thing to Sarah? The Angels have eaten from them, you cannot curse whom you have eaten from. The Angel has not eaten anything from Zechariah so he can say anything unlike the Angels who have eaten from Abraham and Sarah. You cannot kill a giver! You cannot harm a giver!
|Mahogany Hotel and Suites(Ibadan)|
"My wife asked me a question few days ago, she said God said I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy on? I said yes and ask her to read the book of Mathew 5:7 which says "Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy", Mercy speaks ahead, it overthrows sin. When you are giving you are showing mercy and God will say ah! because you have shown mercy, let me show you mercy as well. Do you know that giving a helping hand is showing mercy? Picture this, I am driving to somewhere with my car filled up and I see a sister that I know trekking and I stop to ask why are you trekking? take this money for transport. That is also mercy. mercy is not only when you forgive who offended you. He did not only say I will give you but I will heal you. Is healing not giving?
"And the Angel said to him, by this time next year you shall have a son. This is what Abraham desired most, he is a friend of God, this is God's promise, this is something God has told him he is going to have but it didn't come to pass until he took in strangers and fed them. In my village there's an adage that says a woman that is looking to have a child, when she cooks she does not eat all, that the remaining will be food for the spirit of children when they come...and there's another adage that says: a woman whose hand is too strong, easily becomes a barren...what if Sarah had said no to the husband? no! you already have 2000 people in this house that we are feeding and you are bringing strangers who are passing by on their own to come and eat, no. What would have happened? The blessing would have passed by.
Your blessings will not pass you by in the name of Jesus. You will not stop your husband from receiving his blessings, You will not stop you wife from receiving her blessings.
With 2 Kings 4: 8 - 17, Enakhena forks out the second breakthrough saying "this woman told her husband that they should build an additional room for this stranger having realised he is a servant of God. what a great hospitality. If I come to one of my member's house now even as a pastor and took a cup of tea, tomorrow he or she would have the child tell me he or she is not around when I am passing by but this woman kept on showing hospitality to this stranger despite how many times he passed by until a day came, she said to herself I need to do more.
Enakhena enjoined his members to tell their neighbors I need to do more. And went on: note that this woman was still barren despite showing hospitality to this servant of God whenever he passed by. God did not answer her even though she has been giving to this Samaritan because He wanted her to do more. She did not only build a place for him, she prepared it ready for it to be lived in but unknown to her, she was welcoming her baby and preparing a home for it. When you welcome an Angel into your home, you welcome what you desire most that you don't have.
"Seeing that the woman has given him food consistently and went further to build a house for him, Elisha said to his servant "call this woman, what do we give to her?"
Your giving shall make a way for you in the name of Jesus.
"You said you are struggling, are you going out of you way to help the poor? if you think you are poor, go out there and see the poorest. These are two breakthroughs in the bible that came through hospitality. They didn't pray, go to night vigil, neither did they fast or make any request. If you are carrying a heart of let me come and receive you are not prepared for that big breakthrough.
Enakhena joust his members further, describing the woman in the book of 1 Kings 17:7-16 as a crazy giver. He asked: The widows in our community, are we not supposed to help them? and went on:but this time God sent his servant to a widow that will help him. This place is telling us that no matter the condition we must give.
Addressing wives in the congregation, Enakhena asked if a stranger comes to you for some water to drink how many of you would give that stranger the water? A woman who is about to eat her last food and die, someone came to her to ask for a water to drink. And she said "let me go and give you water to drink before me and my child will eat what we have left and die", and after giving the water to the man she was not expecting anything from him. That is, she did not say to him can you help us with anything? whatever you can help us with, never. she gave the stranger the water and left. Then he said "fear not, make me a bread to eat". if it were you, you will slap him and say I am telling you this is the last food in my house, you are asking for food. This woman was a crazy giver however you look at her. The last food you want to eat and die someone is asking you for it. It is like somebody who is surviving on an oxygen but seeing someone else dying, the person now gave out the oxygen she was using to survive.
"Two people with great faith: the widow and Elijah..."For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth", the woman believed. If you don't have the faith you can never believe. There are some prayers I will pray here saying by this time tomorrow...some of you will not say amen because you don't believe, the faith is not there. If I do this now I will be broke, if I do that now I will be broke...my hundred thousand naira salary is too small, I cannot give my tithe, I cannot give offering for now because I want to buy a car, I want to build a house....your neighbor is dying, you heard ten thousand naira is needed and you say aah I want to buy a motorbike....that is the heart of a man, we don't want to save each other. Inside hospitality there's a breakthrough. The hospitality we are talking about is that person you are not expecting anything from. You look at the person from head to his or her toes down you don't see what he or she can offer you and you decide to give a helping hand, you are not expecting any kickback.
"What is happening in our society these days is, if a big man's father dies today he will not even spend a naira in the burial ceremony...somebody will say I will give him twenty cows, another will give bags of rice and then another will say I will bring Shina Peters but you that have absolutely nothing, if you knock on their door they will not open...they will say tell him I have traveled to America but they gladly boast that when Tinubu's father died I gave him three trailers of rice...vanity, all is vanity.There's no blessing attached to such giving! When you give because the person is a societal personality, there is just no iota of blessing attached to it. When you give because you are waiting for a kickback...eeh let me give to Dangote who his daughter wants to get married because I need a contract as regards Sugar...again I tell you, there's no blessing attached to it.
"This day, the Lord is telling us to change our ways. If we want that blessing, we should learn to accomodate others. We should learn to give to those that just do not have.
Reading Matthew 25:40 Enakhena asked who is saying this? not waiting for an answer he went on: your neighbor cannot pay his or her children's school fees you are happy and differentiating...when you show acts of wickedness to the least in your environment, know that you are doing it to God. Don't hate the people around you because they are not prosperous. Don't neglect people. Even in the church today there's class, the people who bought ACs in the church have their seat, those who contributed more money than others for an occasion in the church have theirs too...special chair, special reception...even in the church you don't find hospitality any longer...when the service closes in the church and you want to talk to a member but because from the look of your appearance he finds you are not well to do, he says excuse me I will talk to you later...and you are expecting God to bless you after that service?
You may be bless today but any blessing that does not move from you to your children, is useless...it is nothing...we are equal in the house of God, we are one in the house of God...let what affects others affect you. The bible says "we should think of others better than ourselves", show love to others. Hospitality is of the Lord. The Lord cherish those that show love to others and help them".
Enakhena as always, rounded off his message with prayers. He led the church to pray with the following prayer points below...
1)Father give me a heart of hospitality...any wicked heart of collecting always without helping father take it away...father circumcise my heart so I can be a giver, remember the poor, let me feel for the poor...bless me so I can bless the poor oh lord
2)Father give me the wisdom to make wealth
3)father, every area I have rejected you, show me mercy.
Enakhena told his members that when David lived well with God, God gave him an everlasting kingdom. That's why they say Jesus of the house of David but when Solomon took over what did he live for his children? he left poverty...with all his relationship with God, he left poverty for his children...the Lord said "the wealth of David I will give to you", but what happened? when he lived badly with God, God said "all this have been taken away from you", and said "I will only leave one for one of your sons because of the love I have for his grandfather David and for the love I have for my city Jerusalem", what life has your father lived with God? He asked the church and led them to pray with last prayer point: Oh God my father, in any area my father or mother has rejected you in the past, father have mercy....let your mercy overshadow the shortcomings of my father and my mother...do not allow their lifestyle to speak against my destiny, my children...do not allow the wickedness of my father to speak against my destiny.
Enakhena to the congregation: God's hand is out to bless people in this church but we must change...we can never bend the hand of God we must succumb to His ways.
Photo Credit: Benita Enakhena