Thank you so much Dwayne, what a great welcome and introduction. It’s been a joy to us in Zambia to receive Dwayne and team, and as you mentioned, it’s been a wonderful, exciting journey. I could mention, as I begin this exaltation that the fruit of Next Level Worship in Zambia is very evident as it is in other African nations and beyond. It’s been such a joy to see Dwayne, his humility, and the kind of caliber and maturity of the teams that have been brought into our nations and into our churches. We are seeing change of the worship experience, both within our leadership teams, but also within our churches. It’s been such a tremendous blessing as Dwayne mentioned, to see some of our young talent, like Donald, really be mentored and through the mentorship program which we’ve got schools of young worship leaders in our churches who are literally drinking in into the true worship experience that Africa loves singing.
But we’re beginning to realize through Next Level training and mentorship, that worship is beyond singing. It is a lifestyle. So Dwayne, and through you and the team in the U.S I just want to bring that encouragement to you on the board at Next Level Worship International, and indeed your teams across Africa and the other continents that God is blessing what you’re doing, and it’s preparing for the end time habits of souls before the return of the Lord. And indeed, recently the move to not only train worship leaders but to engage local pastors in pastors’ worship conferences here in Zambia, that’s been such a blessing and please continue, because I think once we impact the leadership and the pastor, that spirit will infiltrate the church and to give the support that worship leaders need. So thank you so much again Dwayne, for remembering the pastors and reaching out to us in that way.
We will miss that. We miss that already this year because of COVID. Let me say big thank you for inviting me to speak briefly in the next few moments on “Waiting with God” and my brother and they had indicated. You know, when you just Google, if you like; “Waiting with God”, which I did just out of fun. I couldn’t find a single kind of reference turning up. It was all talking about waiting on God. Now, waiting on God is a very important thing that what we do, but there is a slight emphasis in this thing, in that we’re focusing on waiting with God. I found it quite exciting when the team introduced this to me, because I looked at it to say; in the season of COVID when the church has almost been driven into the sacred place, there’s been a lot of prayer going on right across Africa and the continent.
There’s been part of prayer, movement payer, zoom meetings, there’s been huge amount of prayer going on. And you can see that in most of those, it’s really focusing on waiting on God as it were for God to move. As if we are saying we are at a place where we can do nothing, God’s got to do something. Waiting with God is something active. It goes beyond just an inactivity of sitting there waiting for something to happen. Actually, it is an opportunity to partner with God in that season and work with Him. Be prepared for the next season. I was thinking of Matthew 26; verse 40, it’s the passage of Jesus in Gethsemane and He knew He was facing the cross. So He knew He had needed to spend that time with God. And so He started to pray in the garden of Gethsemane the night before He was betrayed, the night before He was taken to the cross.
And this is what He said to the disciples, early hours they were tired and they slept. And He came to them more than twice, three times, found them asleep. And He said this to them. He said this to them. “Could you not watch with me for an hour? Could you not wait with me for an hour?” And they were not getting it. I think some of them were sitting there waiting on Jesus to finish whatever He was doing. They could come back and they can move on, go somewhere, get some sleep. But beloved, Jesus invites them that in this crisis, wait with me. Could wait with me? And this is the invitation to the church.
Next Level Worship, all our partners across the nations, wherever you gathered, the invitation and the season as we have retreated as churches, as individuals, it’s a season of crisis. So many deaths, more than 185,000 unprecedented deaths in the U.S and still counting, more than nearly 40,000 plus in the U.K and Europe. And here in Zambia, it’d be less. But God forbid, some people are waiting that probably Africa could be the next epicenter. God forbid. Our prayer is please let there be a passover over Africa, somehow that we will not see that. But in all of this, as we have been waiting, we are being encouraged to engage with God during this time of retreat.
Reasons to Wait
And let me suggest to you three reasons. The first one it is our calling to wait with God. You remember in Mark chapter 3, verse 14, where Jesus was calling the disciples and this is what you said to them, He said He called to them whom He wanted, that they might be with Him.
So the first calling of the disciples was to spend time with Jesus, to spend time with Him, but He might send them out to preach and that they may have power over demons. So the calling was a calling to intimacy to be with Him. You see the time we spent waiting with God, we develop intimacy. Spend this time as you are away from your usual activity. Away from the usual friend, places, trouble. I guess Dwayne and friends have done less trouble. It’s a season to be deep in our intimacy with God. It’s our calling to intimacy.
The second thing I just want to remind you again in 2nd Corinthians chapter 1, verse 9, where it says “For this you were called that you may have fellowship with Him.” Deeper fellowship. This season, we’re getting to know Jesus better. Ask God. If you’ve never read the Bible through, well you have an opportunity now. Spend more time in fellowship and intimacy in deepening.
I just want to finish by also just drawing your attention to Jesus’s word when He was talking about The Father, because He left us an example of waiting with God. Jesus waited with God. He’s lived His entire life with God. And this is what He says. If I pick up John chapter 5, verse 19, in that Jesus said these following critical words to us. He says “The son does nothing apart from what he sees the father doing.” Jesus was waiting with God. He was actively engaging with God in whatever He did that only what He saw The Father doing that He did. Beloved, could I suggest to you that probably the during this season of COVID, when there’s isolation and the church is almost on standby in terms of activities, beloved, it is an opportunity for us to see what God is doing. Have you asked yourself that question? “What is God doing at the moment?”.
In fact, for some of us, it seems to be characterized with the fact that God doesn’t seem to be doing something. We’re waiting on Him to turn up, stop this COVID law, stop it now! I’ve been asked by so many unbelievers they say “But you Christians, you pray to God, ask your God to do something”. Well, brothers, God is doing something. God is at work in the world, is at work. And we believers need to look at and connect with God deeply during this season as we wait with God to see what our Father’s doing. After this, we’re not just going to shoot off and continue doing what we were doing before. It’s a season to change tact.
Lifestyle of Waiting
And you know what? I’ve been asking myself, I was chatting with Donald the other week and we said, look, most of the people are waiting for church to open so we can go and continue, really. You know, the lack of church services have to refocus our attention to say, look, Christianity is more than just going to church on a Sunday. Otherwise, if that’s what all it is, then we’re stuck. No, we’re not stuck. We are living with Christ right now. He is at work with us. When now we are a scattered church, when we are gathered on a Sunday it’s beautiful, enjoy fellowship, but we are still church that is scattered in our homes. We can still be who we are. And that’s what the next level message of encouraging worship as a lifestyle comes in so powerfully, my brothers and sisters, because now you may not go and be with the praise team. You have to worship God where you are, right in your own home.
Thank you, Dwayne and team, because you’ve been preaching this to us, make worship a lifestyle, it’s not a program, it is a lifestyle. So as we are on a separation from each other in this crisis, let’s watch with God. And let me finish this to the church. Beloved, the season of watching with God prepares us for massive service afterwards. Jesus said “I work because my Father is working.” So get ready. Next Level Worship partners, wherever, across Africa. Get ready because when this phase finishes, there is a level of unprecedented services, unprecedented giving, unprecedented sacrifice across the continent as we take the message of the gospel to the people that are dying. Remember there’s more than 150,000 families that have lost loved ones, and they’ve not even had a decent funeral. The church got to go out there and bring comfort and bring encouragement. So as you work with God, line up your priorities with God and let me encourage all of us, spend this time waiting with God. God bless you, Amen.