An American missionary based in Nigeria, Dr. Gary Maxey has said many of the churches in Nigeria needed to refocus their attention on the Bible and move away from self-glorification and showmanship.
He made this known at premier edition of the Freedom Assembly holding currently at the West Africa Theological Seminary in Ipaja, Lagos.
Gary who founded the seminary about 30 years ago and who has been living in Nigeria since then noted that the church in Nigeria is in a state in which it needs a touch from heaven adding that a genuine revival in Nigeria will bring people to repentance.
Maxey noted further that the Nigerian church is not devoid of worship but lamented, “Our worship services have been polluted. we have overly modernized our worship…our worshippers are now demanding money…There is no clear line between our music and the music of the world…our music is overly sensual and tend towards self-glorification and showmanship.”
He recalled that the first major revival in Nigeria was precipitated by young people shortly after the civil war. “At that time Nigeria was in a hopeless state. The country was in a state of despondency and anarchy. That was when the Lord poured His spirit on the nation. God used young people in their early 20s to spark off a revival that gave birth to a widespread inclination towards God.”
While drawing allusion to the revival that God used Hezekiah to carry out in the Old Testatment, Maxey observed that the case of Nigeria is not beyond redemption. No nation on earth is beyond the redemptive reach of God. There is hope for Nigeria. I believe I will see a truly national revival in this country. Any nation that will follow the steps that will birth revival will see revival” he said.
The WATS founder then pointed out that the quest for revival must first begin at the point of hunger. “The first thing for us to do for us to experience genuine revival, the revival that will produce holy living is to study what transpired in the past in the days of great servants of God that ever lived. We must wet our appetite with their stories. We should saturate our minds on what God did in the past.
“The civil war revival in Nigeria was so strong and impactful because the people that God used had read about the move of God in the past. The Scripture Union saturated themselves with the reading of the books of Charles Finney, Charles Spungeon and so many others and were able to replicate that revival”
He said Mike Oye one of Nigeria’s frontline evangelicals once said to him that “one of the greatest things that Sidney Elton did to Nigeria was to facilitate the distribution of Herald of His coming magazine to people in Nigeria . That journal contained powerful and inspiring writings of great servants of God. The articles are so strong and have capacity to stir to soul to genuine repentance.”
Beyond reading about past revivals, Maxey urged his listeners to get back to the Bible. “The Bible should form the basis for our quest. We should find out that it really means to be revived. When we talk about revival we are not talking about miracles but about changing of lives and repentance from dead works.”
He also called on the people to seek God’s face in humble prayer. He observed that many of the prayer meetings in Nigeria are filled with selfish and ungodly desires.
Maxey said, “Much of the Nigerian church has lost its ability to pray scripturally. When I say we should pray I don’t mean some magical prayer…it is not a ploy to manipulate God…That is not Bible praying…That is juju. God does not say blessed are the magicians. I am talking about humble self-effacing prayer that brings down the power of God. It is time for the church to begin to refocus its prayers using the scriptures”