It gives me great joy to welcome all our young people from all over the world of TREM to the grand-finale of this years’ edition of METHATESIS. For me, this year’s conference aptly themed ‘Territories, Cities and Gates’ is both timely and strategic, as the need for every young person to be bold, audacious and visionary was re-echoed by all the speakers.
Beloved, as we close this conference today, let me remind you that whatever you tolerate in your life has the capacity to grow and overwhelm you. If you tolerate mediocrity as a young person, that is what would characterize you and vice-versa. If you must experience a paradigm shift and take all that is rightfully yours, then you must be ready to get out of your comfort zone and do the unusual. Remember that life would not give you Territories Cities and Gates on a platter of gold. Life would not give you what you want, but what you demand of it.
Let me illustrate my point. In 1 Samuel 17, God’s people were daily harassed and intimidated by Goliath. No person could dare challenge him in all the land. Everyone was limited, garaged and literally brought to their knees by one man. David came into the camp at the right time and heard the challenge. He immediately decided to put an end to the siege against God’s people. As far as David was concerned, Israel has lost so much ground. It was time to take back lost territory. Goliath had been in charge for too long and it was time for power to shift.
Don’t forget that though David was not a trained soldier, he had enough audacity and courage to confront Goliath. All the ‘mighty men of war’ were terrified by the arsenals of Goliath and could only stand by and tolerate the insults, shame and embarrassment. Beloved, just like David, I come to challenge you to take back the lost territories and cities in your life. You cannot afford to sit back and remain ordinary. The world out there wants to change and influence you, but you are the one that is supposed to bring about positive change in your world. You cannot run away or join them in doing evil. I urge you to arise and confront your confrontations.
From the scripture in 1 Samuel 17, you will notice that David ran towards Goliath rather than run away from him. What is that saying to you? Don’t get frightened, but rather run towards your challenge and obtain the victory. As the seed of the righteous, the scriptures declare that you would contend with the enemy at the gate. When the enemy brings the fight to your gate or place of influence, you have a responsibility to stand up to him. In this case, Goliath brought the battle to the gates of God’s people and it took a son, and a builder of the family name to remove the shame and reproach. That is what you are called to do. Child of God, your own ‘Goliath’ may be your academics, low self-esteem or undue peer pressure. I encourage you to confront your own ‘Goliath’ today and see it bow before you.
Another vivid example of being able to take territories, cities and gates can be seen in the story of Daniel. He along with other 3 Hebrew boys were taken into captivity in Babylon as slaves. If you read your bible closely, you will discover that these same slave boys turned out to be people of great influence even in a foreign land. Daniel though a slave has so much influence with the kings of his time and he got promoted to a position where he could decide what happened in the land. Don’t forget that Daniel did not just get promoted overnight, No – he built the right foundation. He was a man of integrity, hard-work and excellence.
Today, we live in an era where every person is in a hurry to make it big. Like Daniel, you must be patient and ready to engage in hard work, and refuse to just idle around. You must imbibe the culture of excellence and integrity. You cannot take territories, cities and gates if you choose to sit down and fold your arms. You can pray and shout all you like, it will not fall on you like a bag of cherries. When you put all the principles you heard during this conference to work, you will begin to take your own territories. Let me assure you that the territories of Music, Arts, Entertainment, Media, Politics, IT, Finance, Business are all waiting for you.
As I close, I urge you to take note of all that God dropped in your spirit during the conference and go back with a determination to be a doer of the word. This generation is waiting for you. You will shock your world. This is your defining moment. I will hear your testimony.
As a father in the house I bless you.
In His Royal Service
Dr Mike Okonkwo
The Presiding Bishop