Diary of a Zimbo -Painful Truth — African Christian Story- Mountain Dwellers
At the beginning of the year i wrote a few articles and promised to come with more of the word. I get overwhelmed with the info and inspiration I gather at times and end up overthinking…. Sometimes writers have a challenge of personifying and being intimately involved with their product ending up leaving little or no room for acceptance of criticism or divergent views, you have to mentally prepare for this. As a proud Christian, i will maintain a two pronged approach, word based, then the current affairs blog (The Painful Truth)
In the past weeks I have been making consistent pilgrimages to my dad’s place every Sunday, i find bible studies there more in-depth and fulfilling than most church services at times(no pun intended). I was brought up and I’m still in an environment where I’m encouraged to scrutinise and try to have a personal understanding of what our church leaders want us to do, not just follow the tide. The bible encourages this in Acts 17:11 and 1 Thess 5:21. The topic of interest today is- WHAT’S UP WITH THE MOUNTAIN DWELLING AND FASTING CRAZES?
This question of “mountain praying” came to Jesus in the early days of his ministry in Samaria, where he met the very religious but sinful Samaritan woman, who was very acquainted with the religious rules, rites and regulation, but was bereft of the purpose of prayer. Jesus was asking for water to drink, but the very religious woman was so wound up by religion that she would rather have a man die of thirst because her “religion” had no dealings with his religion and her place of worship was the mountain that their “fathers” had taught them. Jesus duly informed her that the place of worship was not the key but that “the time cometh where those who worship must worship the Father, in truth and in spirit.
There are 3 things that you can pick from the teaching Jesus gave;
1. People do not know what they worship. In order to truly pray you must know the Father that you pray to.
2. God is a spirit. Praying is not a physical affair but a spiritual affair! It is not subject to location or physical effort!
3. God is actually “seeking” believers, who worship in SPIRIT and in TRUTH. There is not spirit without the truth and no truth without the spirit. God cannot be fooled by physical gimmicks because he is spirit!
Because the physical human nature does not understand the way the God spirit works , it seeks to perform compensatory physical acts, popularly known as “works” in church speak, in order to feel the semblance of prayer utility. I have got news for you reader, it was never and will never be about your suffering and effort unless if your physical effort is individually spiritually inspired! The most effective prayer time of Hanna was when she was no longer able to utter words! The bible in Romans talks about the Spirit praying on our behalf(interceding) for we know not what we ought to pray for in our physical state!
I have lived with spiritually ‘gifted” people and the most consistent thing with them is that they’re very lazy in physical exertion! They’re consistent in the feeding of their spirit through prayer and the word, but never outlandish! I personally witnessed many miracles(including resurrection, -a story for another day) through my physical dad, but NEVER saw him having an absolute fast or all night mountain vigil or seen him participate in MA TEN DAYS (i will be back on this)! And the prayers during the miracle are not blood-curling screams!
Matthew 6 makes further and decisive rebukes against hypocritical and flesh inspired outlandish prayer gimmicks emphasising prayer as a personal and spiritual act that only reaps reward if one avoids the human inspired celebrity of being seen to be powerful prayer warriors by people. One is encouraged to go into the innermost room and make petitions there!! When one fasts they’re instructed to be as normal as you can so that you get your reward! This means the nature, duration and conduct of the fast must be tailored to one’s lifestyle and well being.TO THOSE WHO ADVERTISE mountain vigils and fasting, YOU WILL GET YOUR REWARD FROM THOSE POSTERS lol!! The moment you take out your smartphone for “mountain praying” selfies, there goes the heavenly reward, and your prayers will be answered via social media loves and likes lol!
Tinokuzivai nema “back from prayer mountain” poster enyu. Jeremiah and Matthew made very clear guidelines for no hypocritical fasting! Fasting whilst in conflict, quarrels, hutsinye is a futile exercise(looking at you xxx Church)!
Some will throw back the “I will look upon the hills, where my help comes from”! This Psalm ends the sentence explaining that the help comes from The Lord, the Creator, not that the physical hill is the source of the help. The hill was a figurative expression of strength, of 360 degree vision, a barrier!In the New Testament Jesus is also described as a Rock! It doesn’t mean that we pray in the hills ONLY! What about those who don’t live near hilly areas?
I have no qualms about those who may seek solace in a mountain for its beauty, or just to get away from daily routines, that’s OK , as long as there are no pseudo religious connotations!
From my observation, usually if you want to know the most troublesome and judgemental individual at a church, look no further than the mountain dwelling sister or brother! If you want to know the source of conflict at any church, usually look no further than the mountain dwelling brother or sister lol! Pane kamwe kakukasira so! Observing the African believer, most preachers take advantage of the latent pagan beliefs where people use to go to mountains kunokumbira mvura, they just copy and paste that to the African believer. But then again, if the African preacher teaches the people to pray on their own, they will lose the dependency, and consequently the income! With the craze of instant miracles against the long term but sustainable hard work and prayer, it is much easier to dose an African believer with a bit of fast acting paganism!
In conclusion, I seek not to deflate anyone, there are some genuine people who believe in mountain dwelling…hopefully they have the knowledge that it’s not about the mountain, but the mountainee lol! To those in doubt, please scrutinise, read and learn to hear from the Lord for YOURSELF! See you in the next few January weeks as you do your TEN DAYS, and as I feast!