.Femi Aribisala

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.” (Genesis 17:1).

Which is more challenging, to follow Jesus or to walk before Him? We are required to do both simultaneously. But there is no question that it is more difficult to walk before God than to follow Him.

 When we follow Jesus, we can still be up to no good, in the mistaken belief that He would not know exactly what we are doing unless He looks back. Thus, Judas followed Jesus while, at the same time, stealing money from the common purse.

 But if we walk before God, we must walk in the consciousness of Him. We will always be aware that He is right there behind us, watching our every move, scrutinizing our every action, and recording our every word.

 Many a child would be better behaved if their father went to school with them, or if he came to the playground with them. Children do not use bad language in front of their fathers. They do not fight, curse, or steal in their father’s presence.

Accordingly, Joseph rejected the advances of Mrs. Potiphar, saying: “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9).

 David impregnated another man’s wife and had Him killed. When he discovered that God saw everything, he pleaded in contrition: “I did this evil in Your sight.” (Psalm 51:4). Had he known beforehand that the eyes of the Lord are everywhere; it would have made his transgression even more objectionable.

 Therefore, a repentant David lived thereafter in the consciousness of God. He prayed: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14).

 One foolish answer to God’s omnipresence was to try and run away from Him. The Prodigal Son collected his inheritance prematurely, and he decided to move away to a far country where he would not have his Father breathing down his neck. Jonah decided to take a boat headed for Tarshish: “from the presence of the Lord.” (Jonah 1:3).

 These people did not seem to know what we know now as believers. They did not know that God is our life. They did not know it is in God we live and move and have our being. And so, when the Prodigal Son moved away from his Father, he died. He only came back alive when he returned back home.

 We must learn from this. We must remain in the consciousness of God. To lose consciousness of God is to die a living death. If this happens, we become dead men walking.

God says to Ezekiel: “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the room of his idols? For they say, ‘The Lord does not see us, the Lord has forsaken the land.’” (Ezekiel 8:12).

The psalmist asks: “Who is the man that fears the Lord?” (Psalm 25:12). The answer is that man who is haunted by God. That man who fears God. Job said: “When I say, ‘My bed will comfort me, my couch will ease my complaint, then You scare me with dreams and terrify me with visions.” (Job 7:13-14).

 The truth is that the abiding consciousness of our life must be God. We must look at everything in relation to God. If we are haunted by God then nothing else matters. We are anxious for nothing. We are barricaded from all other fears if God is our fear.

 David says: “I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” (Psalm 16:8). God has promised to keep in perfect peace the one whose mind is stayed on Him.

 One of the security men in my school stole the cell phone of one of our teachers during the children’s circle time. What he did not know is that his theft was captured on CCTV. God has a worldwide CCTV camera. He is the watcher of men. He puts all humanity under divine surveillance.

 Thus, Job complained to God: “What is man, that You should exalt him, that You should set Your heart on him, that You should visit him every morning, and test him every moment? How long? Will You not look away from me, and let me alone till I swallow my saliva?” (Job 7:17-19).

Adam was such a fool, hiding from God behind a fig leaf of all places. How can we hide from God? God, Himself, is our hiding place, therefore, we cannot hide from Him. We cannot even hide our thoughts from God. He says: “I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them.” *Ezekiel 11:5).

 David says: “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, ‘surely the darkness shall fall on me,’ even the night shall be light about me; indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You.” (Psalm 139:7-10).

 A lot of the time, we talk about God as if He is not there. Jacob says: “God is in this place, and I did not know it.” Therefore, we must never forget about God. God says: “Put Me in remembrance.” (Isaiah 43:26)

Malachi says: “Those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name. ‘They shall be Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘on the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.’” (Malachi 3:16-17).

 However, most of the time we forget God. We forget Him when we fight. We forget Him when we are angry. We forget Him when we sin.

The psalmist says: “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” (Psalm 9:17). God Himself complains: “Can a virgin forget her ornaments, Or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me days without number.” (Jeremiah 2:32).

 But when do we remember God? When we have a need. When we are in trouble. When we are afraid. When we are sick. When we are at death’s door. When we enter a plane. When we come to church.

We must put God in remembrance. We must keep talking to Him in our minds. We must keep making melodies to Him. The psalmist has a unique definition of a wicked man. He says:

 “God is not in all his thoughts.” (Psalm 10:4).“

National Security is a major issue;  massive unemployment figures that have grown under the APC is a major issue; and a critical issue in this campaign must be the real character of the presidential aspirants. Are they worthy? Can they be trusted with the upper echelon of National government. Yes, the character, provenance, and the hoary experience of these candidates must be debated, intimately and personally.

Those who do not want their private lives discussed should never aspire to public office. The physical, mental, ad moral health of the incoming president must be an issue in this election,given our current experience.

The issue in this debate must not only be about competence, it must be about trust and the moral weight the individual brings to the office of the president of Nigeria.

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