After the morning and afternoon sessions of prayers, talks and meetings on the second day of the 2022 Annual Holy Ghost Congress of the Redeemed Christian Church of God at the Holy Ghost City came the highly anticipated plenary of the day.
And it came with favourite subject: “The Oil of Gladness,” handled by the General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adeboye.
As much as we detest it, we all experience sorrow from time to time, and pray that we transit immediately into a season of gladness.
But as Pastor Adeboye pointed out, the Scripture really promises enduring joy or gladness in Oil of Gladness.
For those who love righteousness and hate wickedness, God promises them anointment of oil of gladness more than their companions.
Indeed, the Scripture says, “You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.”
Explaining the importance of oil in our lives, Pastor Adeboye said it has many uses such as in cooking, as well as many spiritual uses such as healing and anointing of people to set them apart for God’s work or anointing to destroy the yoke.
But he noted that there is a particular one called the Oil of Joy or the Oil of Gladness, which turns sorrow into joy.
He cited Scripture verses such as one by Isaiah who said, “ To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”
He said Scripture also shows that the Oil of Gladness is available but we have to reach out to get it, like the woman with the issue of blood did by breaking through the crowd to touch the helm of Jesus’ garment; or like Blind Bartimaeus cried out to get Jesus’s attention.
He said there is so much God wants to do for us. For example by moving us from the position of receiving solutions to solving the problems of others. But in addition to surrendering to Him and obeying Him, we have to reach out through prayers to enjoy the Oil of Gladness
He shared a testimony of his experience in South Korea, where he prayed for over three hours to the annoyance of his fellow worshippers:
“Some years ago, I went to South Korea because, after becoming the General Overseer, I wanted the church to grow so I did everything I could to make sure this was achieved. Every month we held special seminars. We introduced faith clinics and other kinds of programmes. But the people would only come when we had special programmes and go away afterward. So, it looked as if I was labouring in vain.
“During this time, I heard about a pastor called David Yungi Cho in South Korea. I had heard that his church was growing tremendously and that he was going to hold a church growth conference for those who wanted their churches to grow.
“ Somehow God provided the ticket for me to travel to South Korea. When I got there, we were taught a lot of things but he focused on prayer. He had a prayer mountain, a real mountain, into which caves had been built for people to go and pray.
“ One day, we were taken to that mountain to pray. Before then, I had been longing for the moment we would be released to go into those mountain holes, called cubicles, to pray. I entered into my own happily. The cubicle was just about a little over a metre high, so one couldn’t stand up. It was a case of either kneeling or lying down.
“ When I got in, I to cried to Almighty God and forgot about time because I was there for a purpose. I had been meditating for close to a couple of hours before realizing that I had to go back to town, so I came out.
“ In the meantime, other buses had left except mine because I was the only black man and it was easy for the others to know that one member was missing.
When they finally saw me, they were furious, “Why have you delayed us?” they queried.
“I am sorry, I was praying,” I explained.
“Are you going to pray for everything in just one day?” they asked with consternation.
“I am sorry, I came here to pray.”
“They were so angry that they didn’t talk to me throughout the journey back to town which was a good thing because I could continue with my prayers.
“ Now, why am I telling this story? I believe it is because I want to encourage you to pray more for whatever we want from God.
“ Some years later, when I visited the RCCG parish in Korea, I had an appointment with Yungi Cho, who said he had heard about me. And when he told me to pray for him, I knew God heard my long prayer in the cave of the mountain.”
He ended the service with the traditional call to the altar, followed by more prayers for the Oil of Gladness.