From Nsanje to Chitipa, Mchinji to Nkhotakota, Morocco to South Africa, Senegal to Djibouti, many people are still suffering from superstition and the belief in witchcraft.
In many areas, people attribute almost everything to use of charms. Fortunes and misfortunes, wealth and poverty, success and failure, good health and illness are oftentimes attributed to magic amongst some people.
There are areas where people hold weird beliefs. One such weird belief is that some well-off citizens have magical snakes which are used to steal money and yields from others in what is known as kukawa. When you ask the superstitious people why the magical snakes fail to steal from the banks, they have no tangible answer.
At the moment the media is awash with adverts of witchdoctors and charlatans. I recently came across this advert.
“I am a powerful traditional healer with potent charms for example: Bring back lost lover, enlargement of all sizes, stop cheating lover, jail release, job promotion, become famous, get rich quickly, double salary, magic wallet, win elections, win football …”
It is unfortunate many people believe this crap and pay good money for these charlatans and witchdoctors to make their dreams come true.
As some witchdoctors are losing ground with their lies of easy quick riches through magic money to prophets and prophetess with their promises of miracle money.
Despite some principles of success being well-known, there are those who have fallen into the trap of assuming that the attainment of success is a matter of divine intervention. Some are hoodwinked by exploitative and manipulative pastors into believing that spiritually-induced miracles can make them successful. Those are hoaxes.
A miracle is a supernatural intervention of God and, as is well known, miracles are performed when there are crises, great difficulties or even problems. There is a difference between a blessing and a miracle.
While a miracle is a supernatural intervention of God in a crisis, a blessing is God’s power that flows through natural channels. We should not waste God’s time supplicating for miracles when we can make good use of our blessings, such as talent, wisdom, intellect, strength, good health, resources and plenty available opportunities. Why should you pray for a miracle when you are failing to make use of the abundant blessings you have?
It is very important to utilise our blessings, because by His very nature, God is predictable and orderly. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever which means we operate under His consistent law.
For example, when you throw a stone up, it comes down because of God’s law of gravity. If you pray and fast for 40 days and assume that you can jump from a 10t-storey building and survive because God will perform a miracle to save you, you are just being stupid as you will die or get seriously hurt; courtesy of the law of gravity.
In terms of success, it is the same. It is against God’s prescribed laws and principles, to think you can attain success simply through miracles activated by prayer and fasting without working for that success. Regardless of how hard you pray, if you do not work hard, you cannot attain the so-called miracle. Forget about miracles about money falling from heaven like manna. You need to sweat to get money and buy cars.
Psalm 128:2 bluntly says, “You will eat the fruit of your labour; blessings and prosperity will be yours.” The same holy book in Proverbs 12:11 repeats the admonition. “Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense.”
Jumping from one church to another in search of miracles is fantasy. Proverbs 14:23 has good advice for miracle hunters. “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”
I am mindful that there are those who think success emanates from being talented. That too is a huge lie. It is important to be naturally gifted in an area of your specialisation, but the adage:
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard,” is true. Lazy talented people flop in life while talented workaholics become stars.
Aamir Azeem, a university don in Pakistan once said: “It is a universal truth that luck without hard work has a limited life; if luck provides you a chance then the hard work is the only solution to avail and maintain that position. If someone gets the extraordinary results merely by the luck and avoids hard work, soon this position will be shifted towards the person who is capable to maintain it. Hard work is the tool which converts the failure into success, weakness into strength, poverty into richness and ignorance into education.”
A distinguished African American Colin Powell, who once served as US Secretary of State, once said: “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”
Innovation, hard work and determination are principles we need at individual, institutional and national level to achieve success. We need to exploit our blessings which are in form of talents, resources and available opportunities instead of hunting for magical or miracle money.