… but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. Rom. 16:19
Do you know the price you need to pay to fulfill this scripture? You will have to give up many, many things. God will see to that, if you allow Him.
Evil, as spoken of here, is synonymous with the flesh. In other words, we need to be simple when it comes to the flesh. That is what this scripture is saying. Scripture is warning us here that if you decide to answer this high spiritual calling, you will, without a shadow of doubt, arrive at a place where you will not only live without many of the trappings of this world, but where also people will view you – and probably call you to your face – as stupid, a simpleton, poor, classless, a fool. Today, many of my brethren from Africa are losing limb and life (and marriages and children) in the desperate bid to get to the West to escape the so-called hard life. But, with the gospel, the hard life is exactly what we have been called to. A true child of God will not fear to live the hard life, nor to be viewed as, or called, any of those negative things, for the sake of the gospel.
Today I want to narrate to you the story of Mzee (Old man) Mgoloka. Mzee Mgoloka was a beauty in the Spirit, and he died leaving behind a legacy that shook all our churches at Zion Gospel Assembly.
Mzee Mgoloka was an elder in our church in Shinyanga. But he lived an interesting spiritual life; simple, frugal and extremely down-to-earth. The man did not even own a bicycle.
But Mzee Mgoloka had a working son and one day this young man decided to buy his father a truck so his father could relaxedly earn some income. The truck came complete with a driver.
Early the next morning after the hand-over, the truck was driven out to begin ‘rolling in the money’. But it hadn’t been gone ten minutes, though, when Mzee Mgoloka received a phone call from the driver.
“Hello, Mzee, please rush to such and such a place, I’ve just encountered a problem.”
“What problem?” Mzee Mgoloka enquired with surprise.
“Oh, just a small problem with the traffic police, sir”, the driver answered.
Within minutes, Mzee Mgoloka arrived on the scene. He went straight to the driver and asked him, “What’s the problem?”
“Oh, nothing, sir, except I didn’t come with any money.”
“What money? Money for what?” enquired the old man.
“Er, well, you know the way it is with the roads, Mzee.”
Immediately, it struck Mzee Mgoloka that in owning this truck, he had just stepped onto a very narrow road; but it was not the strait and narrow road that he had read in the Bible. This was a narrow road of a different kind. And he knew exactly where it led to.
BUT Mzee Mgoloka also knew what he needed to do.
He walked up to the traffic officer and addressed him.
“Sorry, sir”, he said, “I understand there is a problem with my truck. Please, sir, kindly, please, I beg you… if you can forgive an old man like me only this once, I promise to not bother you again.”
The traffic officer was fascinated by the old man’s show of humility and, after thinking it through, he granted him his request and waved the truck through.
Mzee Mgoloka got into the truck with the driver. He instructed the driver to turn around and head for his son’s house. When they arrived, Mzee Mgoloka asked the driver for the truck’s keys. He then got out of the vehicle and purposefully walked into the house. Once inside, he called out to his son.
When the young man arrived, Mzee Mgoloka handed him the truck’s keys.
“Son”, he said, “I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the good thoughts you have had towards me in buying me this truck. But I have perceived that this truck will take me straight to hell. This truck will prevent me from entering heaven, and I cannot allow that. So, here are the truck’s keys. And I thank you very much.”
The old man turned around and walked out of his son’s compound and that was the end of the matter. Not too long afterwards, Mzee Mgoloka died and went to heaven. He died on a Sunday afternoon, right after he had delivered a sermon in church. It was one of the rare Sundays that he had gotten the opportunity to preach in church. No doubt, God wanted this spiritual major-general to bid a proper farewell to the church.
Such is the price that we will need to pay to get to heaven. Mzee Mgoloka’s example might appear extreme, but in reality it is not. Not at all. On the contrary, that’s the gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s how the simple, ordinary life of a spiritual person ought to be lived. The notion that such a lifestyle is ‘extreme’ is what has spawned the prosperity gospel and all the other gospels that cater to the flesh.
To this day, Mzee Mgoloka’s legacy stands, and it stands tall.
It is the flesh that fears to lose. Fear of this life is driving many of God’s children to do many spiritually regrettable things. The flesh wants to be coddled, and to receive the things of this world. But the spiritual person does not fear to lose. Remember Jesus’ words:
“Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.” (Lk. 17:33)
If we decide to cater to the Spirit, we must be prepared to lose. And, for some of us, we probably will need to lose more than what Mzee Mgoloka lost.
[Beginning today, for a while, I shall be posting here the old Hillsong gospel songs. They are timeless. I hope they will be a blessing to you]