I certainly cannot say I am knowledgeable in history, especially, African history. However, I pick up bits and pieces of things here and there. So writing about Liberia will not necessarily be from the space of historical events but from the space of the mind of God for that nation and why her history took the direction that it took. And while this is about Liberia, it is also very much more about Afrika as a whole. Bits and pieces of history will be added to help give a clear explanation of what this article is about. It is not written to make historical correctness but to give an understanding of what the mind of God holds for Liberia and for Afrika as a whole. Afrika has come a long way in her history and unique placement in the global space and thus it always gives me joy to be able to write something about the nations in Afrika. I love Afrika to bits and will do whatever is necessary in God for the emancipation of my people.
Liberia is a nation within Afrika with such a unique story that is very similar to the Hebrews and it’s from those similarities that I will try to tell the tale of what I believe God would have me share about Liberia.
A Unique Story
Liberia is often described as one of two African countries to have remained independent during the European Scramble for Africa, but this is misleading, as the country was founded by African-Americans in the 1820s. These Americo-Liberians governed the country until 1989, when they were overthrown in a coup. Liberia was governed by a military dictatorship until the 1990s, and then suffered two lengthy civil wars. In 2003, the women of Liberia helped bring an end to the Second Civil War, and in 2005, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected President of Liberia.
The current President George Weah was elected in the 2017 election, defeating the incumbent Vice President Joseph Boakai, and sworn in on 22 January 2018. As it relates to slavery, freedom from slavery and the building of a nation out of those who were once slaves, the story of the Hebrews (The lineage of Abraham) who we now call Israel looks like a precursor to the Liberian story from a technical point of view.
The similarity is quite simple but way too obvious to ignore. Let’s see a scripture for context. Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years… But in the fourth generation they shall return here” Genesis 15:13 – 16 NKJV (Emphasis mine). Of note is that, of all the nations in Afrika whose forefathers were taken from Afrika during the slave trade, only Sierra Leone and Liberia became settlements of freed slaves in Afrika.
For in the same way the Children of Israel returned to Canaan after four hundred and seventy years, which also matches roughly the four hundred years the Afrikan Atlantic slave trade lasted, so did the slaves by whose return to Afrika, Liberia was created. And mind you, all of these bits and pieces are not for historical explanation but for the purpose of similitude of patterns.
These words of the Lord to Abram took about 470 years to come to pass in the history of the Hebrews. (That is if you add the 430 years they spent in Egypt and then the 40 years in the wilderness before entering Cannan.) For by the declaration of the words of Jehovah to Pharaoh by Moses and the various plagues God hit Egypt with, the children of Israel were set free from slavery and brought back to the very land from where their father, Jacob, and his household moved to Egypt.
In the case of Liberia, Afrikans were taken from various parts of Afrika, sold into slavery and after about 400 years, the slave trade was abolished by the declaration of liberty. And not knowing what to do with the freed slaves and the free-born of Afrikan descent in America, they were brought back to the coast of Afrika from which their forefathers were taken as slaves many years prior and a new name given to set them apart as a new nation of people.
However, I am not trying in any way to make historical sense with this article, but to draw attention to the eternal workings of God with and in a people. God’s stories have always been written in history. In fact, history is simply His-Story… God’s Story.
For in the same way the Children of Israel returned to Canaan after four hundred and seventy years, which also matches roughly the number of years the Afrikan Atlantic slave trade lasted, so did the slaves by whose return to Afrika, Liberia was created.
Liberia as a name was not the original name of that coastal nation prior to the abolition of slave trade. It was a name given when the liberated slaves were brought back to Afrika. This tells me that the name is a direct reflection of their new liberty. That is, an Afrikan nation by declaration of liberty from slave trade. This declaration of liberty is real and true, but let me draw you to what I believe is the actual thing in the mind of God, which is, the liberty that comes by the declaration of faith. Faith being that which is in the mind of God, given to a person or people or institution by word of declaration and which then creates a new reality for God through those who the word were given.
The vision about Liberia
God is certainly amazing in His ways and dealings with man. He does not leave us helpless when we need Him. I remember when I was contemplating on which Afrikan nation I was to write about for this issue of the magazine, I had thought about Uganda. And that was simply because God had at an earlier time shared some things with me about Uganda, so I was sure Uganda would be the next in line. But I was surprised when the thought of Liberia came to me so strongly. I didn’t have anything to write about Liberia at first, so I told the Lord about it.
And because we are not dealing with any of the Afrikan nations from the space of history or from their current situations, but from the space of the mind of God, I had to wait to hear from God about what to write.
One night I had this vision. In this vision I was with President George Weah of Liberia. He was dressed in his usual flowing gown (called Agbada in Nigeria) like he was going for a state function but at the same time he was juggling a football. As I watched him play with the ball, the scene instantly changed to him and everyone around singing and dancing to a song I knew many years ago, which before the vision I had even forgotten. The words of the song are “when we get to heaven At the marriage supper All saints are gathered At the last assembly There will be no sorrow There will be no weeping Farewell to sorrow Victory at last”.
I woke up from that experience wondering what the Lord was telling me. I prayed about it and waited for further clarification about the dream. But even as I waited, somehow I knew it was a significant message because the scene of the dream was so real like the entire dance and singing was some kind of declaration of a truth given to a people to live out.
A few days later, when the thought of writing about Liberia became much stronger, I again asked the Lord, “what am I supposed to write about the destiny of Liberia?” It was then He took my mind back to the dream, the singing and dancing with President George Weah and how it connects to the destiny of Liberia as a nation to express the liberty of the Spirit.
The Reality of Liberty of Spirit
Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Corinthians 3:17
The true reality of Liberia as a nation which symbolizes the liberty that comes by the Spirit is not necessarily found in her historical antecedents nor in her modern approach to life or her current state but in that which God graciously put in her as her purpose and destiny in Him. For as the true Israel is not the physical sons and daughters of Abraham, but those who are connected to him by faith, so it is with Liberia. Liberia is destined for great things in God, but she must make the shifts that are required.
This shift is about a movement from that which is flesh and controlled by flesh, to that which is Spirit. And mind you, this is not just about Liberia alone but about Afrika as a whole in which Liberia is a piece of the puzzle. Many things have been done in Afrika through the mastery of the knowledge of physical things, science etc. depending on what was learnt professionally. But it’s time to shift the vibe from what we have always known to heaven’s frequency in this decade of divine creativity. That the dream shows President George Weah shifting from that which he had mastered professionally (Football) to that which was totally outside of the area of his expertise shows the level of shift that is required from that which is known to that which is unknown in God. This message is not just for Liberia alone, but for the entire nations in Afrika and the body of Christ in general. I believe this is why the Lord will allow for this article about the liberty of Spirit to begin this year, 2020, which is not just the beginning of a new year, but the beginning of a new decade.
The journey has been long and many are tired from the past decade, but the Lord has come to shift us from that which we know in the physical to that which only the liberty of Spirit can give. It’s time to shift gear from where we are right now to deeper realities in God by His Spirit. I know just about nothing about the physical situation in the nation of Liberia and I have never been there before, but one thing which I know is that, she has gone through two civil wars which clearly did a lot of damage to that beautiful nation. Liberia is one nation that has seen sorrow from the two civil wars, the civil unrest and the coups. But as the song declared “There will be no sorrow, There will be no weeping, Farewell to sorrow, Victory at last”. For God is still in the ministry of reconciliation and restoration of broken things, hearts and people.
Someone might say that the song speaks of “when we get to heaven”. I agree, but heaven is not just a location in which God dwells from human sight, heaven is wherever God decides to dwell in real time. Meaning, heaven does not happen because of lights and angels, heaven happens because of God. His presence is heaven. What this tells me is that, the true liberation and victory of Liberia can only be found in the presence of God and nothing else. New innovations, technology military strategies, high profile thinkers, new economic policies etc will not make the true purpose of Liberia manifest. Only the presence of God which is heaven on earth will do it. So let Liberia, Afrika and everyone who wants to walk in true liberty begin to embrace the reality of the presence of God.
For sons of God shall arise out of Liberia in real time, and by their lives in God, they will bring forth the counsel of God in that land and in Afrika. Liberia will rise by the working of the Spirit of liberty. For her sorrows which were many will turn to joy, for the Lord is well able to make it so. Amen.