Founder of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), Pastor Mensa Otabil, has told his congregation on Sunday, 20 August 2017, that he clung to God’s promise of perfect peace even in the middle of storms to shake off the bad news of the collapse of Capital Bank, of which ICGC, represented by himself, owned 3%.
He said he was trusting God to get him out of the situation so he could bounce back “as gold” with a double portion of the blessing he had lost as a result of the collapse of the bank.
“All I want is God when I come out of this, it’s going to be double. When I come out of this, I shall come forth as gold.”
A statement issued by the Central Bank on Monday, 14 August 2017, said: “The Bank of Ghana has approved a purchase and assumption transaction with GCB Bank Limited that transfers of all deposits and selected assets of UT Bank Ltd and Capital Bank Ltd to GCB Bank Ltd.
“The Bank of Ghana has revoked the licenses of UT Bank Ltd and Capital Bank Ltd. This action has become necessary due to severe impairment of their capital. The remaining assets and liabilities will be realised and settled respectively through a receivership process to be undertaken by Messers Vish Ashiagbor and Eric Nana Nipah of PricewaterhouseCoopers.
“The main offices and branches of UT Bank and Capital Bank will be under the control of GCB Bank and will be opened at 1 PM today for normal business transactions.”
At the Church’s headquarters in Accra on Sunday, Dr Otabil said the news roughed him up badly but he believes it is a sign of bigger and better things to come.
He told his congregation: "I hope you’ve had a good week. Last week when I preached ‘Nothing Missing’, I didn’t know I was preaching to myself but God is a good God and when I told you to go with this confidence and assurance that in Christ Jesus, you are more than conquerors, I think for the first time I was preaching to myself. God is a good God and He always brings us the victory in Christ Jesus and I am very, very confident that His goodness will never cease and His mercies will never cease.
"I’m not going to preach about what is happening all around, it’s been quite an interesting week, so many things to learn from, things to thank God for, things to celebrate and things just to try and think through and really find out how to discover God’s will when you are going through a storm.
"After Greater Works this year, I had a couple of warnings that storms were coming and I thought I was an expert at dealing with storms but once in a while a big one comes and you say: ‘Wow this is a new thing’, and this week was one of them but God is good.
"Monday [14 August] was a good day for me. Tuesday was not a very good for me. Wednesday was not a very good day for me. Normally I start preparing my sermon on Tuesday, and so Tuesday, I wasn’t in a sermon state so I couldn’t really start preparing what to preach. I didn’t know what to preach Wednesday. I wasn’t too sure what to preach and my mind was not on sermon, but on Thursday morning, I picked my computer, opened my Bible software and I knew what God wanted me to say and all of a sudden, a big cloud just left my shoulders and on Thursday morning I knew that God had spoken and there was a breakthrough and I know that God has given us the victory, so I just want to encourage you with the word that has encouraged me, is that OK?
"Because last Sunday I preached a word to encourage you and it has encouraged me so I say let me be more deliberate about it; to preach something that I believe will encourage people because one of the things you learn as a pastor is to know that your members go through difficulty and sometimes when you are a pastor you stand on the pulpit and you tell people that: ‘Go and face challenges, you’ll overcome' and all of that but it’s good to go through it yourself sometimes and to also understand how people feel when they go through all these diverse trials and temptations and also to find a way out so you can help people out. So my message is very simple this morning… my message is titled: Peace. And my text is from Isaiah 26: 3 and 4. And it is just what helped me: How do you keep your peace when you are in the midst of a storm.
"…The thing about the problem is that even if you don’t look for it, it will look for you; the problem has a way of tracking down people. So sometimes you would just be sitting your somewhere very nicely minding your own business and then something hits that you didn’t expect.
"…When you go through any difficulty what you have to deal with is your mind, it’s very important because it is in the mind that you can either have peace or not have peace.
"Oh yes, I’ve had some reality this week. You know when people who have no right to insult you insult you, that is the reality. You look at the person insulting you and the person, sometimes, himself looks like an insult. But out of the abundance of his insult, he is insulting you, so that is reality. Reality is when it is hitting, when all kinds of stuff are hitting... I don’t want to go too much into that.
"For me, this is what helped me: it is getting hold of my mind and on Thursday morning, I woke up and I said: 'Well I have a church to preach to on Sunday. They are not going to come and listen to pastor’s troubles. They need a word of encouragement so I go to my process of beginning to prepare my sermon and part of the process of doing my sermon is I start praying for the congregation, so I’m not praying for myself.'
"Am I in difficulty? Yes, but now I’m beginning to frame my references well. I’m praying for the people and I’m praying for people who are going through their own challenges and people who are going through all kinds of situations, I say: 'Lord help me bring a word to them that will encourage them, that will lift them up.' When you get to that frame of mind, you are now leaving the space of the storm and you are now getting to the peace of God, you are now becoming an instrument for God to use for his glory and for his purposes.
"You have to determine where your mind is going to stay. Is it going to stay on you, on yourself, on others or on God? Are you going to think about that person who you think has no right to even mention your name in a sentence who is now insulting you? You can’t think about that because it’s not worth the use of your mental energy. You can’t think about that. And you can't also think about yourself too much because when you think about yourself, you feel pity for yourself.
"… There has to be a focus to where you put your memories, your reality and your imagination. It is a discipline. You have to control your mind and guide your mind not to go where it doesn’t want to go.
"And this week, I have really learned to do that; to guard my mind.
"Oh yes, it’s going to be bigger, it’s going to be better, it’s going to be greater. This year’s Greater Works was a point of departure and something huge took place. We poked somebody’s eyes. And when you poke somebody’s eyes, he’ll hit your hand. So what we’re experiencing is the hand-hitting. But the eye has been poked already. I said the eye has been poked already. The eye has been poked already. We transited and something massive is coming out of it, something massive. It cannot be stopped, it cannot be delayed, it cannot be denied. It’s coming because God has decreed it, it’s upon this nation. What happened at Greater Works was not just for ICGC. It was the turnaround of Ghana’s destiny. Ghana’s destiny was taken back and Ghana’s destiny is turning around and nobody can stop it, no devil in hell can stop it. We have poked the devil’s eye and we have the victory in Christ Jesus.
"It is not Otabil’s battle, it is bigger than me. We trust His promises. I believe that this nation from this year is leaping forward. The story of this nation will change, it will have a ripple effect over the story of Africa. There’ll be great economic growth, great financial growth. It’s going to be bigger, it’s going to be better, it’s going to be greater, it’s going to be massive, it’s going to be beautiful, it’s going to be pleasant. But when God promised the redeemer He said that He’ll bruise the head of the serpent but the serpent will also bruise His heel. You can’t bruise the head of the serpent and go scot-free. Your heel will go through something so we understand what is going on. I understand what is going on, we are fully confident of what is going on, we know how the story is going to end. We know the glory of God will be revealed. We know that this nation will rise. We know that victory is coming to the people of God, so we don’t personalise our problems. We understand the promises of God that it is going to be better. You have to trust His promises and then you have to trust His plans.
"… So it’s going to be bigger. It’s going to be better. It’s going to be greater. It’s going to be gold. The money is coming and it’s coming big. We have stepped into money. We have stepped into a season of wealth. We have stepped into a season of abundance. The devil cannot stop it. There’s going to be a massive wealth transfer coming to the children of God, it’s going to be massive. I said it’s going to be massive. There’ll be massive projects being done, massive institutions being built. There’s going to be an acceleration in the next 10 years. This church [is] going to build things it has not done in its 30-year history, and it’s going to be done in a very short time because there is going to be a massive wealth release. Oh yes, I know it with all my heart.
"You know I don’t care about my enemies being destroyed; they are not on my agenda. I want to do well … I mean what’s the value of your enemy being destroyed and you, too, not doing well? So your enemy is down and you are down and you are happy? No. I don’t care what happens to my enemy. I care what happens to me. I want to rise. I want to flourish. I want to blossom. I want things to work out for me. Please don’t focus on what would happen to your enemy.
"… And at this point, really I’m not concerned about enemies. No. Enemies are not my agenda. My life is too important to focus on enemies. All I want is God. When I come out of this; it’s going to be double. When I come out of this, I shall come forth as gold.
"I just came here to encourage myself and to encourage somebody that if you learn to stay your mind on Him, no matter what’s going on, just keep your mind like a horse rider keeps the horse under control. keep your mind stayed on Him."