I wanted to know the Lord…
I’ve always had an inner desire to know God right from my childhood days. I just could not get the hang of it even though I grew up in the house of a pastor who was like a father to me. I was used to going to church by 7 am and coming back by 5 pm, used to fasting and many other church activities. I was in the choir yet I didn’t know the God I claimed to sing for.
Right now in university, I happened to have Michael and Salvation as my classmates. From a distance, I used to think they were crazy. Primarily because it seemed that our tests would always be cancelled if they were not prepared to write the tests. I was always pissed whenever it happened because they would be so happy and thankful to God. However, deep down within me, I knew there was something about them.
One day, Salvation invited me for a retreat and told me it was to last for seven days. I could not believe a retreat could last that long when our exams were to come up the next week. In fact,it confirmed to me the fact that he was really a crazy overzealous Christian. Later on, the university lecturers went on strike and our exams were postponed.
We eventually wrote the exams. After the exams, Salvation told me he wanted to see me. I tried avoiding meeting with him but I could not. When I saw him, I told him not to bother trying to make me come to God’s Lighthouse because I had heard a lot of negative things about the fellowship. He told me to calm down and we spoke for a long time. After then, I felt very sober by the grace of the Holy Spirit. I had planned that I would give all my attention to my books alone that semester. He told me to attend believer’s classes. I could not imagine how I would be in church three times a week in the evenings instead of reading my books; I just thought I would give it a try anyways.
Enlightenment by God’s Word
So I went for the first class which was a preliminary class. I had never believed in baptism right from the church I was attending. In fact I was just confused generally, because I also used to like listening to the Jehovah’s Witnesses a lot. I always needed proof before I could believe something in the Bible and the Witnesses would always showing me scriptures, so I loved them. I used to attend their Kingdom Hall when in school. I didn’t believe in Holy Spirit baptism.
After the Believer’s class, the teacher asked me if I was born again and baptized, I told her ‘no’. She asked if I wanted to be, I told her ‘no’. When it was time for prayer, everyone started praying in tongues. It was strange to me, so I just took my things and left. When I got back to the house, I was shaking badly and could not accept anything I had heard. I spoke with my roommate who had attended once, and never attended again. She advised me not to go again if my spirit did not accept the place.
The next morning, for the first time, I actually read my Bible first and not my school books. I saw that it was normal for the early Christians to get baptized and immediately I wanted to do so. It made me realize that I did not know anything about the Bible if I could be confused about something as basic as water baptism. The next class, I was excited that I would get baptized in the Holy Spirit, though I was shy and did not tell anyone about it. After the class, sister Ann met me and spoke to me about knowing God. Queeneth and Amaka later joined her. It was then that I got determined to finish attending all the classes. Ann then invited me for Wednesday and Friday meetings. I could not understand how I would spend all my evenings in church.
Deliverance from self righteousness
One Friday, Ann met me in a room and asked me to come for prayer meeting. I told her I would come even though I did not have any intention to do so. Every time someone invited me, I would always cook up some excuses about not having transport fare and other silly excuses. I finally showed up for a Sunday meeting which turned out to be the ‘Lion Sunday’ (a prophetic emphasis on God’s coming judgment).
When the worship began, I didn’t feel the vibes in it because I never used to take worshipping seriously in my home church so I waited for them to be done. But surprisingly, everywhere began to get cloudy and the voices started rising. I turned to look around, and saw my course mates that I used to know in their ‘unbeliever’ days, they all had their hands lifted up in the Spirit, worshipping. When the move of the Holy Spirit started that day, I thought of leaving, but I thought God would strike me dead if I did and at the same time, it was like I was glued to my seat.
Then Sister Queeneth started speaking the message of the Lord, prophesying. I just knew she was not speaking her words. Even though I never used to believe in the Holy Spirit and His moves, this one was just too true to be false. The words she spoke got to me. She spoke about lukewarm Christians and I felt she was speaking to me directly so I was in tears, repenting. It dawned on me that I had not been on the right path. I was just being morally self-righteous. I thought the major sin was fornication and that since I didn’t do it, I was righteous.
Back then in secondary school,we felt the major sin was fornication. One couldn’t walk with a boy without being judged by others. We were more focused on the externals. I started to read romance novels when I was 11 years, my friends were much older so they influenced me. I was a novel addict. It didn’t matter if I was to have a test the next day, I would finish a novel I set my mind on. My mum would see me with a book and wouldn’t check because she trusted that I wouldn’t read bad books so I wasn’t caught. Within me, I knew I wasn’t right with God and I tried to stop, but I couldn’t.
When I started to come here,God taught me a lot. I lost interest in my books and had more desire for the Bible. God helped me in my tests. I could wake up in the night and read my Bible, quite unlike me. When I tried to read my Bible before, I didn’t really understand so it added to my loss of interest. I had met a NEW LOVE. I also started to have dreams, I would also hear the Holy Spirit’s voice and Bible passages in my mind. I felt closer to God. My life started to change and it took a new turn.
Deliverance from pain
My Bible study also got better. God showed me new things. The day I was prayed for I felt the prayer was useless initially since I felt right with God,but I was set free from inner pain.
I was abused when I was three years old. I was abused by about six different people. I had pushed these emotions aside and tried to move on but they never left. My parents didn’t have a happy marriage, my mum blamed me for her misfortune. Since I was five years old, my mum gave me cutting remarks and that caused me a lot of pain. She was really hot tempered so she usually threw things at me or she would hit my head on the wall.
Due to these circumstances, I feel quite protective of my siblings. At nine, I got a scholarship which enabled me to leave my home. I was happy about this. While growing up, I used to create this fantasy world; I could imagine a lot of things. That was my major source of joy. I was quite intelligent and I read books a lot. I also smiled a lot at people and I didn’t talk to people much but I wasn’t a happy person. I would imagine my marriage and that was my way of creating fun.
Also, I met a guy in Abak and we got immoral. My conscience really pricked me, so I confessed to my mum. What pricked me was that my grades didn’t drop while I was in the relationship. Also, no one noticed because my outer appearance looked spiritual; I don’t apply make-up. People judge from the outer appearance most times. After confessing to my mum, I still returned to him. I was one leg into the relationship and one leg out. Finally we broke up because he slept with my friend and broke my heart. That period, I cried a lot. I told God to help me, to give me hope and faith and to mend my heart. I felt guilty about this experience for a while till I read in 1 John 3: 20-21 that God is greater than our hearts and he is able to forgive our sins even if our hearts may feel otherwise. I did set boundaries for those of the opposite sex; it wasn’t due to God but due to the heart break. That wasn’t a good mindset. However, after I was prayed for and delivered of pain, I felt peace. Fantasy building and other weights left. I realized that pain was the root of most of my behaviours.
Deliverance from fear
I used to be very fearful of exams. During my A levels exams, I was extremely scared because I didn’t want to disappoint my parents and uncle, and the fees were quite expensive,. We were also many in the class and the school needed a small number. I was also afraid during my MBBS exam. Since I entered medical school,I’ve felt fear to a high degree. I was also afraid during tests; I would go through memory losses and I’ll be very agitated in the exams hall. Recently, I read the book of Joshua and saw where God would tell Joshua to have courage. God continually told him to have courage showing that Joshua wasn’t so courageous in the beginning. Therefore even when I shake, I consider that God is saying I should be courageous and He’s going to be with me wherever I go. Therefore He is able to take care of my exams even if I don’t read so well because I have to read my Bible and evangelise too.
The fear of material lack also went away. I would give out my last money and look up to my roommate but she also wouldn’t have money. I observed that God provided for my roommate, Esther,in many ways. I learnt faith from those experiences. God also took control of the issues in my family.The scholarship ended after A levels, and I wondered how God will provide for my education. God used my uncle to do this.My uncle volunteered to sponsor me and more people also assisted me. I’ve never really lacked. I also feel bad when people around me lacked because I know they deserved better. So I wanted to experience lack also, I wanted to be in their situations. I prefer to share my money with people than to eat alone; because the people also deserve to eat. I believe in equality. However, I’ve not gone hungry for any day even when I don’t have money. I’ve also seen God working in the lives of people;they obey God and give and He has not allowed them suffer lack.
Deliverance from pride
God delivered me from pride,especially that of self righteousness. Although I looked humble, I was proud. I felt righteous around people who had lust issues. I condemned them in my heart. Then I had a lust attack. I observed both boys and girls, it was abnormal and I couldn’t concentrate. God wanted me to come closer to Him and dwell in Him but I tried to do it by my strength so the attack continued. The attacks gave me headaches. I found it hard to tell people because it was embarrassing for me. Afterwards, I went to God and asked for forgiveness for being proud. After a while, the attacks reduced but I was humbler then and I felt less self-righteous.
Search me Oh Lord!
Afterwards, I was humbler and I started to pray the ‘search me Oh Lord’ prayer ( Psalm 139:23-24). I didn’t find that period funny at all. I wanted God to cleanse me, I wanted a clean slate with God. Indeed, God searched me; I realized that I was really bitter at and jealous of people. I didn’t want any good for the people around me. When I was around my course mates, I was extremely angry at them. I felt it wasn’t normal. I learnt to draw close to God during that period and that changes occured by His spirit and grace and not by my power.
I had more interest in the things of God during that period, so I didn’t go home for the Christmas holiday. Instead I stayed back to read the Bible and to spend some time with God. I almost finished the New Testament. I wanted to just know God and spend time with Him. I realized that whenever I did a crash course with my Bible study,my mind would be transformed in a major way and strongholds would be pulled down and I got closer to God. I had a different and amazing relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Hunger for God’s word and boldness….
Before now, I couldn’t quote scriptures neither could I tell people about Christ. It was frustrating and I wished I knew better. However, I can now share the word of God with people. It seemed like God had put the mantle of courage on me so I am bolder to share the word even with many people at a time. I used to be really timid and shy.
Like I said,I used to be really proud and jealous, I would be unhappy when something good happened to someone. As a result,I was good at condemning people and looking at their bad sides. I also gossiped a lot about people which is not God’s way but God helped me. Now, I preach about the gospel of love and people are convicted. I realized that preaching about love to an unbeliever is more beneficial than preaching condemnation to them. Our pastor once said that we shouldn’t try to prove ourselves to people while trying to preach the message, we should tell them the good news and be at peace with that.
I also preached to my Dad and he agreed with me, even on issues of tithing. He didn’t believe in giving out all of his money to a congregation especially when there are enough resources already. My father is huge but he listened to me, and I was encouraged by that. He even asked me of good church groups to worship and fellowship with. I learnt that although some people looked tough, they became sober when the gospel of Christ was preached to them. They would normally break down in tears despite their tough exterior.
Being around my brethren, especially the older ones made me realise how much of scriptures there is to know and how far from understanding I was. This fueled my hunger for God’s word.There was this feeling of urgency in me. As a result, I would study my Bible for two hours. I really started to enjoy the things of God so much so that it surpassed my interest in my books. I felt stupid at some point because I had lost interest in my books to some extent. God began to teach me balance anyway but the truth remains that my life does not consist of my academics.
Blessed is he that gives….
God also taught me to give. I feel I did it in excess though; I felt like giving out all of my pocket money when I received it. I wanted to do that and be in God’s hands. But if I did that, I wouldn’t be able to eat so I felt bad about it. However, sometimes, I did it and got broke. I used to expect money from another source but sometimes it wouldn’t come, and these situations made me feel very weary. Even at that, I was still sure of the love that God had for me. My parents and friends didn’t show me love enough but within me, I was sure of the love of God. I felt weary because I felt I was distracted by the things of God but since God said His commandments are not burdensome, I understood that He saw what I was going through so I left everything into His hands. I felt more peace without money because I knew God was my sufficiency.
Loving God with all my heart, soul and strength….
I also get emotional about the things of God. Two days ago, God told me to share His word with people, my neighbours, but I was extremely shy and didn’t want to interrupt their conversation. I was extremely burdened for them, and I disobeyed, giving excuses to God for them. I was scared to go because my neighbor is tall and quite plump while I am slim and short. There is a clear difference in body morphology between us. I didn’t want a situation where I would be embarrassed and I really loved to mind my business. In my heart, I said no to God. I told Him I’d rather pray for them than talk to them. I knew this wasn’t true. Since I really loved God, I didn’t want to disobey Him and I felt extremely bad about this. My conscience is fragile. When we worshipped on Friday, I felt God telling me that I didn’t love Him, He told me He came to die for sinners, and since I didn’t want to talk to them the I didn’t love Him. I felt very bad that God would tell me that I didn’t love him.
I had many idols in my heart; my books, my mum and my uncle. It was so bad that I would’ve cheated for my mum if she asked it of me and disobeyed God,even though I knew cheating was wrong. If my mom told me to read my books, I would do my best to read even if I felt tired. I always wanted to impress my mum. I wanted to be an obedient child; I didn’t want my mum sad at any point. I could go against God for my mum at any time. I had a soft spot for my mum which is really funny since she caused me the most pain. However my love began to shift from my mum to God. So I felt really bad about God rebuking me due to my disobedience. I began disliking the thought of disappointing God,so at the end I obeyed Him even though I didn’t see a physical cane on me. So, I prayed for God’s angels to surround the place, since I didn’t want to be manhandled and then talked to the girl. It was a beautiful experience because she listened.
Joy that knows no bounds…
God has been faithful even in the matter of health. I used to take a lot of drugs before because I often fell sick. Now,I experience healing miracles; I ask God to heal me and He does. He’s beautiful.
I have joy within me. True joy, not fantasy driven joy or movie created joy but the real type of joy. I have an inner peace.
I really thank God that Salvation spoke to me because I’m really excited about Him. I love the people around me. I love Grace(a sister) although she behaves weird at times, but Grace is lovely. I’m happy about Annie(another sister). I now relate well with Annie, I didn’t believe I’ll ever be close to Annie in this world but now we talk for long hours and we relate well with each other. I really love Annie. I love others too and I’m very happy that I’ve come across them. God wants us to love one another, so I’m happy that I now love people. God wants us to keep on loving and loving and loving.