Doubting God’s Words
I want to thank God for delivering me from extreme curiosity and doubt. I wanted to read law in the university, but I didn’t gain the admission so I supplemented for philosophy. I channeled the anger of not being admitted into law into reading philosophical books and got addicted in the process. I stopped reading the Bible and started reading ‘logic’ in my first year. I wanted to know and have an idea about everything. I was fascinated by Greek philosophies and even went out of my curriculum. In my second year, I stopped going to church because of my numerous ideas and wondered in my heart; “if God was omnipresent, why is there so much evil?” I was battling seriously with my faith. Philosophy as a course, doesn’t allow us apply the Bible in any arguments- they would say you need to bring in the Koran and other spiritual books if that was the case, else your argument was said to be ‘unsound’.
I would sit on my bunk crying, as I was overwhelmed and confused. I also felt grieved because I had no one to support or comfort me. In my second year, I concluded that God didn’t exist. My sponsors in school lost their jobs, I could barely afford to pay my fees and surviving for the rest of the session became difficult. It worsened the whole situation for me. I would use theories to explain my existence, like Big Bang theory and Darwin’s theory since I was trying to convince myself that God didn’t exist.
Drifting Further Away…
One day, I was reading on demonology – the study of demons. The radio was on and I heard a group talking about various forms of travelling and I got very curious. I really wanted to know more, so I wrote down their number and called. I was invited for their meeting and went the next Sunday. They took me into a room and started lecturing me on many of their practices, including the fact that they didn’t use the Bible as they had their own ‘book’. They told me about a certain initiation – which is in three levels. The first would be after six months, then the second after a longer period. However, you would still be able to leave the group if you wanted. By the third initiation you won’t be able to leave anymore, you’ll be fully a member. I started the first initiation process – I was taught many things amongst which I was expected to sit like I was doing yoga and making their incantation sounds. I felt I would be thought to be crazy by others in the room if I was seen but I was taught not to listen to or look at people.
On my way back I realized I was paying so much attention to the sound of the tricycle I was in…very strange as I thought again that maybe the group was right about paying more attention to nature and physical things. However, I didn’t go back there. I struggled with faith, I doubted the Bible and it stopped making sense! I told God that deep down in me, I believed He existed, but I needed His help to order my step to any church where I could worship Him.
Afterwards, I went to my university’s chapel and yes, God began to work on me. I wasn’t satisfied though, I wanted to know more about the Bible but I stayed there till I graduated as I had told God earlier.
After my send forth service, a friend of mine who had been inviting me to attend God’s Lighthouse reminded me of the invitation and I told him I would come after my project presentation. On my first day, I heard the Bible being broken down to my understanding and I felt satisfied as I was tired of ‘playing’ church. However, I was discouraged by the time they spent in their meetings as I was very time conscious, but I kept coming.
After the class on how to study the Bible, I decided that I will buy a reference Bible when I have some money. At the first shop I entered, the price tag was already there and I didn’t have enough money to get it. I went round and round because somehow I seemed blind to any book shop around and couldn’t see any Bibles. I saw a Bible along the way though, but my mind wasn’t at peace so I dropped it.
I kept walking and met a friend who I hadn’t seen for a while and he told me there were job openings in the university. This was important because I had told my parents I wouldn’t be coming back home after my project. I wanted to stay a while in school and hence needed sustenance. He showed me how to apply to the University for the different positions.
When I left him, I went back to the first bookshop as I noticed I had left something important there. I actually got a Bible there and since then studying it has been awesome! I am grateful to God.
Learning the ways of the Kingdom…
God has been teaching me a lot of things ever since I acknowledged Him in my life again. He has used God’s Light House to draw me closer to Himself. He has taught me to love my brethren and people generally, obey His will, hear from Him and do His biddings. I recall the very early periods of my attendance – the lessons were coming almost daily. I realized I faced situations which were discussed in church and demanded the application of the teachings. A lot of the times I failed to apply what I had been taught and such experiences seemed to repeat itself until I got it right.
I remember one of the lessons was about doing things for people without first considering the financial benefits or the like. It was a lesson on overcoming the spirit of mammon. I was told to help someone manage a provision store that had been neglected and poorly managed. This was after I finished my finals and really in need of money. My belief originally was never to work for anybody for free or for a meager sum but God wanted to change that mindset. I was shocked when I was told about the job as it sounded more like la voluntary service to me. Who does such a thing, being done with school and hoping to earn a living? I murmured and complained within me when I was informed about it.
That same day, on my way to a house I had visited before in Ikot Ekpene road, I got lost. I was shocked to my bones that I could get lost because I knew the way too well for such a thing to happen to me. I could not locate the number of the building and spent almost the whole day going back and forth on Ikot-Ekpene road from about 11am till around 4pm, a place that would not take more than 30 minutes to locate. I boarded a Keke (Tricycle) which drove me till the end of Ikot-Ekpene, with my eyes staring at the numbers which were not properly arranged. When I didn’t locate the place, I entered another Keke from that place to almost the beginning where I had started my search. That was how I ended up roaming Ikot-Ekpene road.
When I became angry and stepped out of one of the keke to ask people, it became more complicated because the people were giving me contrary directions. At some point I got so tired and so angry that I refused to enter any keke or ask anyone any question. I decided to walk instead. I walked to and fro without locating where I was going to. When evening was fast approaching and I was almost crying, it dawned on me that I’d been disciplined by God.
When I acknowledged it and repented, it was as if my eyes were opened and I realized that the building I’d been going back and forth looking for was just few steps away from where I was standing. When I saw it, I was too exhausted to say anything. I just stood there staring at the building and all ability to murmur and complain had disappeared.
This was just one of the many practical lessons God has taught me. I’ve had practical lessons in the area of loving people, having to forgive people that wronged me, letting go of terrible past experiences and many others. In all of these, my relationship with God has been greatly strengthened. I fall in love with him every day and the experiences have been amazing.
Love at last…
Since I grew up in a home where I wasn’t shown much love, I kept so many things to myself, both good and bad. I didn’t grow up with both parents, so many things were just out of place. Most times, I ended up depressed and I didn’t have friends. I wasn’t the social type and it contributed to making me an extreme introvert.
God helped me through this. He made sure I didn’t have to stay alone when I gained admission into the university; I stayed in the hostel from my first year till my final year when I had to leave the hostel. God brought people across my way that helped me to learn how to love and be loved.
The atmosphere of love in God’s Lighthouse was also a great blessing to me. When I was leaving for the National Youth Service Corps, my pastor sat me down and we talked like a father and son. After our discussions, he hugged me twice and it was the most amazing thing that has happened to me since I was born in terms of love and care. I didn’t grow up with either of my parents and I’ve never been hugged by them before for as long as I can recall.
The love and care shown to me by my brethren in every aspect have restored the broken walls of relationship with people. Through this, I have learned to love on people and care for them. He’s still teaching me what love truly means and how to relate more with others. I have really benefited so much from my GLH family.
Before now, one of the things that annoyed me about many church groups was that they were always taking from the people no matter how poor they were. I came to discover that GLH and few other church groups were actually teaching and giving the way Jesus and the apostles taught. Though a small group,they strive to meet one another’s needs as the need arises. No one ever truly gets stranded. When a person is going through persecution from his or her family and friends, he does not feel it too much as he is not left alone; one person’s problem is the problem of everybody. Things are done in common and this really encouraged me and made me feel like I belong to a family. These and many more are the things that I have benefited from God’s family.
I was baptized in the Holy Ghost back in the university chapel but my doubt and unbelief hindered my ability to speak in tongues. I didn’t believe in speaking in tongues even while I was in chapel until one of the Pastors here asked me about it. He then said that God’s spirit was upon me but I have not allowed Him access. He told me to go back to my hostel that day and ask God to help me commune with Him. I didn’t believe at first but I just obeyed and did as he told me.
I was on my bed around 11pm when my roommates were already falling asleep and the room had become less noisy. I started to sing and worship God. I worshipped for a very long time and then I asked for the anointing of the Holy Spirit. I didn’t know what time it was exactly, but at some point, I started quaking and speaking in other tongues. This happened right into the next morning when it eventually stopped and I slept off.
The Spirit of prophecy was equally poured out on me. This was an irony in relation to me as I hated anyone or anything associated with prophecy. The gift of prophecy was widely abused and used by some people to put others in fear and bondage either for financial gain or based on ignorance of God’s Word. However, receiving proper teachings and seeing the manifestation of prophetic gifts, in love, through fellow young people was an encouragement.
On Sunday, 9th of September 2018, my birthday, which was just in few weeks of worshipping with GLH, I asked God for a birthday present before going for a church meeting. In the course of worship in the service, I was overwhelmed by the power of the Holy spirit. I was on the floor speaking in tongues. My whole body felt as though I was soaked in fire and I could feel it right from my heart. I began to prophesy. That was the first time, ever.
After then, whenever we go into intense worship, the spirit of the Lord will come upon me and I’ll begin to prophesy. About a month later, my spiritual eyes were opened. I began to see visions and receive words of knowledge. I was given many books to read and messages from the church meetings about prophetic ministry. I learnt both from scriptures and present day experiences. As time went on, my faith became stronger and some things became clearer as I got more understanding.
I learnt not to take the revelations lightly. I had a dream at one time where armed robbers raided my house. I ignored it but it came to pass. Robbers raided our compound and made away with phones, laptops, and other things. God used these giftings to let me know that He really exists and He’s more than anything I ever thought of or knew him to be.
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good tidings
I’m grateful to God for the boldness to preach the gospel. I’d never spoken to anyone confidently about God because I was always afraid that I would say rubbish and end up disgracing myself. Now, I’ve been encouraged by the teachings of God’s Word to rely on the grace of God and the Holy Spirit to minister to others. Ever since I got this understanding, talking to people about Jesus and the work of the cross has became an exciting thing for me; from group evangelism, to one-on-one evangelism, to preaching in public transportations. I’ve had my transport fares paid by people, on several occasions, in appreciation.
Healing the sick and casting out demons
After my final exams in the University, I engaged in an entrepreneurial venture before the National Youth Service Corps. On one of those days, while carrying out my business transaction in the hostel, I entered a room and met a student who was really sick. He was lying down on one of the beds in the room. I was told he has been down with sickness for some days and was vomiting everything he had eaten. The Holy Spirit asked me to pray for him but I pushed it off and planned to do so when I was done with my business because I had a time constraint.
After I’d gone round the hostel and was about to leave, the Holy Spirit reminded me of the boy so I went back quickly. I spoke with him and then prayed for him. I also made him eat. The next morning, I went to his room again to see him and he was completely healed.
During my National Youth Service program, I was asked to volunteer as a facilitator for a Secondary School Holiday camp for all Christian students living in Zamfara. It was a week-long program. I and other corps members handled Bible study and helped in counseling the students. The last day of the program was a tarry and the power of God hit the place strongly and many children were slain in the spirit.
Some of the children were demonically oppressed. This was obvious by their reactions and words. A child of about fifteen years would have to be pinned down by four or five mature people. Now, because of the trainings I received in God’s Lighthouse about casting out demons, I wasn’t frightened at all when it happened. We just moved from one person to another praying and casting the evil spirits out of the children.
In one of the encounters, people were praying fervently but the evil spirit would not come out of the student. I remembered what my Pastor did in one of the deliverance sessions when he asked a girl who was possessed to call the name of Jesus. At that point, the evil spirit that was talking through her suddenly kept quiet and the mouth became locked as though it was glued shut. I applied the same here. When I asked the girl to call on Jesus , she suddenly kept quiet. The mouth was locked as though glues were used on them. We tried to force the mouth open just for the girl to call Jesus and as she was able to call Jesus repeatedly, she became free. I’m grateful to God for my salvation and the training from this ministry and I return all the glory to Him. Amen.