My Pastor’s teaching on being courageous, I must admit, is what has given me the boldness to share my story. Even for this, I am very grateful to God.
Being a Pastor’s child, I was encouraged by my dad to read my Bible everyday. He said that if I read at least a chapter a day, it will really help, even in my academics and other areas. I started but got bored along the way so I stopped.
I was always sick as a young child. Once it was so serious that I missed a whole term when I was in JSS 2. My dad was mostly at home with me during this period, so he’d always come to my room with his Bible and teach me. He made reference to the scripture where Jesus told His disciples that the demon from the young boy could only be cast out by prayer and fasting. As a result, we fasted and prayed from 6am-10am. After that, he’d bring his Christian literature from authors like Kenneth Hagin and we’d sit together and read. I wasn’t interested in the books read, I just didn’t enjoy them but I read with him notwithstanding so that he wouldn’t feel bad.
Evils crept in…
From my JSS1-JSS3, I attended a Christian School, so I wasn’t really exposed to bad morals. I was a good boy and didn’t cause any trouble. The only problem was that I had anger issues and I’d take it out on my sister. I recall once, when I was younger, about 5 years old, I picked up a knife and almost stabbed her. I don’t know how I stopped suddenly but I remember my dad disciplining me severely that day. We kept on fighting everyday still. We were like ‘cat and dog.’
In SS1, my school was changed. This new school was bad. I had struggled a bit with lust before that time, but it didn’t really come up till I resumed the new school in SS1. I tried to date a girl but it didn’t work out. So, I just focused on my books in SS1 and excelled.
Because I topped the class at the end of the term, other students in the school started recognizing me. My elder brother who had graduated from the school had a good record too, he was very intelligent as well so they thought I’ll do the same thing. They made a lot of appraising comments about me because of that. My house was crowded most of the time with students. We’d play and do other things children did. Nothing really bad happened.
In SS2, the girl I tried to date earlier began to make advances at me. By now, I was no longer interested in dating mostly because my elder brother said it wasn’t good. It was kind of funny when I found out later that he was actually in a lot of relationships! He was worse than me (but thank God for finding my brother too!). I became a playboy who wouldn’t date, but just stick around girls for pleasure. I broke people’s relationships and enjoyed how the girls came to me quickly. This made me have issues with their boyfriends. And when I began JAMB preparatory classes later, I got introduced to more girls and did however i pleased with them.
I stopped studying like I used to and this made my position drop to 3rd in a class I used to top. This was by second term SS2. I gave the excuse that it was normal, and I couldn’t take first position all the time. By third term, I had dropped to 5th position.
I had some friends in school who were cultists too, and of course, my parents had no clue about this. Even my school father, I suspect, was a cultist. I remember one time when I did their signature handshake openly, and I almost got the beating of my life.
I guess I was attracted to their lifestyle because I loved fighting. And this love of mine, sadly, couldn’t be explained. Anytime someone upset me, I’d want to fight. One time when I was still in SS1, a senior student in SS2 was bullying and giving me sweeping jobs to do. Already, I was exempted from such jobs because of my health issues and the school was well aware, but this senior insisted. We exchanged words for some time and while this was going on, my classmates came and spurred me to fight. My school father showed up also and sat down at a distance. Seeing this encouraged me to stand up to him the more.
Unfortunately, the principal was coming downstairs, and when we saw him, we all calmed down and instead of making the matter worse, I decided to go and sweep. When I was about to sweep the class, the senior student began to say some things (which I can’t recall now) that annoyed me. I took the broom, used it on the floor twice or thrice, I believe (I’m not sure now if I was sweeping the floor or scattering the dirt around), and then walked out on the senior student. He was so furious and was shouting behind me saying I was going to sweep the floor the next day by all means. The next day, I went to school earlier than the senior student and there was no way he could tell me to sweep, and that was the end of the issue.
Well, before the above incident, the senior student and I had had some misunderstandings in the past. There was a time he came to collect my phone in school, since I used to carry it to school then. I gave him my mathematical set saying that the phone was inside. He collected it and when he opened it, he saw nothing. I just stood there laughing at him. Well, just for clarity, one of the reasons I carried my phone to school was because my class teacher told me to (and sometimes, my school father too). I believe this senior student knew this, yet he’d make plans to seize the phone from me and expect me to give him money to redeem it.
I was brutal but didn’t show it except someone hurt or wronged me in some way. There was a new guy who came to the school at that time. He was trying to act like he was strong and bad with everyone. Even when I tried to advise him not to advertise himself as a rough boy, he didn’t really listen. He annoyed me. He spoke using cultist slangs and I spoke back with the little I knew. This surprised him. We almost got into a fight once outside school because he tried to fight one of my female classmates who I had a crush on. I punched the guy that day and I ‘felt’ myself [I was proud of what I’d done]. Moments later, some of my classmates began to approach us, shouting, “Who goes there?” They were coming to beat him for trying to fight with their Class Prefect [me] after they heard the noise we had caused. The guy ran into someone’s kitchen which was closeby when he saw them coming and didn’t come out till we left the place after I told my classmates to forget about it.
A Chip on My Shoulder
Another incident happened when I was in SS1, but thank God that there was no opportunity for violence. The SS2 students took one of my classmates into their class and started bullying him. This got me and my classmates annoyed so we went to the back of the school and picked up some bottles. While we were going back to the class, the bell for another class (Physics) was rung. Since the majority of us who were planning to fight the SS2 students were science students, hence offering that subject, and the physics teacher was also very strict, we had to go to his class and planned to deal with the SS2 students later. But thank God there was no ‘later’ because the initial zeal died off, we got distracted, and our classmate was later released.
Sometimes too, I and a few stubborn classmates who were my friends would not go for the closing devotions in school. We preferred to stay in the class and whenever we were almost caught in the class, we would jump a short fence that connected the secondary school with the primary school (the fence separated the secondary school from the primary section). This path took us close to the devotion ground so we could blend in as though we had been there since. Sometimes, we would run from there to the back of the school, where the canteen was, to continue hiding.
I also recall that when I was little, I fought with my childhood friend and his two younger brothers. It was three against one, but I stood my ground. Don’t worry about the winner, we usually reconciled quickly.
I was exposed to a lot of movies too. Now, I understand that movies you watch do lay hands on you, as I’ve been taught in Believers Bible School in church. I watched a lot of vampire movies and so I wanted to be like them. I think I went online to read about them and all that they could do. It even made me think I loved blood. One time, two people in my class fought, and one was injured. I just stood there frozen, because of the blood I saw. The whole vampire characteristics started to come up as I stood there just watching instead of stopping the fight (I was the Class Prefect then). It was an unusual and strange thing, I wondered why I had such seeming ‘high’ feeling when I saw blood, even if it was mine.
I left the school in SS2 to another school. I continued the relationship policy of not really dating but hanging around girls for pleasure even though I never slept with any of them because I thought it would mean that I have to commit myself to the relationship.
So, my life in summary was just all about fighting, being a playboy, lusting after people (even those older than I was, like female teachers or Corps Members at school).
One day, in the midst of all of this, I came back home and met M. (my elder brother) and my mum in the sitting room. He was telling her about God. I was shocked! I wondered what had gone wrong with him. This wasn’t normal at all. He was serious and talking about different scriptures. I marveled and wondered where he got such knowledge from. I didn’t know him to be a very serious Christian in that way. So, I sat down and listened as he kept talking. He even shared his prophetic revelations with my mum – another wonder! I thought to myself, “M. now sees visions?”
But what he was saying touched my heart a little. It gave me some sort of hope that if my brother who I knew so well could change, then I could change also. So I asked him what church he was attending and he said God’s Lighthouse. I asked him if I could come with him and he said ‘Yes’ but we both knew that my dad would not be in support. I didn’t mind that; I wanted to see this place. My brother encouraged me to get a notebook for studying the Bible, and to start reading my Bible daily, and then intentionally write down whatever I learnt from the Bible in the notebook. I went to the supermarket to get one immediately.
Something interesting happened when I went to the supermarket. I was with ₦1,000 which I used to get the book. But when I got back to the house, I saw the money in my pocket. I was shocked! There was no way I could have left the supermarket without paying, but still, I had my money. I thanked God for the miracle and went on to use the money for something else.
I began to read my Bible again. I started from Matthew. Even though I didn’t understand a thing, I kept on reading. I went as far as Acts of the Apostles during that period. Finally, I made it to one of the church meetings at God’s Lighthouse. At that time, a retreat was ongoing. I remember seeing the Pastor, but I didn’t think that he was the Pastor because of how casual he looked with his combat shorts and casual footwear – I always thought Pastors had to be formally dressed. He just looked weird in my eyes. When I found out that he was really the Pastor, I was shocked. I immediately repented for perhaps despising him in my mind. He kept talking and talking. He didn’t physically open the scriptures as much as he constantly referred to, and quoted them. He just went on and on.
Then the meeting was drawing to a close and it was time to pray. I had come that day with my sister and a female friend. The leaders came to pray for us since we were first timers. They prayed for my sister and my friend but no one came to pray for me initially. I was annoyed. Finally, one of them came and prayed for me.
She asked for ‘eyes to see’ and ‘ears to hear’ for me. I thought that I’d immediately start seeing visions like M. when I got back home but nothing happened. No visions at all. Because of this, I didn’t go back again the next day. I didn’t understand then that the prayer meant much more than seeing visions.
After sometime though, I went back to fellowship with them, and that was when I got baptized in the Holy Spirit. It was awesome. I noticed that a lot of voices that I used to hear and think was my voice stopped after that! Those voices really disturbed me. I studied my Bible more and I was seeing and getting revelations and understanding that I hadn’t seen before. It was amazing.
I was even shocked one time when I prayed for someone who was sick. I prayed for the person while I was in the bathroom and the next time I spoke to the person, she was well. I was amazed that God could hear me, even in the bathroom! I also recall praying for a junior student in school who was very sick when I went to her house. I prayed for her, and told her that she would go to school the next day. The next time I saw her mum, she told me that immediately I left the house, her daughter was jumping and was okay. She even went to school the next day, though not with her school uniform… I had many other amazing experiences.
At a point, I realized that I stopped having dreams. So I got discouraged as I felt God was no longer talking to me. I decided not to go for church meetings again after the one I planned to attend one evening. But this changed when I attended my ‘final’ meeting. Pastor taught extensively that it’s not about only receiving the gifts of the spirit, or desiring prophetic experiences but the big deal is getting close to God, obeying Him and developing the fruits of the Spirit and this is what will help one use the gifts well, and even understand any experience you have. I sure changed my mind after this.
Because of the convictions from the word and help from the Holy Spirit, with time, I started to drop a lot of the bad attitudes and behaviors I had at home and in school. My classmates at school noticed this and made comments that I had actually changed. I didn’t really tell people about the reason behind my change, I just wanted to stay a quiet Christian. But well, you know that isn’t possible because as a Christian, you are supposed to shine your light for the world to see. And there will always be a distinction between you and the children of the world.
A time came in church when the Holy Spirit began to emphasize that we pray from Psalm 139 [emphasis on verses 23-24] intentionally. We had series of prayer meetings during that period which lasted for weeks . During that period, I noticed that my devotions weren’t steady. I couldn’t wake up to read my Bible as usual. I talked to one of our sisters who advised me to set parapets [something to guard, like railings] so I wouldn’t fall as we had been taught in church. I tried taking sweets to stay awake but they didn’t work. It just got so terrible.
I also noticed that I started having anger fits again towards my younger brother. My sister didn’t understand so she picked on me even more, and it fed the fire of anger more and more. I progressed from having the thought of beating her up in my mind to actually beating her up physically. After the incident, I felt so miserable and decided that I would not beat her again and I haven’t since then by God’s grace.
During this period, many things were manifesting themselves; there was laziness towards house chores and Bible study, lustful desires, anger, fighting, the blood desires, and all other vampire imaginations.
It was too much for me. These drove me to start thinking of leaving church again. I would tell myself I had to leave church. I was helpless. I decided to go to church and be prayed for.
The first time I went, I wasn’t prayed for due to time factor and the number of people already waiting so I left and told myself I wasn’t coming back again. I heard voices tell me that there was nothing wrong with me and I totally agreed. By the next day, I knew it was demons speaking to me, because the voice was no longer saying ‘I‘ should leave, instead it said, “let us” leave, like two people having a conversation. I didn’t listen and insisted on going to be prayed for.
That evening before going for the prayers, I got involved in immoral sin with a female classmate of mine at a church. I felt guilty, really bad and guilty. The voices in my head kept reminding and accusing me. I don’t know how but scriptures of God’s love for me flooded my mind at that moment. I knew at that moment that God still loved me. So I prayed for forgiveness quickly. It was a real battle because the lust attacks increased. I couldn’t control myself. I rebuked the voices and strengthened my decision to go to church that evening and I made it to church early.
When pastor came in to pray for us that evening, he told us to pray that God help us forgive people we haven’t forgiven because the enemy often uses that (unforgiveness) against us. As I prayed, I heard the voice say again, “let’s go.” Suddenly, I began to feel hatred for most of the brethren around me including pastor. After a while of struggling between leaving and staying, I decided to go back home. When I stepped out of the gate of the compound with my younger sister who had come with me to be prayed for too, my legs became heavy. I was struggling to walk. My sister took me back into the compound after a short while of considering whether to help me or leave me and go back home. At last I was called in to be prayed for.
A lot happened while I was being prayed for. I behaved violently and was full of so much rage. I prayed inside me, asking God to help me in the midst of the whole things and, that’s when I felt a relief. I remembered all the things my brother taught me about having a will to fight [as he had been taught in church by pastor] and that’s what kept me going. I fought hard not to succumb to the voices I was hearing. After a while of prayers by the few brethren around and my pastor, I was delivered by the Name of Jesus! The voices gradually stopped as I prayed for God to take charge of my mind in the days that followed.
I was taught in church that being filled with scriptures, the sword of the Spirit more and more is what will enable me take down those evil thoughts when they come.
I returned home after that day, and my personal Bible study and fellowship with the Holy Spirit improved and became amazing again. I thank God for grabbing me at this early stage of my life. Everything has worked out for my good.
A Little Experience
On my way back from a friend’s house, there was an issue on the road between a taxi man and a madman. I wanted to board a tricycle and leave, which seemed like the wisest thing to do at the time. But somehow, I felt the Holy Spirit nudging that I should stand where I was. I didn’t know why. The fight continued and I stayed till it was over.
I was with some money and was led get the mad man some water (as I felt he was thirsty.)
I moved sluggishly to a shop nearby because of the small crowd there. while I was being slow and conscious, a man in a shop gave the mad man water. I heard the Holy Spirit say “Timing.” I apologized.
Next, I noticed the man needed someone to clean his wounds (he had wounds on his body). I had heard to do it but… I didn’t get round to doing it before a good Samaritan came and did it. And so I apologized again. Finally, I boarded a tricycle and it was the good Samaritan who helped the mad man to clean up his wounds that was driving. I thanked him from my heart while still feeling convicted about my delaying.
On the way, I asked the Holy Spirit why I was made to see all of that, and I heard, “I created that man too (referring to the madman) and I’m not pleased that he is possessed. Go and tell this to the rest of your brethren.” [It was like a call for me to be serious and grow in knowledge and authority so I can help free those oppressed and bound like I was.]
May Abba be praised for His goodness in my life.
– Bro Mf.P
Bro Mf.P has continued to be a blessing to many others and has been involved in outreaches to secondary school students.
He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org