“About him all the prophets testify, that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” Acts 10:43 NET.
When the necessary part was neglected…
I was born to a home which will be called a normal Christian home. As the first child and born to a working class parents, I was placed under the care of the house help. Oftentimes, most of the days, my dad who was a civil servant was not around during the day except in the evenings. My mum worked in a bank. Everyone around me and within my neighbourhood considered me to be a “good boy”. Well, I was, during my tender days until something happened and that damaged me in my thought.
In Primary 3, at the age of 7, I was sexually abused by our house help. At that time, I never knew what we were doing wasn’t right; It wasn’t just once, we did have sex in the house when no one was around. At that time, the house help was at least seven years older than I am. That singular act introduced the spirit of lust in me. Till now I never told my parents what had happened between us, we all both pretended as if nothing had happened. And she (house help) stayed a long time with us after that incident.
My parents, being in the working class and also civil servants, ensured that we had the best education any parent at that level could wish for their child to have. I went to the most popular and most expensive school in Aba. This school was owned by an American. The fact that the proprietor was a black American can give you an idea about how deficient the school was in morals and putting the fear of God in pupils and students. This school thought that their all-in-all mission was producing top notch brilliant students who excelled in every academic discipline. They never thought it wise that the students’ morals and spiritual life was also a thing to develop. In short, it was never a Christian school. Majority of students who went there were from wealthy families. Often times, students even as early as Primary 1 often engaged each other in sexual activities. I was the quiet one in class and I saw this happen in class amongst pupils. It was nothing new to hear that a boy and a girl made out in the restroom. We would giggle at it when we heard it. I went to school always and saw this happen. My parents never asked or enquired about the morality of the school and class I was in. Sometimes, I was an accomplice to some of these acts. I mean that at Primary School, it wasn’t weird anymore to hear talks that were sexually explicit.
Eventually, I went to secondary school and turned worse. I was very good at pretending. I had different personalities for different people, at different occasions. I was a chameleon and my parents never suspected how rotten I was, especially in my mind. My parents never knew what went on beyond that gates of the school, within the rooms that made up our classrooms, except I told them. However, I never did tell them everything as I carefully and cunningly excluded that part I was involved in. Oftentimes, from primary school, even nursery, it was the driver that took us to school and brought us back. The only time my parents ever came, especially my mother, was when the school called a conference meeting when I was lagging behind academically. I was distracted even though I was brilliant.
Another form of bondage:
I was introduced into watching pornography in my JSS 3, shortly after my Junior WAEC examination. Prior to that incident, a classmate of mine had brought a 24-in-1 pornography video CD pack. As at then, it was normal. The spirit of lust was rapidly taking over minds. My waking hours was spent mostly fantasising about myself in scenes that were pornographic. I desired to break away from this habit and so, I read portions of the Bible to see if it would change me. I had heard that the Bible changes people’s life and so I read the whole of the New Testament. It seemed that I had gone worse.
Taking a breath of freedom
I took this issue to the university. While in my first year, GLH brethren led by Pastor came to my faculty fellowship. That was when I heard of God’s Lighthouse. When Pastor had finished praying and had called for people who wanted to give their life to Christ, I came out too. I was prayed for and for the next two months my life had a dramatic change, although, I had not attended their meetings. I suddenly began to preach to people in my room; however, this did not last long as I went back to square one. The reason why I went back to sin, this time deeper, was because I never had God’s Word stored up in me. His word was lacking in me and as a result I fell because I was walking in darkness.
The book of Psalms 119:105 says “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” God’s word is a light. The amount of God’s word in you will determine how bright the light will shine on your path, how you will be able to see what is on your path and if it’s an obstacle, how to overcome them. When this Light is lacking or dim, you’re at great risk.
Because God’s word, that is, the sincere milk of God’s word which is in Hebrews 6:1 was lacking, I fell back to sleep. My major problems were pornography and anger. I still remembered that I had rejected calls from GLH members who wanted to follow me up spiritually. I don’t know the reason I did this. This graduated into my second year in the university and pornography was eating me up alive. I could spend a whole five hours watching pornography. Sometimes, when I exhausted my data, I’ll go and withdraw money from my account, I literally bought up the whole airtime from the recharge card vendor. I never recharged in small amounts. When you’re addicted to some habits, sometimes, you’ll be unable to reason very well. I just wanted to satisfy that urge in me.
I remember that Utibe, who was a senior colleague in my faculty was asking me to come for meetings, almost everyday. I felt that he was disturbing me and I thought he was going to kill me with worry if I don’t honour that invitation. So, I decided to go to GLH on one of those week days after classes. Utibe drew a map for me and I followed it to a certain point. However, because I had not been there before and there was no sign board, I soon got lost and I had to follow my instinct. However, it was God directing me.
I came in the evening and joined the Bible Believers’ School class (BBS). The topic been taught that day was “Eternal Judgment.” I saw Pastor and other GLH members and what struck me was how simple everything and everyone was, especially in dressing. He (Pastor) was wearing combat shorts and I found this abnormal.
My encounter with God here also helped me to work and change other major issues I had. One of these issues was anger. I would get so angry that I’ll say things I shouldn’t say to anybody. My anger led me to do things that are not scriptural. I’ll get angry at my siblings and even objects. I would smash objects on the wall in anger. I would pick up objects like sticks and hit anyone that angered me including my siblings. Coming here, helped me control my anger. I was encouraged by my shepherd to study and pray about anger, which I did. I came across James 1:20 which tells us that “the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” This verse ministered to me, as I came to understand that you can’t and will never do the right thing or be righteous in a state of uncontrolled anger. I learned that yes (even though) I had a right to be angry, I should not sin in my anger- Ephesians 4:26.
I also had to study the Bible about the issue of lust and a particular scripture helped me. This was 2 Samuel chapters 11 and 12 which tells us about David and Bathsheba.
The Holy Spirit led me into all truth (John 16:13). I began to understand that listening to worldly music, no matter how inspirational is detrimental and injurious to our spiritual health. I learned to meditate on whatever was of good report, noble and pure (Philippians 4:8). I dropped my drinking habit when I drew closer with God. All I had to do was to obey God. I remember a certain time I was outside Law Lecture Hall 1, after our class meeting, with our course representative during the LAWSAN Presidential Campaign, we shared alcoholic drinks and I got drunk. This was not the usual beer, this was a strong drink. I didn’t know the name of the drink and I didn’t care either. All that mattered was I wanted to drink. Well, as I got drunk, I never knew that Utibe saw me from the window of Law Assembly Hall. They were having a class on Equity. He called me and asked me “Where are you?” I couldn’t answer him. I remembered this was the question God asked Adam and God is still asking us this question, “Where are you?”.
I understood the passage in 2 Corinthians 5:17, which tells us that “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation…” Being in Christ entails that we abide in Christ and Christ in us (John15:4). We have to abide in Christ if we’re to bear fruits. Know this today, being a new creation entails you bear fruit. And you cannot do this on your own. That will amount to a dead work! We must repent from this. Abiding in Christ means that we believe in Him and continue in his word to become disciples. The only way to overcome addictions is to be a disciple and not a mere believer. See Romans 10:10.
Bro. C. E.