My personal faith story is quite an interesting one.
Like every Nigerian or most Nigerians I was born into a Christian home. We all have a foundation but I became a Christian not the religious one, practical working with God when I was 19 years on – February 15, 2012,Wednesday precisely around 10am.
I was in school, we had general lectures and I was in my 3rd year I think. What happened was the night before as a young guy in my teenage years, I wanted to errrm just like every teenage boy explore ” You know be with different girls, live the life and enjoy” so for me it was the case and I mocked God before I became saved actually.
I used to mock people who preached the gospel and spoke in tongues. I used to say those ones are jerks, they are doing rubbish and saying nonsense. Of course I was brought up to know God, I knew God was somewhere but I didn’t believe as well and mom told me yeah there’s a deity up there. When we have problem, we can just close our eyes out of fear and call out to him but on the Feb. 14th – Valentine day, I was with a girl.
The next day I was in my house about going to school but before I went to school, I woke up that morning feeling really empty and that was the first time in a long time I prayed. The prayer I made was that” God, I am really empty if you can help, I would really be grateful”, so I made that prayer and I went to school.
Around 11’oclock in school, a friend preached to me and I gave my life to Christ right there . I went home felt the same way, nothing really happened and so I told God if you can help me, I will break up with my 5 girl friends then at once.
I remember some were in Ukraine, some in Nigeria and some different places, I broke up with them. Some were like oh don’t leave, we can date and also serve God but I was like what I was feeling was so new. I have never felt that way before and I wanted to give God a trial to see how and where it will lead me.
So I was like you know, I want to start this thing new, no strings attached. Deleted my Hip hops, Raps, things that will really stain or strain my relationship. I wanted to start on a new slate with this God thing, let me try this new thing I am feeling and all that. I started going to church, started praying ,started growing, wanting to learn, listening to sermons.
My parents never really pushed me into it. When I told my parents that I was saved and born again, they thought oh… Maybe I meant going to church frequently now, quoting some scriptures but when God started speaking to me personally and I will tell my parents what God said or call them on the phone they wouldn’t believe me, obviously they thought I was bluffing until they started seeing changings.
What made them believe that I was really saved was my consistency in character, in words, behavior. I am not saying I became more quiet, calm and collected. No! the things I was saying, my choice of words changed, my mindset started changing that’s where Romans 12:2 says ” …be transformed by the renewal of your mind…”
So I think that’s when my parents knew I was saved. When I went home for summer, before I see anybody in my house I would have spent time with God in the morning before I came out of my room, those were the things that made them know I was genuinely saved not because I was quiet and walking very slowly.
Nobody forced me, I was fed up with life and asked for help. I think for everyone until you get to that level where you are really exhausted and tired of your life, you can’t really be saved. If you are doing it because you were forced, eventually your body will rebel against it. When you are at a point of no return, that point of destitute, like God if you don’t help me now I am going to die.
I think that’s the meaning of God. So to me God means stepping in a place where human effort has stopped or ended, that’s where he starts. When you’ve gotten to the end of yourself and say I am done ,God if you don’t help me I am going to drown. I think that’s where faith comes in when you are praying and believing God for something, where human errors and strength ends, you’ve tried everything and it doesn’t work so you hand everything over to God.
So when I realized I was really empty as a 19 year old kid, I had money, you know little looks, girls, everything, every word to sway a girl, you see that’s where book of ,Ecclesiastes states that he has placed eternity in our hearts. There was still something that was missing, I think until we get to that stage when nothing can satisfy us and luckily for me I prayed, for some other people maybe alcohol, drugs, trying to satisfy that hunger but that wasn’t the case for me.
I mean as of 2012 I was receiving a lot of money from home so I had the money but it wasn’t that .I quickly prayed and the rest was history but it was hard for me because I was starting to live a new life for my whole mind and body was used to a particular lifestyle and now this is me trying to unlearn and learn. There was no replacement, I was starting afresh, my spirit was new. My habits: I wasn’t used to Christian music, wasn’t used to sermons, I had to start listening to them because I had to grow, the bible didn’t make sense initially, I had to pray and everything.
I remember when I started speaking in tongues, it was in my room after I came from church, I told God I read in the book of Acts 1 vs 8 you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem….I was like God for me to become an effective witness, I need to be baptized with your spirit, so I started praying and locked myself in a room.
It was Sunday evening, I said God if you don’t give me this I wouldn’t leave, I remember I had two friends in my house when it happened. My group mate was in my house, I was praying and worshipping God, all of a sudden something said open your mouth and speak and I opened my mouth, I started talking and tongues started rolling out. I came out and was like ye ye! I was so excited but that was the beginning of a journey for me so I started praying that way, started growing in tongues that way. For me as a 19 year old kid, these things were all new to me, I was having encounters with God, visions and all. I was coming from the other end of the spectrum and myself moving to the extreme end of the other.
Mind you I was living a total dependence life on God not living as a part time Christian. What I had was genuine, I didn’t want anything to corrupt it because I have never had that kind of stuff before, total surrender and everything.
The growing was a difficult part like a new born baby, I had to learn how to walk, read my bible, try to understand. I went to church and asked my pastor questions but compared to now, I thank God for wisdom to grow because the more you grow the more you have sense. When you are really young in Christ, you are really passionate and most times you don’t really have Wisdom on how to do things or say things, what drives you is your passion for Christ. When you get to certain age in Christ what drives you is your passion but still is your wisdom on how to say things, approach people. The wisdom of God was what helped me, I started growing, love God. The love didn’t come just like that, it came when I started practicing .
You see the way it works with Christianity and with God isn’t always theoretical, it’s practical. You have to literally tell God take my worry and care and forget about it and when you do that, that’s when you find peace. when you practice that, then you begin to trust him more. What I realized many Christians had that time, that started to creep into my life is that I had many scriptures stored up in me then but I wasn’t using them.
It’s not in the knowing , it’s the practice that’s what separated me from friends and peers but I had encounters with God which I didn’t really understand then. It made me really proud until God started grinding me, making me understand that pride wasn’t really necessary. I used to look down on Christians then, you know this one hasn’t really gotten to my level till God started teaching me what he meant ,when God shows you something it’s not for you, it’s for someone, for you to help people.
So yes That helped me a lot. You know the world we live in, many young Christians suffer from mental health, anxiety, Depression and worry. The truth of the matter is when you genuinely sit with God in the morning and talk to God as you would talk to a person, most times God really helps you, in 2 Tim 1:7 it talks about God hasn’t given us spirit of fear but a spirit of power, of love and sound mind. Fear is not of God when Christians learn to adopt Christlike mindset, it helps a lot to know how to stand against the depressive spirit.
I used to think serving God was a big mistake. You mean I will give up all my dreams just to follow you because the idea painted coming from Nigeria is that when you serve God you don’t really have a choice, you leave your dreams. When you become a Christian you become this very poor pastor but coming into Christ, God started making me understand that your career is meant to enhance your gift and not replace it meaning when you come into Christ, God is not eradicating or removing whatever you supposedly know how to do rather he will use you on a more bigger platform to reach out to people for him. That will be your fishing net to catch people into the kingdom of God and when I understood that, it made me relax.
Then I used to dread the pulpit, even till now I still dread, I just rather do my stuff and let God to use my stuff to reach out to people and know Christ.
Growing up as a Christian has really been eventful, I have made horrendous and humiliating mistakes that were too traumatizing for me. I started making mistakes when I started trusting in myself , whenever I thought I was good enough to handle and take care of myself, when I let self get the better end of me, suppressing the voice of God even when he was warning me. God will tell me don’t do this and I will say nah I can do it, have got the Holy Spirit. The moment I try to do it by myself I made mistakes.
Just because you are saved doesn’t wipe out your weaknesses. You have to work on those weaknesses. Bible says You have to work on your salvation with fear and trembling. It took me 3 or 4 years to learn but the moment you get the idea things are up to you to learn. Just because you tell me you are a Christian doesn’t mean I have to trust you, You have to prove yourself.
It was really tough because I lost friends and everything. I remember everyday I cry to God why was I losing people in my life, why was I losing friends, the ones that were supposed to be close to me. I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin because friends were leaving for they were not used to my new lifestyle. But then again I was growing in Christ, God started adding people to my life, I became comfortable in who I am. I don’t have to let them know ,they saw and heard me talk, they understood and they knew.
It’s all about consistency. Not saved today and go back tomorrow then come back next week again . When things are good you are with God when things are bad, you run away.
It’s been just one way with God and I, sometimes I ask myself if I go back to my old lifestyle, like how do I even live that life. It will be a struggle because when you are used to one lifestyle, when you have tasted the realness of God, it’s really hard to turn your back.
God’s love isn’t far, You have to let yourself accept it. its a choice !
Same way we confess Christ into our hearts, it’s the same way it is the foundation of what we need to walk with God. you have to confess lord I accept your love and that you died for me. Most people are expecting a human kind of feeling but that’s not how it works with God. When you become a born again, you don’t get a tingling feeling, you believe and you move on.
It’s for us to open our heart ,believe and say I accept that you died for me. It’s not meant for us to understand, it’s meant for us to accept.
Yea it’s been eventful and I am still growing.
Ps: An anonymous true life story not Chimnaza’s story.
What’s your story?
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Till next post, remain blessed!