Lesson no 3
God chooses us whilst still in the fire of affliction.
“Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” (Isaiah 48:10).
And not everything can pass through the fire and remain the same. Most things would change or be mangled, yet this is where we are chosen.
As in the case of Hezekiah when God pulled back to watch his reaction:
“Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart.” (2 Chronicles 32:31).
God watches His children as they pass through the fire to see their reaction.
Would you change as you go through the fire? Would you be deformed or mangled when you come out at the other side of the fire?
This tells if you are matured or not for promotion.
God watched to see if we would allow the enemy take away our joy, our confession, the thought in our hearts.
Would we engage in character assassination, fight tooth for tooth and eye for an eye?
Or would we keep standing holding firmly to His word and praying for those who persecute us and despitefully use us?
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; ” (Matthew 5:44)
Would we change? That is why it is a trial!
Walking with God can be demanding sometimes, especially when it has to do with relating to others; and most especially if they have hurt you so deeply you decide to “avoid” them; not necessarily malice but holding them at arms length, not to be hurt again by them.
After publishing post four of this serial, God spoke to me at five-thirty (5:30) am.
I do morning cry from 4:30am to 5:30am. This day, Thursday 16th of November I spoke from the gospel of Matthew,chapter 25, the Groom and the ten Virgins. I spoke particularly on the trimming of the lamp and the significance of the wick. Rounding up with a prayer at 5:30 the Lord broke forth with a command to go to Judith and pray for her and her house hold!
Ah! Why Lord? With all that she did? Not that I haven’t forgiven but to go there?
My wife and I have learnt over the years to forgive even in advance but not give room to be offended a second time.
But God rules in the affairs of men!
“But God”, I argued, “I have been there twice before and no good came out of it.”
“Go and pray with her.”
“Lord is this really you or is it my mind?”
God will not go into an argument..
Many Christians cast aspersion on the Prophet Jonah for running away to Joppa.
Honestly I felt like running away! What would people in that little community think of me? The flesh was speaking. Especially knowing Judith would announce I came to beg her!
Unknown to me, I was to put in motion that age -old principle that says the way of victory is the way of the cross; the way of shame!
The hurdle is always the flesh!
I told my wife and left to Judith’s. To the glory of God her husband was home but she was not.
He was shocked seeing me. Nevertheless I told him my purpose of coming. I thought he would not accept my prayer. But he did.
As I left their house and started for home, I saw Judith coming so I waited. After praying for her, we had a little discussion. She had gone to call a nurse for her most Junior daughter who was ill.
Asking if they would permit me pray for her, they ushered me into the room where she laid.
Afterwards I said goodbye to them and left.
Back home my joy knew no bounds. I sensed in the spirit that God was up to something!
It is in the darkest hour of the day, that light shines the brightest! God within this season, opened up a door of ministry that we never saw. Details will be given but not now; at the maturity of the testimony.
May we not change but keep doing good. For whatsoever we sow we shall reap.
I struggled whether or not to publish this article. After one year I finally made up my mind to have it published. Be blessed as you thank the Lord with us.
The time was 10:15pm on the 9th day of October, 2016, and I was speechless.
Meanwhile, my wife laughed until we got home. We were both uncomfortable after the “okada” (motorcycle) rider miscalculated in the flood and like a tipper would tip sand off its bucket or tray, the okada’s front wheel lifted off the ground. Thankfully to God, our feet were firmly on the ground before we could be “tipped” in the muddy water. There we were, standing in the pool of water that reached just below the knee.
That was what made me speechless. I couldn’t curse, scream, laugh or cry; I think I was simply dumbfounded!
But, you may wonder, where we were coming from at that time?
We were returning home to Magbon, close to Badagry, from Dansol High School Agidingbi, Ikeja for a fund-raising concert, jointly organized by Church Music Network (CMN) and Dansol Christian Mission; and hosted by Daddy and Mummy Akinyemiju.
The evening started with an opening prayer followed by a session of soft gospel songs by Church Music Network (CMN) musicians. All the songs ministered were theirs: original compositions; awesome songs! No doubt the group under the leadership of amiable Pastor Lanre Oyeneye, is set to change the face of gospel music, not only in Nigeria but beyond.
The gala night was to raise funds for the Magbon charity school building project.
A brief history about the building project was given by the President of Dansol Christian Mission, Mrs Adun Akinyemiju.
She narrated how three years ago (now four), Dansol Schools visited our mission station at Magbon, where the Lord sent us to work for Him. My wife and I pastor an Assembly of Christian believers, STONES OF FIRE BIBLE CHURCH, and run a purely Christian school, MAVIZZION SCHOOLS, which caught the attention of Mrs Akinyemiju, a God-fearing woman with a passion both for missions and the provision of high quality education to the poor and less privileged.
Okoagbonla, precisely where the Lord sent us, is a small river Rhine community off Magbon Town in Badagry Local Government Area of Lagos State.
The town as a whole, as at the time of this write-up, does not have a Government School: Primary or Secondary. To fill this gap and meet the need for quality education, Private schools were established.
However, at Okoagbonla community, now a CDA, there was no school; Government or Private.
At the bushy end of this community, close to the lagoon is where the mission field is cited.
Some Dansol students at the foundation laying.
As missionaries, we were sent to give to the children of this community, the opportunity for a qualitative education whilst pointing them to the Lord Jesus Christ.
This was certainly beyond us! We knew we could not do it all by ourselves; like Jonah we fled from Okoagbonla and went back to the city, with the accompanying comfort. We did not want to be in the bush! Away from the city and civilization? And what more, a water-locked bush with reptiles and wild animals?
Nevertheless, the Lord’s will shall be done, not ours, so after over three months, we came back to Okoagbonla. It has not been easy, especially with the absence of good water, drainage and good road.
The first time the students and staff of Dansol Schools (Dansol Missions) visited three years ago (now four) and saw the school in the bush; the classrooms, and the joy with which the children learn despite the harsh environment, they promised to help. That day they came with clothes, school bags, exercise books, shoes and water bottles as charity to our pupils.
Dansol Missions took up erecting an “n” shaped building (pardon my description I’m not a builder). They tasked themselves, gave sacrificially, brought in an Engineer, Pastor Adebayo, a Missionary that offered his service free as his contribution to the work of God.
One night the community was roused awake with the sound of trailers bringing in materials for the work as some items could not be brought in the day because of the “omoniles” – land owners (?), who charge money on every truck bringing in building material. The earth shook with the sound of the vehicles.
Dansol charity project Magbon. The work so far.
Tons and tons of granite, tippers of filling and sharp sands, hundreds of bags of cement, tons and tons of iron rods, sheets upon sheets of various planks, etc, and three years later, the difference is clearly visible. A three-plank deep foundation was cast, a thick layer of German-floor was made after the matting, before thousands of nine-inch blocks were brought in and laid on the foundation.
No language could adequately describe the excitement of the children who do not fail to pray for the students, staff, parents and management of Dansol Schools.
The building project was at Iintel level as at the time of the concert and the writing of this article.
We, my wife and I, have tasted and seen that indeed God is good and true to His word that He would raise helpers if we are willing and obedient to forget about ourselves, our comfort and do His will.
Our heart-felt and sincere prayer for Dansol students remain that God would uphold and keep them as Living Stones wherever they may find themselves.
For the good heart of Pastor Oyeneye and the entire CMN that thought up the concert, may God cause men to remember them for good and take them to higher heights.
For Daddy and Mummy Akinyemiju, God has made them pillars in His house, may they continue to enjoy the strength and joy of the Lord. I believe sincerely that they would finish this race strong. On behalf of Mavizzion Schools, we say thank you Sir; thank you Ma.
For the entire members of Dansol Mission, we may not know you all by name; but God knows you. He will raise helpers for you and establish your going out and your coming in. In the Name of Jesus.
May the joy of the Lord fill the hearts of every partner in this project.
In the matchless Name of Jesus. Amen.