Episode 9: IN PURSUIT OF HOLINESS
My life as a Christian took a dramatic turn after the incident at the hospital. I came to understand that our fate is sometimes determined by the actions we take.
I had been careless in my pilgrim journey and almost got lost in the wrong path which I had towed. Thank God for being merciful, restoring and guiding me back into the right path.
A few weeks after I recovered from the surgery to remove the ectopic pregnancy, I explained everything that happened to me to my campus pastor. He felt really disappointed in me for having gone that far into sin without seeking counsel from him and resorting to taking rash decisions. Though he empathised with me for what happened, he also gave me a dosage of rebuke at the same time.
With his godly counsel, I was able to stand more firmly in my faith again. I renewed my commitment to God and continued living a steadfast Christian life.
Persecution From the Brethren
However, some brethren in the campus got wind of my story and rumours began to spread in the fellowship that I was a hypocrite. They claimed that my Christian profession was not genuine as I had been going around fornicating until I got pregnant and aborted the pregnancy.
Although none of them confronted me, their actions said it all. They began to avoid me like a plague. It became so embarrassing that the few weeks I had left in the campus to round up my project felt like hell on earth.
I was isolated in the church as everyone avoided the seat where I sat in the church auditorium. Well, in all this, I took succor in the fact that I was not a fornicator and God understood what I was passing through, knowing fully well that He had a great plan for me.
My mum’s words that persecutions may even come from amongst the brethren were true. But I never expected it to come this way. I explained my plight to my pastor and he counselled that I should take it as my cross and not backslide because of that.
“Even Jesus Christ was betrayed and denied by His own disciples. So there is nothing strange about being persecuted by fellow believers who have made themselves valuable instruments in the hands the devil.” This was my mum’s counsel when I told her what had befallen me at school.
“Moreover, you have just a few weeks to round up your project. The rumour will naturally die out later”, she concluded. I took solace in this fact and concentrated on rounding off my project.
When the brethren saw that I was not perturbed about the rumours flying around about me, their attitude towards me gradually changed and the rumour died out as my mum predicted. I was greatly relieved about this, though I remained watchful and steadfast in my walk with God.
Conversations With God
A year later, as I was studying the Bible, God ministered to me through a passage in the scripture. He said, “If ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins” (Leviticus 26:21).
I was very terrified by this revelation and resolved never to sin again. In fact, I developed a great hatred for sin whenever I saw traces of it in people’s lives. Imagine how just a little carelessness almost rubbished and washed my Christian profession down the drain, despite all the faithfulness and persecutions I faced.
This resolve drew me closer to God as I determined never to slip into sin again. Moreover God assured me that I could become closer to Him and know His will for me. His Word says, “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).
A Journey to the Knowledge of God
I decided to study the Bible more to know the deep secrets of the Lord. The more I read the Bible, the more engrossed I became with it. In fact, I began to imagine myself having conversations with God in anything I did – whether walking or working.
I became so closely knit with God in my daily walk that I mentally pictured a kind of reward system to know the mind of God. It felt like an invisible cord had linked my heart to the heart of God. Whenever I felt I had disappointed Him, I felt it through personal frustration, guilt and emptiness.
Likewise, when I sensed that my actions pleased Him, it created an unexplainable joy and enthusiasm within me.
Hunger for More
Depression was usually the proof that I had offended God, because I would sense the Holy Spirit withdrawing from me. At such points in my life, I would quickly retrace my steps and reconcile with Him. Hence, I focused only on three things in my communion with Him:
1. Listen to His voice
2. Pursue His counsel, and
3. Obey His commands without negotiation.
As time went on, it became impossible for me to be content with physical pleasures. I just wanted to know God more.
I came to understand that the normal Christian life begins with the realization that one is saved and put here to do the will of God on earth as it is in Heaven — and it was a joy to me to participate in that.
Has it ever occurred to you that your job on earth is to do the will of God? Our calling as believers may be too massive to fully understand, but the Bible’s command is clear: “Every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him” (Isaiah 43:7).