A Preacher’s Son – The Devil’s Ally
My dad was a preacher before I was born. So I already attended serious believers meetings while in the womb. As a child, I knew the most popular men of God in the country at the time.
This caused me to believe in Jesus as a kid. But as I grew older, I began asking questions. I began wondering what the Christian faith was all about. Being a preacher’s son, coupled with my early exposure to ministers didn’t help much; it rather brought me to the conclusion that Jesus only related with a select few while He left the rest of us to ourselves.
My church dwelt a lot on eschatology. We were always talked about the end of the world, the last days, the Apocalypse. And I was usually alarmed by the things I heard, especially the talk of hell. I kept hearing statements as: “if you make a mistake, and you die, you go to hell. You commit a sin and you die, you go to hell.”
I never understood these things: my pastor was not sure of making heaven, neither was my dad, a senior member of the church. No one was sure. How can I believe in God and still be unsure of my eternal destiny? I wondered.
This birthed unbelief. I just decided there was no point giving my all to Jesus since it wouldn’t guarantee my eternal rest with Him.
These were big questions no one was answering. And of course, they did not prevent the pressures I was facing as a teenager. The pressures were real: as real as the air I breathed.
I had a brother who was six years older than myself. And we were very good friends. His friends were also mine as a result. This afforded the privilege of knowing things that I normally wouldn’t know – things teens my age had no business knowing.
So I began to succumb to these pressures, although I covered my tracks well. No one in my family could tell the things I was getting into. I gradually got bad at heart, was clever at sinning – I made neat jobs of sin. The devil could literally trust me to get things done for him without being discovered. I was that good.
I had a friend who practiced internet fraud from the age of 10. He successfully pushed me into the act. This vice, coupled with others like pornography became normal to me. But there was no way my family would find out. No traces were found. I made sure of it.
At some point before getting into the university, I felt drawn by God, but this came with no real revelation of Himself. All I found – due to the circle I mixed with – was a god who did great at killing witches. I fasted and prayed like everyone else, but my mind was set on sin. I believed it was impossible to be free from sin; nothing could stop me from sinning. I couldn’t imagine it happening. How could I stop sinning?!
I saw a lot of terrible things happen supernaturally as I grew up, saw strange deaths, saw the results of the occult before my very eyes. Colleagues, neighbors die mysteriously. All sorts. I feared I would suffer a similar fate. So it’s a miracle that I am here now. These things were too real. So I knew the power of Satan firsthand. There were times when I felt the presence of spirits. I prayed about issues and they adjusted accordingly. So I knew something supernatural existed.
Jesus Became Real
I spent three years before getting into the University, and in those three years, I met Pastor Bankole. He showed me how real and supernatural Jesus was. It was refreshing to see that not only evil supernatural powers could be expressed. It was through His meetings Jesus became real to me, although I had very little light.
The years following seemed catalyzed. I got baptized in the Holy Spirit in my first week in school. And a new phase began for me. I met new friends with whom I prayed for a whole year – for two and a half hours every night. The heart of God started becoming clear to me. Christ became real. The Holy Spirit lead me clearly. We who got involved in the one year of prayers saw supernatural things happen by our hands: we did supernatural things, consistently casted out demons! People would refer cases to us and things would supernaturally change after our prayer meetings. And soon, God separated us. We knew it was God, not the devil. We remained friends, met occasionally, but we knew it was time to grow individually and find Him for ourselves.
But of all these experiences, what brought a radical change in me was knowing that I was no more condemned. I came to understand that the life I now had in Christ assured me of eternal rest in heaven. In fact, as far as I was concerned, I already was in heaven, only walking on earth. This sealed the deal for me. I decided I would throw my entire being into this Jesus the moment I came to this realization. My most fundamental question had been answered. I now knew of the certainty of the end of this Cause of Christ. And when I did give myself away, there was no turning back.
My greatest convictions came from knowing the grace of God; that now forgiven and free, I was no more condemned.
Prayer Stretches and Supernatural Experiences
Sometime in 2011, I prayed for three months just so the Bible could be open to me. Now that I knew Jesus was real and had come to find the revelation of His love, I wanted to meet Him in scripture. So I prayed for that long to understand the Bible when I read it because when I did read, it felt to me like some textbook. It was frustrating. So I prayed ceaselessly in the Spirit for three months. And my prayers worked!
I did things I never imagined I could do. I remember praying for five months stretch. This happening while I was on campus, as busy as all the other students were. I prayed ceaselessly, in class, while walking on the road, everywhere. This happened nonstop! I just kept at it and I wasn’t ashamed of it! It was life to me. I knew I had come alive in a different reality, not just this physical one we are most aware of.
My greatest convictions came from knowing the grace of God; that now forgiven and free, I was no more condemned, that God was for and not against me, that I have an authority in Christ over the same devil who tormented people around me. This was a milestone for me.
I became mad at Suffering, couldn’t spare it whenever we met. The experiences I’d had in the past: seeing people suffer, die mysteriously drove me mad. I had no hesitation to free people from suffering, kept casting out demons from those oppressed by them, healed the sick, demonstrated powers that would usually shock me. I was driven! had all the motivation I needed. This life became natural to me. I hated suffering that much I couldn’t hold back from dealing with it whenever I came across it. Casting out devils and healing the sick became second nature.
As for the negative influences and friends I had, they just left as I walked closer with God.
This is my salvation story.
I was a Preacher’s Son But the Devil’s Ally – Joshua
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