I was really excited some weekends back when my friend Debby told me she was organizing an intimate vigil for a few students of the University of Lagos and would like me to share a few things with them. Normally, I would have freaked out (cos you guys know how I feel about facing an unknown audience) but this time was different. I have been learning that in times like this, it is not your responsibility to please the audience or try to be deep. If you can yield yourself to God for whatever the occasion is, He’ll give to you the Spirit of boldness and He will speak through you.
So, I accepted the invitation, gathered my notes together and had a super amazing time at the end of the day (thank you, Debby!)
Unfortunately, we completely forgot to take pictures (at the event), so I wouldn’t be sharing any with you guys today. What I would however be sharing are the 5 things the Holy Spirit told me on building a life of intimacy with God. As I type this, I’m thinking of how to reconstruct that sentence in a way that would make it sound less spooky, but the truth is, I really did pray about what to say and these were the things I got. Perhaps, they were for the audience that night, but I am putting it here too, just in case there is somebody out there who really wants to know God and be intimate with Him. For your journey, here are 5 important things you should know.
1. God is real:
I know this might sound somehow, like ‘duh, Seun, don’t I know God exists?’ Well, yes you do. Your giving your life to Jesus in the first place, must have required a level of belief in the truth that there is a God somewhere. However, the knowledge we all have of the existence of God changes and deepens over time, based on certain experiences that we personally come to have with Him.
I’ll share some of mine with you.
So, like many other people, I grew up in a Christian home and yes, I went to Church every Sunday and gave my life to Jesus like 25 times, hehehe, halleluyah somebody, but my yearning to really know God did not come until one night, just before I got in Uni. I had just read the book ‘Good Morning, Holy Spirit’ and I had been awed by the all the amazing things the author said the Holy Spirit does. In my mind, I was like ‘really, Holy Spirit? You speak to people?’ Then, I heard Bishop Oyedepo tell the story of how he lost his friends and how the Holy Spirit led him step by step to where they were. Haa, that was the straw that broke the Camel’s back. I remember going back to God and telling Him that if indeed He talks to people, up to the point of even giving them directions to find something they lost, I wanted Him to talk to me too.
I prayed this prayer so much and so genuinely because I really wanted it. I looked forward to it even. Then one night, while in my room praying about it, I heard my mind say ‘so Seun, if you just hear a voice in this dark room, saying ‘my daughter, my daughter’, won’t you be scared?’ I thought about that for a moment and guys, because I had thought God’s voice was going to be deep, majestic and audible, I immediately told God to hold off on talking to me. Ain’t nobody ready to hear that kind of voice in that dark room.
It sounds really funny talking about it now, but it wasn’t until much later, I realized that, that ‘my mind’ that had spoken to me that night, wasn’t really my mind, it was the Holy Spirit. He does speak to people and His first words to me came as a joke, in a very soft whisper.
Another of those experiences happened when I was going to return the book ‘Good Morning, Holy Spirit’ which I had borrowed and for some reason, I just couldn’t find it. I searched everywhere and if you’ve ever been to my house, then you’d know how frustrating it is to look for something. Mhen! We have plenty load.
Anyways, while searching, I remembered that the Holy Spirit could help me search. At first, I was afraid, cos what if I now asked and I still don’t find the book? But still, I did and guys, I don’t know why of all the rooms in our house, I entered my sisters’ room and why of all the places to search, I began to dip my hand into the edges of their bed, where it meets the wall. All I know is that I did that, and at some point, my hand found something and voila! It was the book!
Guys, God really exists. He is real and He wants you to know Him. So, if you truly do desire to know God and be intimate with Him, you can smile now knowing that you are not just pouring water into a basket. That God is really real and this life of intimacy with Him is very possible.
2. Your relationship with God should be personal:
Another very important thing you need to know as you begin to grow in your relationship with God is that it is personal. Always remember this whenever you look at people and find yourself comparing what ‘they have with God’ with what you have with Him.
If there is any level or depth of intimacy with God you desire; if there is any experience you’d like to have, don’t fake it. Just go to God and tell Him about it.
The story I told here was of the time I badly wanted to start praying in tongues and it didn’t happen. I remember crying so much that day, thinking it was because I wore trousers or what not, but I also remember telling God that if speaking in tongues was real, I was never going to fake it. During that period, I kept comparing myself to my friends who could already speak in tongues, trying to look for and understand what they had that I didn’t.
Because I already told you the full story here, I won’t be going into it again but the point is, don’t gauge your relationship with God based off other people’s relationship with Him. The way God would speak to you might be different from the way He would speak to your friend, just as the time it would take to express some things through you might be different from that of your friend. Irrespective, the most important thing is to be genuinely connected to God and focus on your own relationship with Him.
3. Sometimes things might not go the way you planned:
On this journey, you’d find that everything won’t always go the way you plan. Sometimes, you’d be required to walk through dark places; sometimes through fire; sometimes you’d get burned, sometimes, you’d have to walk through valleys; sometimes on water and some other times, you’d just want to hit the ground hard and cry ‘Faaaather, but why is this happening to me?!’
Let me not even get into the story of how this my friend Debby tried to get into a university five times! and how when she eventually got admitted into the University of Lagos, we were so excited and had a vigil in my house just to thank God, only for the admission to be taken away from her few weeks later. Gosh, it was such a bad time for us during that period because 1. she had asked God for it and He had told her some things about Unilag that she was really looking forward to and 2. she had actually been given the admission! So, what’s going on here, God?
You know, her story is just one of many other people, including myself, who in our walk with God have had bad times. However, in those times, what God would have you do is to trust Him. God is a God of seasons and the process won’t always be easy, really, but don’t ever think during those times that God doesn’t love you or that He has left you. No, God is still there – to walk you through the valley; to refine you through the fire; to lead you through the dark places and make sure that when you walk on water, you don’t sink.
It is important that you know that as you start this journey with Him.
4. Your relationship with God should be in the Spirit:
I’m heaving as I write this one because it’s a lot to explain in few words. In fact, I had to write every other point in this post before I came back to this but I want you to read this carefully and understand it.
You know how sometimes when we are worshiping God and the choir starts to sing some kind of songs, we just immediately feel so connected to heaven? In fact, some of us can start crying? Well, one thing I know is that it is very possible in those times that the only thing moving us to tears is actually just the song.
But on this journey, whenever you are communing with God, you are supposed to do it in the spirit – with your heart connected to God, your father, irrespective of whether the song is touching or not. This communication is the only type that God is actually involved in, because then He can really hear you. You don’t always have to shout. You don’t have to roll on the floor and create a scene. You don’t have to make any public display for everyone to see you. No. You can just be in one quiet corner, on the toilet seat, or even in a public bus but once your heart is connected to God and you say “Father”, you know God is listening to you.
It is important that I say this. You, you are a Spirit. You are like an astronaut that has been sent into space and has been given a space suit to survive for the period of time s/he would be there. Your body is that space suit to live here on earth but the real you is the spirit that is within. How do I know this? Well, one of my favorite scriptures says ‘and God breathed into man (that was after He formed Adam’s body) and man became a living soul.’ Soul, not body. Soul, which means spirit. Another scripture where God was actually speaking says, ‘I knew you, before I formed your body in your mother’s womb.’ If there was a you that God knew before He formed your body, then it means you are a spirit, given a body as you were being sent to earth, at the time you were, to the family you were given, to the country you woke up to, for a reason. But that’s a story for another day.
The point is, you are a spirit and God is a spirit too, so whatever relationship you are having with God should be in the spirit. It’s not hard, nothing spooky. It’s just connecting your heart to God genuinely, all the time.
5. Take your Light out! Get other people in here.
Finally guys, it hit me recently how much of a privilege it is to actually know this God and know that He loves me. The truth is God will always be. His love will always be there but there will be people who would never know Him. How come you do?
Your responsibility then is to take this light you have and make sure that as many people as you can bring, come into it too. Do you understand?
It is impossible for you to know God, to really know God and know how awesome it is to be loved by God and not want others to know and experience Him as well!
So take your light out, through your words, character, works and everyday life and get other people – where ever they may be, in your class, your workplace, your timeline or your neighborhood – into this light too.
And that would be the 5 things I’m sharing with you today. I’m sorry this post is so long but I really hope you learnt something. If you did, do share what you learnt with me in the comments below. Have you ever had amazing experiences in your relationship with God too? Share those ones as well, so that others can come here and read about how amazing this our God is.
I love you guys and I’ll talk to you later.