I will not make any attempt at small or random talk. I mean every word.
I have no idea what life is all about. I thought I knew, but throughout the last year, God just kept hitting me with surprises left, right and center. I thought I knew what to expect, why things existed, and why things happened.
I did not. It was a shocker of a year, with a lot of lessons.
What I am grateful for is for the time, and I mean this very seriously, that God took in shaping me. I am better. And indeed, it takes real grace to withstand the discipline and pruning of a loving father, especially a Father who is not used to being questioned, and does not owe you an explanation.
I though to share a few of the things I learnt in 2016 from my Father. In sharing, I am not trying to say we will all have the same experiences, or that our experiences are, or will be, the same. God deals with everyone in very separate ways, simply because He can. While I will share many experiences this year, from last year, I only hope that you will look at the way I have met God and He has met me, and learn the many dimensions of God, and how much He loves us, and desires that we draw closer to Him. No, not because He is lonely or something, but because we will be the ultimate beneficiaries of this nearness. So. here goes:
That it is indeed good and pleasant to find one who loves God, to love. That relationships are not beautiful because the people are perfect, but because their God is perfect. So many times, we are carried away by discontent and a search for the things that are fleeting, but a sweet relationship starts from a place of loving God, and continues in the place of godliness, and contentment. Often times when mistakes crawl in, the best option is not to always breakup and go separate ways, but to learn forgiveness, and give love a chance to be expressed in our hearts. I love you, UC.
That a man, who hopes to walk with God without the companionship of Christian friends, is soon weary and most prone to giving up. 2016 was a year I came out of shells meant to keep me from realising the great blessings God has kept in other people, for me. I cannot downplay the roles that Olaide, Boluwaji, Emmanuel, Yewande, Toyosi, Bolanle and Mary played in my life. I certainly will tell about them in the near future. However, I can safely up-play the role of Joel Joshua, my brother. I certainly wanted to make this post all about him, but…nah. Another time. One thing, I can comfortably go to Joel and confess my sins to him, and I am certain I will not be judged or condemned. Rather, I will receive encouragement and upliftment from him. Joel, he is the kind of brother every Christian needs. I have not officially announced him as my best friend…yet…seeing that UC and OO are very important people. But…
That a leader who believes he is any better than any of his followers is soon less than a follower. Followers have the ability to make a leader the best, and vice-versa. Each individual must live selflessly, raising the other in more esteem than himself. It matters not who holds the “position”, the office is for the leader and his followers, and he must lead in such manner, treating every one as he would love to be treated, and dealing in honesty and fairness. God gave me a second (or one-hundredth) chance of leading again. He helped me, I must confess, to overcome sinful pride and conceit, to be gentle and kind, to love. He in fact told me to allow people take advantage of me without offence. Tough, but I am all the better for it. I want to deeply appreciate ALL the members of the Bible Study Unit of CLASFON NLS Bwari, 2015/2016 session. You all made the experience the best. It was nothing else but you guys for me in that school. Words can try, so I have content for each one of you in the coming weeks. I will start with you, Oluwaseyi Onipede. Keep your eyes open.
I cannot fail to mention the deep humility, selflessness and honesty of John Tochukwu Olisa. Every chance we have to talk, you never fail to admit your weaknesses and inner battles. You inspire me. And I cannot lose respect for you. Thank you. God taught me a lot through you.
Of Success and Failure;
That to fail is nothing, so long as you keep your eyes on God. Failure is man’s opinion of your performance. It never ever measures how God rates you. Same for success. To truly succeed is not to pass exams and win big money or stuff like that, and failure is definitely not the opposite of success as mentioned above. To truly succeed is to know God, and to conform to the image of the Son, daily growing into the stature of Christ. To fail is to miss this. That is all.
That unbelief is the sin we refer to all the time. All of sin is really and truly unbelief. To sin is to tell God that the power He has given us in His Grace, that that power is insufficient and that we must succumb to our lesser, fleshly senses. Every sin is in deed and in truth, a lack of faith in God and all He has finished through His Son Jesus Christ.
Sin is not the end of our life however, and like John tells us in his first epistle to whoever the people who wrote to, if we do sin, we must remember that we have an advocate in the Son, and that we must not wallow in guilt and condemnation, but rise up from the ashes and take again the beauty that is our in Christ.
Any talk that makes sin of no consequence, or that makes the practice of sin excusable in the light of Grace, is complete and utter nonsense, and has no place in the building of a wonderful relationship with God.
That prayer changes the man who prays. A man is changed when he realises that the magnificent God of the Universe deemed it fitting to not only hear him, but to answer him. The “control” to getting the ear of God is not in vain babbling and shouts and ceremonial head-thumping. All of those count for nothing outside of a heart that is bowed low; outside of a heart that is broken down in humility. Humility, recognising that God is everything and you are nothing. God is all-powerful and you are non-powerful. God is omnipresent and you are only present. God is God, and you are not Him.
Prayer is nothing outside of the Word of God, for how will you know what to pray if you do not know what He says?
Of Physical Achievements;
That even though I became a lawyer last year, nothing can compare to the glory of achieving new levels in the Spirit of God. In fact, it takes me time to remember I am a lawyer some times. If indeed our achievements in the natural are to matter, they must be in the application of the greater goal God has called each of us to. Outside that, it is all meaningless. Vanity.
I run the risk of making this post too long. But one last thing is for you to note that when the Father teaches, a son never forgets. Hold on to the lessons of 2016. Let God use ever high and every low to make you a better testimony, and a better version of yourself in this new year.
I wish you all a Happy New Year.
P.S: If you plan to visit me today, please do not come. Our food cannot go round. Eat in your own house. After all, the Bible did say each man shall eat of his own fig and drink of his own vine…