In secondary school, a boy met me after a prayer band meeting in FCS and said:
‘Headboy, when I held your hand during prayers it was like I was touching electricity.’
Boy was I happy! It was enough validation for me then. It was everything I wanted.
My main aim of serving God then was power, for show of course. I prayed, i fasted, I did everything.
I wanted to ‘manifest.’
All I wanted was the glory, for me to be walking on the street and people are falling and screaming.
I wanted people to cross my shadow and collapse.
And that was my drive, the propelling force that drove me. I didn’t care about loving God enough. I just wanted power.
To be a showman.
It didn’t help that I engaged my free time watching videos and reading literatures of people totally invested in the extraordinary.
I wanted to be like them.
It also didn’t help that most of the people we invited to the FCS were people like that. All show men.
People who came and spent the whole hour screaming into the microphone and forcing people to ‘fall’ under…. And if you proved stubborn, they didn’t mind helping you with their legs.
People who didn’t bother to talk about God, about who they claimed to represent. It was all show show show.
No mention of sin, no mention of holiness, nothing. Just come, demonstrate, draw admiration, repeté.
It was a terrible period in my life. I couldn’t pray without getting distracted. I was always half-waiting for some spectacular happening. For some bright light to appear and some dramatic chariot to come transport me to another world.
So I didn’t even concentrate on the prayer.
Prayer meetings then too was a competition of who was more spiritual.
Three seconds into prayer, someone would interrupt and share a vision.
‘God opened my eyes, and I just saw a big eagle.’
The next second, another.
‘I just saw a little demon, black(of course) in complexion.’
Seven seconds later.
‘(Screams) I just saw an angel with four trumpets dancing.’
And on and on. Everyone was seeing things. And of course, you too had to say something. So you shout amen. And share too.
‘I just saw us eating beans somewhere and a powerful man came to seize the pot.’
And you had to interpret too, so you go. ‘The beans is our work, and seeing we are united doing it, the powerful man(Satan) came to take away our productivity.’
Prayer continua. Never to be caught unspiritual.
It took a while before God delivered me from that erroneous path.
Before I understood with pristine clarity what the christian walk was(is).
And it took the unnecessary burden off me, the need to show. The need to gain validation from others. The need to perform.
Took all of it away.
And replaced it with the satisfaction of knowing God. Of loving him, and serving him.
Of being in a perpetual state of ‘That I may know him.’
Of simply trusting, and simply following. Of experiencing on a daily, the depth of his love.
And very importantly, to fear Him.
So much that if I get to preach somewhere and the only feedback I get is:
‘Sir, I felt electricity.’
I will weep. I was sent to show Christ, not to electrocute.
Written by Ugbabe Isaac Samuel