My friend and pastor, Jude Fashagba says often, “Harry- you take your salvation experience for granted”.

He says this when I voice some degree of frustration after meeting folks who have been Christians for decades and are still babies in Faith. His take is, because I became a Christian and had a strong zeal for the things of God independent of pastors and church immediately after my conversion, I assume every Christian should be like that.

I became a Christian on the 29th of November, 1987, 8 days to my 19th birthday (I was born on the 7th of December 1968). I was an undergraduate then.

I went to church a sinner, returned a saint.

The Church Pastor held a meeting with us (the new converts) after the service and promised to pay us a visit each in our homes. The day he was to visit me was a Saturday. I cleaned my hostel room in anticipation of the Pastoral Visit. I was excited! Pastor was coming to my hostel room! What a privilege! He was to come at 5pm. But by 3pm, I heard a knock on my door: It was one of the Church Elders, an MSc student. He came to check my room to see if it was befitting for a Pastoral visit.

He saw my wall was covered with the pictures of a girl! He frowned.

“Who is this?”

“She’s my girlfriend, sir”

“No! That is not allowed! You have to remove them! Pastor will not like to see them! Remove them immediately!”

Hian? Remove? It is not allowed to have girlfriend???

No way! I am not Born Again again! I became Born Against that instant!

I rebelled! I told him to get out of my room- and tell Pastor NOT to bother coming again!


He was shocked- he never expected my response.

I ushered him out and banged the door.

I should remove my girlfriend's pictures on my wall because one Pastor wants to visit me.


But by 5pm I heard a knock on my door.

I opened.

I saw the Pastor smiling. “Haruna my friend!” He hugged me. Behind him was the Pharisee I had driven out of my room 2 hours earlier.

“How are you doing, Haruna? Good to see you!” He walked into my room. He looked around, saw the pictures of my boo on the wall. “Who is this pretty lady?”

“My girlfriend, sir”

“Wow! You have eyes for good things! Is she a student here too?”

“No sir. She’s in another university”

“What’s she studying, what are you studying?”

“I’m studying architecture, she’s studying engineering, sir”

“Wow! Brilliant combination- architect and engineer!”

I eyed the Pharisee. He was very uncomfortable.

Pastor prayed for me and said, “When next you write her, tell her your pastor says hi!” And he left.

He never condemned me. He actually commended me for having good eyes!

So, whenever I go to Church, Pastor would ask, “Haruna my friend! How’s she?” And wink.

But by January the following year, I started feeling very uncomfortable with the relationship.

By February, I traveled to see her and broke up with her.

I traveled on a Friday, saw her Saturday, returned on Sunday.

I missed Church that weekend. Next Sunday, I was in Church. Pastor saw me and asked, “Haruna my friend! I didn’t see you last week- hope you’re ok?” I told him I traveled to see my girlfriend. “Yay! I always like seeing young lovers! How’s she doing?”

“Pastor, we broke up!”

“Wow! Why? O dear…”

Pastor sat down, looking sad. “What happened?” He asked me to sit too. We were in the Church hall.

“Pastor, I was feeling somehow. I don’t know, but something was telling me to end the relationship since January. So I traveled down to break it up…”

What happened next stunned me!

Pastor jumped up and started dancing!

HE’S GOT YOU, BOY! He’s got you! He’s got you! Thank you, Jesus! He’s got you, boy! He’s got you, boy!”

I wondered, who got who?

Pastor said, “Haruna, you just MUST be in Church next Sunday! Whatever happens, don’t miss Church next week!”

Ok, that’s not a problem…

Next week, Pastor started his message with: “But the anointing you have received from Him abides with you, you don’t need any man to teach you; that anointing teaches you all things…”- 1st John 2:27. He also quoted John 16:8 “When He (the Holy Spirit) comes, He will convict the world of Sin, Righteousness and Judgment”. Then he said, “Tell your neighbor: YOU ARE NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT! IT IS NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO CONVICT ANYBODY!

He turned to me, “Haruna, my friend- stand up!” I stood up. 400 eyes on me. “How many of you know Haruna?” over 170 hands went up.

Yes- I was THAT popular.

“How many of you know Haruna has a girlfriend in so and so university?”

Same hands went up. I was always talking about her- and the exhibits on my walls were enough for everybody to know her.

He continued: “Several of you guys would come see me, asking me to tell him to end his relationship with his girlfriend. I would tell you, let him be. I am not the Holy Spirit, neither are you. If indeed the seed of Christ is in him, he won’t need me to tell him ANYTHING! I have some news for you: Haruna was not in church 2 weeks ago. He traveled to go break up with his girlfriend…”

There was a buzz in the congregation.

I was so embarrassed!

Pastor continued, “I asked him why. He said SOMETHING TOLD HIM he should go break it up since January. He did 2 weeks ago…”

When the Spirit of Christ is in you, SOMETHING will always talk to you. That SOMETHING is the Holy Spirit. He leads into TRUTH!”

That happened in February, 1988. I grew up in my faith with little prodding from pastors. I would take my Bible and read 10 chapters everyday- been doing that for over 30 years now. I cover the Bible from Genesis to Revelations in 4 months. I am zealous for God, reading scriptures, praying, writing stories, counseling young folks- I am at my best doing God’s work!

So when I meet people who have been Christians for decades and they have never read or heard about Demas or Alexander the Coppersmith or Priscilla and Acquila or Eutychus or Agabus.

I wonder what kind of Christianity they practice!

That is why Jude says, “You take your salvation experience for granted, Harry! You think because your Christian growth was exponential, everybody should have the same experience! There are loads of folks out there who can’t sit to read 1 chapter of the Bible. They’re used to “Daily Bread” Devotionals: read 5 verses of Scripture, read the article in the devotional and pray for 5 minutes before going out. To them, reading 10 Chapters a day is crazy- such should be the work of Pastors, not them! That is the major challenge we Pastors face: encouraging people to grow up, know their God personally and be independent of us!

I guess he’s right.

We can’t all be serious Christians.

We can’t all be Word Addicts.

We can’t all be what we used to call ourselves on campus: Omnivorous Consumers of the WORD.

But truth be told: WE CAN’T GO FAR WITH GOD WITHOUT SPENDING QUALITY TIME WITH SCRIPTURE!!! When all else fails, that is the ONLY thing that can sustain you. The Word of God is LIFE. The Word of God is POWER. Read it. Believe it. Practice it. You will experience it’s potency.

Jeremiah wrote, Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy words were unto me a joy and the rejoicing of my heart…” Jeremiah 15:16. He FOUND the Word. He ATE it. They gave him JOY.

Read Scripture, people!

Study it.

Meditate on it.

Eat it.

Drink it.

Nothing else brings JOY.

Nothing else guarantees PEACE.

Nothing else gives WISDOM.

Nothing else shines LIGHT…



Haruna Daniels.