AS soon as they finished the vigil service that morning
He knew there was a problem
His parishioners refused to go home
He made sure the vigil closed early enough
So why weren’t they going home?
They all live very close to the church
The one whose house was farthest from the church would be at home in less than ten minutes of brisk walk
The area was very safe and secure
He walked the streets at any time of the day or night and had never had any problem
They live in a closely knitted community
So why were they not going home?
He was trained in the Bible college never to leave the parishioners in the church
“Be the first in church and the last to leave” said his professor
The parish was the very first place of assignment he was deployed to after graduation
He really loved the people and the community
But the parish had a very lean purse and he was doing his best to manage resources
If the people stay in the parish all night, he would have to leave the generator on
Leaving the generator on has a lot of consequences
They usually have to travel as far as 22 kilometers to the nearest petrol station
For this reason, he usually bought fuel in bulk at the beginning of every month
This was their first vigil
It was not budgeted for
But when the parish members insisted, they wanted to have a vigil
He had to oblige them!
But to run the generator all night?
He didn’t budget for that at all
He decided to carefully find out why they had refused to leave the church after service
He went to the oldest parishioner
He spoke with the woman kindly
Then he asked “Mama, why aren’t you going home?”
The elderly woman looked at him and said “Nobody dares walk about in the middle of the night,
Were you not informed that those evil people who offer sacrifices and do other evil things do so in the night?”
He couldn’t believe what she said
He thanked her and walked to one of the most vibrant workers in the church
He asked the brother the same question
The brother said “If somebody is unfortunate, such a person will go and see and herbalist and they will do some divination stuff for him or her. Then they will tell such to take it to the middle of the road and have his or her bath there. Anybody who passes through that road after such a spiritual exercise risk being robbed of his or her good fortune. The bad fortune of the person that did the spiritual exercise would be given to such a person and the good fortune of the person will be given to the person that bathed on the road.
So many cases of such had been recorded in this community…
This is why most of us avoid going anywhere early in the morning. We usually wait until daylight when we are sure other people must have walked the road ahead of us!”
The two people he spoke with didn’t even seem to get how ridiculous they sound!
They were all born-again Christians
Spirit filled and tongue talking!
But it was too late to engage them on the issues
He walked out of the church
He knew all the residents of his church members
He started walking
As he walked, he prayed in tongues
The time was 2:30 AM
When he got to a T-junction, he saw a sacrifice
It was a goat’s head!
Just the head in a calabash!
He kicked it into the nearest gutter
He made sure he got to the house of every one of his parishioners present at the vigil
Then he went back to church
He got to church 3:15AM
He told all of them to go home
He had cleared all the sacrifices and misfortunes on the way by being the first person to walk through all the streets
The parish members looked at him as if he had gone mad!
They didn’t say a word
The next morning one of them came to his flat around 9am
It was the elderly woman
The woman didn’t mince words
Woman: One of the women in our area had a son who was mad, they did the sacrifice for his healing yesterday, they slaughtered a white goat for him! The boy is still receiving treatment at the herbalist’s house and I was told he was really doing well!
He: Praise the Lord
Woman: Pastor, don’t you get it. If the boy is doing well, it means his misfortune had been transferred to the person who saw his sacrifice
He: I saw the sacrifice, I kicked it into the gutter
Woman: Ha! Pastor, you know you are a young man! You are yet to know the works of wickedness
He: I know the finished works of Christ. I was the one who healed that young man, it was not the herbalist. Unlike the herbalist, when I heal, I do not transfer misfortunes, I destroy the works of the devil!
Woman: I hope you are right sir. I am just concerned about you sir.
He couldn’t believe it
The elderly woman actually believed something bad could happen to him
Didn’t apostle Paul say “We know that idols are nothing” 1 Corinthians 8:4
But anything you put so much faith in, (the way the people were behaving), must be something!
He worked in the parish for two years
Nothing untoward happened to him
As much as he tried convincing his parishioners that the idolatry practices are nothing
The less he was able to convince his parishioners!
His parishioners had seen the idol worshippers perform some feats
Like Pharaoh’s magicians did before Moses
His parishioners couldn’t be fully persuaded
At best, his parishioners could only grudgingly accept that he was an anointed as a man of God and the idols couldn’t harm him but they couldn’t even see themselves as powerful enough to be like him even though they were also filled with the Holy Spirit and they also speak in tongues!
Eventually he was transferred away from the parish
He tried to keep in touch with many of them for as long as he could
But as he grew in ministry, he met more people and lost touch with many of them
Several years later he was posted to a big city
The very week he resumed at his parish a lady came to see him
The lady said she had always been in good health until a few months before that day
She had a job interview and she left her house as early as 4AM in order to beat traffic
The interview was holding in the city and she and her parents were living in the village as at that time
The lady said as soon as she got to a junction not too far from her parent’s house
She stumbled into a calabash of sacrifice placed right in the middle of a T-junction
It was still dark and she couldn’t see clearly
Somehow, she fell down and scratched her leg
She didn’t think anything of it
She went for her interview and she got the job
Two weeks later she resumed at work
But the small scratch refused to heal
Within eight weeks it had begun to stink
She had been to several hospitals
She had seen many traditionalists
The doctors couldn’t find a cure
The traditionalists kept telling her she had annoyed the deities
She had spent so much trying to appease them to no avail
The deities kept feasting on her leg
The more they feasted, the bigger the gash grew
She didn’t know what to do!
She decided to come to church
Perhaps where the doctors and traditionalists had failed
Jesus could come through for her!
The lady was wearing pop socks to cover the wound
Her perfume was also extraordinarily powerful
She said it was to control the stench
He told her to go to the ladies and remove the pop socks
He got anointing oil
It was time to pray
As soon as the lady left
He started praying in tongues
He needed to fortify himself for the task at hand
He prayed and prayed!
He waited for a while
10 minutes, twenty minutes, 30 minutes
Why the delay?
The lady never came back
He couldn’t believe it
What could have happened to her?
He asked somebody to check the ladies
She had vanished!
He took it as one of those things
He forgot about it
Three weeks later
The lady was back
He didn’t recognize her
When it was time for testimonies
The ladies stepped out to give her testimony
She said as soon as the pastor asked her to go and change in the ladies
He met a brother in Jeans and T-shirt walking into the church compound
The brother greeted her
She asked the brother if he knew where she could get some bandages
The brother asked why
She told the brother the pastor wanted to pray for her
But told her to remove the pop sock and bandages
She would have to change the bandages after prayer
She needed some really fast
The brother in Jeans and T-shirt looked at her and laughed
He suddenly laid his hands on her head and said “I command the wound to dry up now, I come against the activities of demons of affliction in your life, legs be healed right now, wounds dry up, in Jesus name”
Then he said “ If you believe you have been healed go home but if you don’t believe go back and meet pastor to pray for you, perhaps then you will believe”
She left with the intention of getting the bandage and coming back to see the pastor
But when she got to the main road, the wound started itching uncontrollably
The itching was nothing new
Whenever it was itching that way, she would remove the bandage and expose it to the fan
It would relieve her after a while.
She quickly got in a taxi and rushed home
When she got home, she exposed the wound to the fan
She didn’t know when she slept off
When she woke up, for the first time, the leg wasn’t stinging
She was able to walk without feeling any pain in the leg
Though physically the wound was still glaring
The next day the smell stopped completely
After a week, she noticed that the wound was healing
There was a covering, some patches of flesh and skin
By the end of the second week the week was totally healed
She started walking about without her pop socks
And that Sunday she had come back to give her testimony
The pastor listened intently
He thought the sister met an angel that prayed with her while he was praying
He wanted to be sure
He said “Do you see the brother in Jeans and T-shirt who prayed with you that day here?”
She said “Yes” and pointed to the brother
The pastor was shocked!
The brother was just a church member!
He would never have guessed in a million years the brother knew the Holy Spirit that way
They glorified God and celebrated his work in the life of the sister
After service, the pastor told one of the ushers to call him the brother in Jeans and T-shirt
It was a meeting of like minds
One in a cassock, the other in Jeans and T-shirt
PS: It is true that conjurers and magicians can act as demonic agents
They would trade favours with fellow binders to loosen one and bind another
But they can only do this with the unsaved
Why do you think Jesus asked us to occupy till he comes?
The kingdom of darkness is determined to keep the light from shinning
We as the light must keep darkness from spreading
If you are a spirit filled believer and you still find yourself in the bondage of demons
It means only one thing
You are being robbed blind because you are walking in your true identity!
If death, the grave, demons, hell, the devil couldn’t hold Jesus
Death, the grave, demons, hell and the devil cannot hold you
You have been placed far above principalities and powers
You dwell in indelible light
Darkness can’t come near you!