Off The Hook
Ha had a strong "Father" issue
He was the firstborn and the first son
In their culture, this was usually very
But not to his father
His Father was just aloof, detached and
His Father was at best a skeptic
God and the church were to him the opium of
A man who did not value God, family and
A man of the world, a compulsive gambler
Gambling was the god of His Father
The one habit he couldn't do without
The Habit that took everything from him
several times and yet had a firm grip
His father gambled away his inheritance,
gambled away their house, gambled away
his own health and the wellbeing of the
and yet he was owned by gambling
He was a slave of his own habit!
His mother, by contrast, was a woman
A woman who nurtured men of God and
She came from a stable background and
was deeply rooted in the things of God
Building the pillars of the earth!
For him, the contrast was too steep
Why do irresponsible men end up with the
Was it a sort of proverb?
The tree of the fruit of the knowledge
of good and evil growing in his own home
and many other families around him?
Was it a god complex with the women?
determined to save a lost soul by
tying themselves to such by hook or crook?
Was it an issue of opposites attracting?
He pondered at the puzzle growing up
His mother leading them to church just
as his father was heading off to his
Sometimes his father would come to church
with them and he would assume he had
repented only to discover that his father
came to church as a form of gamble!
He found himself in dire straits and felt
only God could help him out!
Once he got the help, he would disappear
until he was in another hole and needed
to be pulled out!
Whenever God came through for his father,
his father would say it!
Not in church but to the family
"It is good to serve God and go to church,
if not for him, you guys would be sleeping
under the bridge by now"
But whenever there was no narrow escape
He would reel off all the reasons
"God and pastors are liars and were just
out to get your money"
He was that kind of man!
He disliked his father!
He desired to be nurtured, to be cared for,
to be groomed and to have a great relationship
with his father
He would have given "an arm and a foot" for his
He didn't get it!
His father just didn't care that way!
It was nothing personal!
A self-absorbed man would always be
Feeling hurt, unloved and rejected by his father
he turned to God!
He needed to cling to someone, something!
The God his mother introduced him to was
a good God!
A God he could talk to and relate with
An imaginary Father!
Somewhere along the line he received the
gift of the Holy Spirit and started ascending
the hills of the Lord
The imaginary Father became real!
By this time he was a graduate and kept away
from his father's house out of spite
Since his father didn't want him, he was
determined not to have anything to do with his
One evening as he was praying, the Holy Spirit
said to him, "I want to be your Father, but first
you must forgive your earthly father and get rid
of the bitterness"
He couldn't believe what he heard!
Wasn't the Holy Spirit aware that he was
advocating for a man who deserved to die
alone and wretched?
His father laid his bed and has to lie on it!
His father despised him and in his father's
old age he was determined to retaliate!
His father chose a bad habit over his family,
his father must depend on the bad habit as
he approached the twilight of his life!
The Holy Spirit insisted!
There was a bitter scuffle!
The Holy Spirit engaged him in a fierce
He walked out of the room!
Months later he met the love of his life
They courted for a while and decided to get
He went to his Mother's younger brother
"Sir, I will like you to represent my father at my
His uncle told him it is never done!
"As long as you have a father in this world,
I cannot take his place! No matter what
your misgivings are you must let it go and find a
way to make things work! You must forgive!"
His mother told him the same thing!
He took their advice and went to see his Father.
He met his father at a bar, drinking with his friends
His father puffed and huffed
"You are a bastard! how long ago have I seen you?
You went off to school and started relating with
your mother's people!
You forgot the son of whom you were!"
He apologised and found an excuse to keep his
father off his neck
Since the pain, his father caused him was systemic
and non-verbal, he couldn't accuse his father of
It would make him look like a sissy if he said "You
didn't show me love and affection as a father"
So he had to accept that he was wrong and apologise
to his chagrin!
But the hurt was still there
His father demanded that he must buy drinks for
everybody his atonement
He did so even though as a believer he didn't and
shouldn't do so in his opinion!
He told his father his mission later in the day
His father cooed with joy
They made the wedding plans
His father really did right by him during the
His heart melted!
Suddenly he saw a surge of the supernatural
in his life
The voice of the Holy Spirit became clearer
His wife suddenly discovered a lump in her breast
and he laid hands on her
The lump disintegrated within 24 hours
He saw the reality of God in a new dimension
He was dressing for church service one morning
He was wearing a grey suit and a black shirt
The Holy Spirit said "Don't wear black"
The grey suit was a perfect fit for a black shirt
So he removed the black shirt he was wearing
and wore another one
When he got to the door of his room, he staggered
The Holy Spirit said "Don't wear black, you are
not in mourning"
He quickly removed the black shirt and wore another
Later that evening, he got a call from the village
"Your father is sick and bloated all over, he had
not been able to urinate or defecate for many
days he might not make it through the night!
Come home immediately!
Your father is asking to see you before he leaves
he laughed and said "Give the phone to my Father"
When he heard his father's groans and moans he said
"Daddy, you are going nowhere until I say so"
That was the end of the sickness!
His father was able to urinate and defecate as soon
as he made the pronouncement!
Three days later, his father arrived at his house!
His father was diagnosed with prostate cancer!
Doctors told him there is no hope
His father was given a few days to live
He went to the Lord
"I want my father to be saved, I want him to know
you, please give him some time"
While he was still praying, he heard a strange
His father had stopped breathing and lying
lifeless on the bed!
He rushed to his side and said
"I rebuke the spirit
of death over my father! Release him now!"
His father suddenly jerked back to life
His father began to mend
The cancer was not totally gone but the pain
and the usual symptoms reduced drastically
He made sure he prayed with his father every
morning and every night
His wife and father became very good friends
They shared the word of God together
As his father's health mended by the power
of prayer, his father started believing!
He was at home, being ministered to by his
A son he never cared about was bathing him
and caring for him with so much devotion!
The same son was praying for him at home
and he was getting better by the day!
His father believed and began to study the
Bible by himself
He also started praying!
Confessing and declaring the word of God
written for him daily by his son!
One day his wife approached him and said
"Daddy says he wants to go to heaven,
but he didn't want to tell you because
you are always saying "He will not die"!
He is 72 years old and has asked me
to please ask you to release him!
He said, he will not be dying, he will be
He knew why his father suddenly wanted
to go home!
His mother had died a year earlier at the
age of 68, she was a believer and it was a
happy transition for her!
His father had been looking towards eternity
longingly since then!
He said "If my Father is ready, I release him"
Three days later, after his goodbyes and
blessings to all the children, his father
slept in the Lord!
PS: I met this brother at a ministration in
Ajah, Lagos State on Sunday 20th January
As soon as I saw him, I saw the hand of God
He drove down to Ajah from Victoria Island
He said the Holy Spirit had laid it upon his
heart to meet with me
We didn't have much time to talk that day
because he had to return to his church for
We met again yesterday, (8/12/2019)
he came to my office with his lovely wife
We fellowshipped together and traded
The Holy Spirit delighted in us!
The Holy Spirit has led many brothers to me
in the course of ministering the gospel
Sometimes he will tell me "why"
At other times he will tell the Brother "why"
And sometimes there will be no "why"
I have learnt over the years that he delights
in the fellowship of his children in unity
His love has been shed abroad in our hearts!
A believer shouldn't have any bitterness
No matter who wronged you and what was
done to you
Jesus forgave us all even before he was
Stephen did the same
All the apostles laid down their lives with joy
Knowing the love of Jesus trumps all else
Kindly forgive everyone who has wronged you
Let there be no root of bitterness or
unforgiveness in you!
The worst of sinners can be brought to Christ
with our sincere outpouring of love and light
It is time to be Christlike indeed!