The Wilderness Experience
Many believers will boldly talk about their wilderness experience
They wear it like a victor’s cap
They boast about it like it is a must have experience
They insisted it is compulsory for every believer to have one
He has listened to so many sermons
The ones with such tales of woe and sorrow seemed very appealing
One pastor told them of how he was able to cope with the death of three children and his wife
Another told the story of his spiritual attack and how he won the battle against mental illness
People seemed to find those messages very entertaining and people find such stories easy to relate with
Sometimes the stories were delivered in such a passionate way that made people break down in tears
As a man desiring to go into ministry
He needed to have that wilderness experience
So that his experience arsenal will not be void of such an important talking point
But how does one get a wilderness experience?
He thought about it
Suddenly it dawned on him
That all he needed to do was ask God
It seemed God delights in giving his children spiritual experiences more than material prosperity
He went on his knees
He asked God for his own wilderness experience
He cried and cried
He cried day and night
An experience that will shake the church of God
An experience that will make him a testimony in the tabernacle of the righteous
An experience that will swallow up the testimonies of others
He prayed and fasted
One day he fell ill
He prayed about it and forgot about it
He hardly fell ill and whenever he did, he would just say a word of prayer and it would be gone
But not this time!
The sickness persisted
He couldn’t hold down his food
Even if he drank water, he would vomit it
He had to go to the hospital eventually
The doctors carried out comprehensive tests on him
He was diagnosed of high blood pressure, diabetes and tumor
He looked up to the heavens as if to rebuke the diseases
A spirit reminded him of his persistent prayer
“God has answered your prayer, this will be your wilderness experience”
He told his wife and children to take him home
He was being taken through the wilderness as requested
When he got home
He refused to pray about the sickness
He continued to thank God for making his life an example of the suffering of Christ
He had read some “Christian” materials
Materials talking about the necessity of Christian suffering
Many of such materials were written by devout Christians
Believers whose life God decided to make “miserable for his glory”
Such worthy vessels are proof of God’s sovereignty over all flesh
God doesn’t have to be good all the time
Didn’t he say in the scripture that he made “evil” for his own delight?
Many of his fellow Christians came to his house
They came to pray with him that the will of God will be done in his life
They talked about Job
They talked about Abraham
They talked about John the Baptist and his experience with Herod
Sometimes the righteous were made to go through certain hurdles
As a form of warning for the sinners and unbelievers
Loot at Jonah!
God deliberately took away the shade he was given
Just to prove a point!
God might use anybody’s life to prove a point
May God deem us worthy for his use
However, He might have decided to use us!
His wife and children suffered greatly
They didn’t bargain for the pain and misery God was putting them through
Many people encouraged the wife to do better than Job’s wife
“See, sister, stand by this man of God
Do not be guilty of fainting in the days of adversity
Everything that has a beginning must have an end
Be strong sister”
His wife tried as much as she could
Until one day she decided she wanted out of the church
How can a good God afflict his own child like this?
How can a good God turn a strong, agile, able bodied prayer warrior to a vegetable?
For his own Glory!
Was there a scarcity of glory in heaven?
That God must glory in putting her family through pain and misery?
Even the devil does not afflict witches and wizards the way her husband had been badly afflicted
He had lost weight to the point where he was all ribs
He had bed sores all over
He had to be carried in and out of the sun everyday
At the age of forty
She was just 37
They had been married for ten years
Their children were still very young
She had to cope with fending for them and him alone
At a point she started praying that her husband would die
His death would mean less pressure on her meager earnings as a front desk officer
It was all too much for her to bear
Just too much
Whenever their church members came to see him
She would deliberately refuse to open the door
Sometimes she would drop hints that they were taking him for treatment somewhere
Just to get the church members off their doorstep
She has had it with them and their wicked “God”
The sickness lingered on for three years
How he managed to keep breathing was such a mystery to her
One day she decided enough was enough
She would pack whatever she had, take her children and leave!
The landlord was on their case for house rent
They were owing for two whole years
If not because the man had “human feelings”
They ought to have been ejected since
One day a friend of hers invited to a church programme
It was for another denomination entirely
The shallow Christians she and her former church folks used to laugh at
Christians who always wanted everything to be rosy
Christians who pray against natural realities and reject life’s curves
How could any sane Christians be saying “I forbid death in my family”
As surely as there are people in the world, death is a must!
It is only a matter of time but everybody will lose somebody to death
How could Christians be so blind to sense?
They would be praying against sickness and disease
Rebuking infirmity and deformity
Unrealistic expectations had watered down their Christian realities
Why would God give humanity the wisdom to set up hospitals if people wouldn’t be sick!
Sickness is a reality of life
Deformity also is a reality of life
Man fell in the garden of Eden and he was cursed with thorns and thistles
That was how deformity came into perfection
But these milk and honey Christians wouldn’t tie the scriptures up properly
They would take a portion they find to be nice and build doctrine on it
Forgetting that the scripture is one complete book and shouldn’t be broken
Her friend insisted the speaker was different
“He doesn’t preach the way you and I do
And he makes a lot of sense
You need to come and hear him preach”
She was idle that morning
She knew she would pick holes in the person’s teaching within minutes
Most of the preachers of such churches were not grounded
They didn’t attend seminaries
They didn’t study philosophy
They would rather be drunk in ignorance than walk in knowledge
All of them are the same thing!
She got to the church
The preacher was the brother in Jeans and T-shirt
He took his sermon from 1 Corinthians 15:45
He practically slaughtered the Old Testament on the cross and resurrected the new testament three days later
She was livid with rage
Her husband was a living proof that the brother had deceived the people
If God doesn’t deal with Christians the way he did with the characters of the old testament in Christendom, then her husband shouldn’t have been sick
Not for a minute
She decided she had to see the brother after the service
Such heresies should be challenged!
Unlike other preachers
The brother didn’t go into an office
He announced that he would attend to people right there in the church after service
And he did
Almost 100 people waited to see him
He sat with each person without a protocol team and listened to them patiently
He prayed with each person
She saw miracles happened right before her very eyes
His attitude and mannerism convicted her
She didn’t know how to feel about him anymore
He might have taught heresy but he was obviously anointed and he had the temperament of Christ, at least as she was observing him
It took two hours for him to reach her
She challenged his message immediately
He mentioned heroes of the faith who God dealt with just the way he did with the biblical characters of the old testament
She mentioned people who God gave cancer, kidney disease, blindness just for his glory
She mentioned people like Jacob who limped, Leah with her set eyes, Mariam who was leprous for a while by the hand of God, King Saul who suffered from depression, Isaac who went blind in his old age and Moses the stutterer – these are instruments in God’s hand and they had health issues!
Apostle Paul and Timothy also had documented afflictions!
He was patient with her
She had her say
Though she had come to respect his patience and character, she didn’t know why she was so angry when she started speaking with him
He looked at her and said “Why are you so angry?”
The question startled her
She was just asking herself the same question in her own mind
She didn’t know what to say
She wanted to speak but her voice gagged as tears poured forth!
Her husband was suffering for the cause of Christ and the brother in Jeans and T-shirt was trying to rubbish her husband’s legacy through his sermon
If she was to believe what the brother in Jeans and T-shirt was saying, it would mean she had suffered for over two years for nothing and her husband was somehow guilty of making himself sick!
God has a hand in it
It was God’s responsibility to heal and to make sick
God is guilty in her book
God has turned her life upside down
And nobody should absolve God and somehow turn the victim into the perpetrator!
The brother in Jeans and T-shirt stood up abruptly!
She was still crying!
He started attending to other people
She wanted to leave but one of the ushers told her to stay because the brother in Jeans and T-shirt would still like to see her
She waited another 45 minutes
The brother in Jeans and T-shirt told her to come with him
He told her to please take him to see her husband
She was eager to do so
He had to see for himself in order to understand that his teachings were not grounded in the word but in wishful thinking!
He had to see!
The brother in Jeans and T-shirt didn’t say a word throughout the journey!
Her children were just returning from school when they got to their house
They parked right behind the school bus dropping them off
The brother in Jeans and T-shirt walked with her and her children into the house
Her husband was lying on a mat right in the sitting room
The brother in Jeans and T-shirt sat down beside her husband and said “Brother, I have a message from you from God! He said he has seen your labour of love and your suffering for the sake of the gospel. He asked me to inform you that it is time for you to be healed and to recover fully so that you can share testimonies of your healing to strengthen the faith of many believers all over the world!
All you have to do is say after me
“Father, In the name of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, I command my body to respond to the word of God and be healed right away in the name of Jesus…
Her husband refused to say a word
She couldn’t believe it
She: Dear, why aren’t you saying anything?
Husband: I want to die a martyr! I want the crown of life.
Brother in Jeans and T-shirt: There is no crown for foolishness sir. The Lord sent me to you with an express instruction and you are disobeying the Instruction right here! You are doing this according to your own will and you will lose your testimony if you die in disobedience
The husband started crying
Husband: Lord, why do you count me unworthy to be a saint! Why should I not carry my cross to the end. Why should I abandon the quest now? This is my wilderness experience. Why Lord?
She started crying too. Suddenly it all made sense! Why he refused any form of treatment while claiming God afflicted him and only God can heal him
She begged him and pleaded that he should not die in disobedience! God can change his mind at any time but if you die in disobedience you will go to hell!
He took his time but eventually agreed to pray for his healing
The brother in Jeans and T-shirt laid hands on him and instead of praying for healing, he rebuked the spirit of affliction, infirmity and religion
Her husband, though frail suddenly became strong!
His bones gained strength from nowhere
He jumped up from the mat and started barking like a dog!
The brother in Jeans and T-shirt wasn’t surprised at all
She was stunned!
If ever there was a holy man in the world, that man is her husband!
She had seen people with demonic spirit manifesting before but she never thought in a million years that husband was possessed by a spirit
After a few minutes
Her husband started vomiting a greenish substance
It was over in twenty minutes
Her husband collapsed backwards
The brother in jeans and T-shirt caught him from injuring himself and laid him down
The brother in Jeans and T-shirt then commanded the body to start healing, reversing the damages done by the demonic affliction upon the body
Within an hour the prayer session was over
The brother in Jeans and T-shirt gave her husband Holy Communion
Prayed for the whole family and left!
Her husband became well
He started eating, started walking, started talking properly
Within a week, he had reopened his fashion accessories shop
People didn’t know how it happened
Even she couldn’t say exactly what happened
The transformation was supernatural
As the scripture says “Woman indeed received their dead relatives back alive”
PS: Many of us forget that Christianity is very progressive
We lump up the obsolete with the effective
And yet the word is “be it unto you according to your faith”
What a Christian confess will most likely be his or reality
If God framed the world by the word of his power and we are his express image
We also frame our realities by the words of our mouth