Salvation – Modern day – Year: 2009 The events of the previous night got all four of them wondering how they could ever esca...
Salvation – Modern day – Year: 2009
The events of the previous night got all four of them wondering how they could ever escape the power of darkness which hung over their lives. Determined to find a solution, they began to talk to people they could trust. Their efforts landed them in a church; for the first time in their lives they walked into a Christian church. They had not thought of it, while growing up church worship was never a part of their lives. They could not remember their father or mother ever going to church. Whatever took hold of their family made sure they never turned to God. Like aliens walking on earth for the first time, they cautiously walked into the church and found some seats to sit down. About ten minutes after they went into the church, the atmosphere in the church became negatively charged. The lady singing wonderfully before they came in began to stutter, the members of the church became disinterested. Children who were peacefully listening to their teachers in the children ministry began to cry uncontrollably. Some of the children ran out of their classes and bolted into the main church auditorium pulling and yelling at their parents to come out. In just ten minutes, the sort of disarray seen at the market place took over the church service. Martha leaned over to her brother Obinna and asked, “I hope this has nothing to do with us?” “Maybe not,” replied Obinna. “It certainly does. Weren’t they doing fine before we came in?” Ada asked. “Perhaps God is angry we came into his house. I think we should leave now,” Joel suggested, looking as though he was expecting God to crash in a thunder bolt into the church and fry the four of them. “No! We are not going anywhere. If God is as strong as preachers make him out, then he should be able to deal with whatever followed us into this place.” And so they sat still.
As if the netherworld had grown angrier with their choice, four stage lights on the church altar exploded simultaneously and the speakers which were hung on the roof came crashing down. Some church members jumped to their feet and made for the exit door. Ushers had to restrain them from fleeing from the church. Those who didn’t try to run from the church auditorium looked askance, as if to spot the Jonah who just boarded their ship. The pastor of the church and his visiting evangelist friend ran to the altar to calm the church members. “Brothers and sisters, I perceive that the devil has made today an evil day. However we are not going to close our church and run from him, or sit idly and watch him spoil our worship. We are going to do just what the bible says we should do. We are going to take up the whole armor of God that we may be able to withstand in this evil day, and having done all, to stand. We will stand and have our worship like the devil never came today!” the pastor of the church said. His evangelist friend began to shout, “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!” The pastor of the church joined him. However the members of the church sat still staring at them. The pastor of the church paused and shouted at the church members, “Won’t you take up the name above every other name and chase the devil away from your church?!” A few members of the church stood to their feet and lethargically began to mouth the name of Jesus. Their pastor and his evangelist friend chose to ignore them and continued with shouting the name of Jesus. Obinna must have felt pity for the pastor over the attitude of the weary church members who followed him; surprising his siblings he stood up and began to shout the name of Jesus. His deep bass voice resonated in the church and all heard him.
The pastor and his friend felt encouraged by the attitude of the newcomer to their church. Obinna had hardly shouted that name ten times when a charged spiritual wave went through the church and all the members of the church stood to their feet and began to shout the name of Jesus in frenzy. By this time the pastor of the church and his evangelist friend were already berserk. Obinna held unto that name on his tongue as though if he stopped he would die. Already a warm sensation was beginning to pass through his body. His siblings stared at each other, stood to their feet, held their hands and raised their voices to shout the name of Jesus. Martha, Ada and Joel did not remember much after that. A strong light had overshadowed them and they went down to the floor. When they woke up, the church had installed makeshift light, the speakers were working again though on the floor and the once lethargic church members had fire in their eyes and a skip in their stride. It looked as though they were in a different church. The pastor was on the stage preaching up a storm. No church member sat down, they all stood on their feet and shouted as their pastor preached. Martha looked around for Obinna and saw him on the floor vibrating as if he had been plugged in to an electric socket.
The pastor who was preaching an unrehearsed message was giving bible verses. Martha, her sister and brothers wanted desperately to read the verses, they had not held a bible in their hands before nor read from one. Ada could not bear just hearing the verses so she literally ran out of her seat, stuck herself to an elderly woman and tried to read along with her. The elderly woman was very impressed and so gave Ada her bible. Ada grabbed the bible from her and held it with two hands is if she was afraid the bible would try to run from her. Martha and Joel having seen Ada’s success ran from their seats and looked for who could give them bibles to read. The church looked at them in disbelief and wondered if they were really from earth. They didn’t give a hoot, the power of God in the worship had reached their souls in ways nothing had touched them. As they read, tears flowed from their eyes; at this point the pastor knew he was preaching just for them. And so he turned their way and preached like that was his last sermon.
Preacher: “You must understand that when the devil takes away your pains and sorrows, he does so, only to multiply them tenfold. That is the reason the word of God says, ‘the thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly’. God is the only one who gives you blessings without evil strings attached to them. He says in his word, ‘the blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it’. I don’t know who you are sitting under the sound of my voice; I feel strongly that you are under the yoke of bondage. If you would humble yourself and seek the Lord, he shall deliver you. Do not let pride or shame deny you his mercy! Seek the Lord while he is near! Seek him while he may be found!”
As tears flowed down Martha’s cheek she whispered to herself, “Yes I am indeed under a yoke of bondage, and so is my family.” By this time Obinna had woken up with a glow in his eyes. Joel could have sworn that his brother must have seen God while he lay on the floor. He desperately longed for whatever it was his brother found. They hadn’t been to a church before and did not know what to follow next; all they wanted was salvation, help and deliverance. They desperately wanted the pastor to quit preaching and release the power of God. All four of them thought that the pastor had a container of it on the altar. As if the pastor read their minds, he said, “If you need salvation come forward!” All the four children of Iniye ran out of their seats as if they were competing in a race. They were completely oblivious of the church members. They had their eyes on the pastor and the words he spoke. As they ran to the altar, so many people in the church began to cry. They could not but wonder the sort of bondage those young people must have been on. When they stood before the pastor, they stared at him with hungry eyes. The pastor’s heart melted and he began to pray for them. He had hardly spoken twenty words of prayer when he felt a gush of power hit the four young people and sent them to the floor. In all his years of ministry, the pastor had not seen the release of such power. Obinna, Martha, Joel and Ada did not wake up until the end of the service. When the pastor heard they had woken up, he invited them into his office and asked to hear what their story really was. Every hair on the pastor’s head stood up when Martha let him in on their life story. “Do you all now believe that Jesus is lord?” asked the pastor. All of them as if on cue echoed, “Yes we believe!” “Then you are saved! For whosoever shall believe that Jesus is the son of God shall be saved!” Grudgingly the pastor sent them home and promised to visit them the next day.
On their way home, they cried and hugged each other. They knew beyond every iota of doubt that they were saved and delivered. But there was a little snag; they had no bibles, from that point they began to look for where to buy bibles on that late Sunday morning. No one had told them that the church they just left had a bookstore stocked with bibles. In their excitement they persevered until they were able to find a Christian bookstore by 5:30 pm in the evening. With the bibles, they felt complete and ready to take on the serpent kingdom. When they got home, before they could find anything to eat, Ada suggested that they fast and wait in prayer till early hours of the next day. She reasoned, “Since the serpent comes by night to take possession of our bodies to do its evil designs, let’s wait in prayer and see how it can achieve that against us.” The suggestion seemed good to all of them and they greed. They retired to their room and began to devour the bibles they bought. About 7:00 pm, their first test came. Their uncle, Mr. Silvanus, began to call all four of them at the same time using the same number. To the living room they gathered and wondered who should pick the call, Ada braved up and picked it, “Uncle what is it?!” she shouted. “Where did you people go to earlier today? Tell me where did you go to?!!” “Since when did you become our father to ask such questions? You Mr. Silvanus, where do you think we went to?! Where do you think we went to?!!” Ada retorted sarcastically. “So you have foolishly spoiled all I achieved for you? I warned you not to turn against the serpent or the kingdom of serpent and you wouldn’t listen. Now you will know the wrath of the serpent!” “Uncle we have been waiting for long, be quick about it!” Ada said and dropped the call.
On the other end of the telephone conversation, Mr. Silvanus wondered if the children of Iniye were drunk or stupid to dare the serpent. He laughed maniacally and said to himself, “They are only children, they don’t know the serpent or its power, but sadly tonight, they shall find out for themselves. I shall honourably fulfill my role as their uncle and bring home their remains to bury.” About midnight all the children of Iniye gathered in their living room and began to sing the few songs they could remember which were sung in the church earlier that day. When they exhausted their few songs they began to call on the name of Jesus. Praying with many words was still alien to them. That night was their first night to pray as a family. After they had called on the name for a while, Joel stopped them and asked to put the desires of their hearts to words in prayer to God. His siblings obliged him and so he began to pray, “Dear God, I don’t know how to pray, but I certainly do know what I want you to do for us. Destroy the serpent, keep us from the serpent. Do only what you alone can do. That mighty power of yours, display it against the serpent and his servants! This I ask you in Jesus name!” His siblings echoed, “Amen!” Then they went back to shouting the name of Jesus and dancing around in their living room. About an hour later, dark fumes began to fill their living room. They were terrified, but nonetheless they continued to shout the name of Jesus till 5:00 am. At the first gleam of day, they ran outside in joy that they had lived through the night without dying. Outside, their celebration was cut short when they met a serpent as huge as a GP water tank, with its head beaten to pulp. The Lord, whom they called, came to their defense and crushed the beast. They ran into their street and called their neighbours to come and see what lay in their compound. People could not believe that such a snake existed, but there it lay dead for them to see. A few hours later they got frantic calls from Asarama that their uncle, Mr. Silvanus was found dead that morning, divided from head down to his abdomen. Not one of the children of Iniye turned to the dark or died when they began to call on God.
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