Loved (A mini series): Episode 3 – The Real Deal

Written by Joy A. Adewumi

Episode 2 Recap

‘Elizabeth, why are you picking a bone with the wrong dog?’ Ayo asked looking bemused. ‘For the past six years, it never occurred to you that anyone random was praying for you, the only reason it is suddenly burdensome is because you now know. Now, you must understand that I’m the wrong target for your rage. I was saved to serve. When I signed up for service, I was appointed to my place of primary assignment, which is the place of intercession for you and any others the Holy Spirit ministers to me. I did not choose you randomly. I am simply a man on an assignment and God helping me, I will serve my Commander and do His bidding till I take my last breath. I did not reach out to preach to you or any other person I’ve been asked to pray for, for the same reason. I only do what I am asked to do. I pray for whom I am required to pray for, and I reach out to whom I am required to preach to. It’s the way of doing successful business with the Holy Spirit. It is the only way that works. So, if you need an answer to those questions, I advise you take it up with the Holy Spirit.’

I swallowed. He was right. I couldn’t believe I thought so, but he was right. He already declared from the start that the Holy Spirit was the one in charge. He answered to Him alone and if I needed answers, I needed to take it up with His Commander.

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‘The traffic is better now, so before we get to our destinations, I’m going to indulge a bit and ask you a question. Somehow, I think with all the questions you’ve thrown at me today, I deserve to ask one of my own, don’t you agree.’ He asked as he peered out the window.

I grunted my agreement but quickly added. ‘I didn’t force you to answer any of those questions. So, I reserve the right to withhold an answer if I wish.’

‘Totally,’ he replied, smiling. ‘So, what led you to become a freethinker?’

I didn’t need to think about it. I had been giving the same explanation to various curious minds who thought they could sway my thoughts since I was fifteen and I only got better as the years rolled by. Although, as time passed and I got wiser and saw more of the world, my beliefs shifted to accommodate some facts. I wasn’t exactly a freethinker as many people thought or an atheist as most believed. I believed there’s a God that reigns supreme. It was just plain impossible to deny that fact as I saw more of creation. It was too much of a masterpiece to have just materialized from a random big bang. What I’d stood firm on along the years was a denial of God’s interest in me, personally. That was the part that felt too much like people needed me to believe without showing hardcore proof. And I was bent on sticking to my philosophy until it is proven otherwise with solid evidence.

My adjusted beliefs were not things I liked to explain to people though. The first time I tried it, the pastor just came at me about how I was confused and how that was the general disposition of fools who believed there was no God. It took all my basic home training not to lash back that I was way better than the average church girl, after all, I could defend my stance and beliefs with provable facts per time regardless of how many times they shift.

I wasn’t in any way confused. I just wasn’t rigid and blindly stubborn. Never had been. All I ever needed were hard facts, proof I could see with my eyes. Just like I saw the elements of creation and was hard-pressed to accept that there is a deity somewhere who had to be responsible for this masterpiece. I knew if I could find evidence that God indeed was vested in my existence and the death of Jesus wasn’t just a historical fact but has real connections with my existence, then being the reasonable philosopher I was, unlike many churchgoers who believed but could never defend their belief, I would not only be open to accepting that fact and the Jesus in question, I would be able to stand anywhere to defend my new belief without wavering. And that was exactly what I told Ayo.

He sighed with a smile dancing on his lips. I hiked one eyebrow at him and asked, ‘Did I say something funny?’

He shook his head, still smiling. ‘Not at all. I’m not laughing at what you said. I’m just happy.’

It was my turn to shake my head, though for different reasons altogether from his. I was confused. ‘That’s weird, you know that, right?’

‘No, it isn’t.’ He replied simply.

I waited for him to say more. When he didn’t, I couldn’t hold it in. ‘Well, you can’t just stop at that. You have to explain why you’re happy with my explanation.’ That was certainly the weirdest reaction I’d ever received to any explanation I gave about my reasons for not being a Christian.

He shrugged. ‘When you pray for the same thing for the same person for six years, there are bound to be moments when you wonder just how deep their beliefs run. Your imagination runs wild with how solid the reason behind their philosophy is and you are tempted to think this must be a hard nut to crack. A hard nut for whom though? That’s where you are forced to caution yourself and terminate that train of thought because there was no way you’re thinking something was too hard for God to do. What God cannot do does not exist. Simple. That was all the reason I needed to keep praying without wondering. However, here I am, getting to hear from the horse’s mouth and discovering that what I thought must be intense is rather basic, after all.’

READ ALSO: To Will and to Do (Part 1) – A Two-part Story

‘You lost me somewhere in there. Can you speak English?’ I asked with a sigh.

‘What I’m saying is, I never expected your reason to be something so simple and straight to the point.’

Straight to the point, I could deal with, simple was what I wasn’t so sure about. ‘What do you mean simple?’ I let just a bit of offence drip into my words.

‘No offence meant, Elizabeth. This is it: all you need is evidence of God’s love for you and personal interest in your life. That’s it! But I tell you, that’s hardly the case with most freethinkers. Usually, they don’t even know what they want and while trying to explain what they believe as opposed to what you think is pretty obvious, they end up confusing you and themselves further. But your explanation has to be the most uncomplicated, and believe me when I say, the most legit one ever. You aren’t rigid in your belief. You aren’t taking obscene pride in weird stubbornness. The fact that you’re open to an intelligent conversation and willing to shift your beliefs to accommodate another person’s own if you’re provided with the proof you need is just simply amazing. So, what I meant by simple was that I didn’t expect your reasons to be so reasonable and uncomplicated.’

I honestly didn’t know what to say to that and since he looked like he wasn’t through anyway, I just let him continue.

‘More so, as much as it would surprise you to hear this, you’re right.’

‘I’m right?’ I was thrown off with that comment. Being told my explanation was reasonable was a first, especially from someone who was so crazy about Jesus, but hearing I’m right did something funny to my insides. What was this guy playing at? No Christian ever told me I was right.

‘Yea, about the part about of you being better than some churchgoers.’ Oh, that! I thought. But he was not done. ‘The operative word being churchgoers, not Christian. You know what I realised when I finally came to God for real was that you can’t claim to be a Christian until you get real and personal with Him. Christianity is a relationship with Divinity that is as real as the Deity we serve. It’s not some abstract idea. For a genuine Christian, it is the most rewarding and intimate fellowship he could have with any being. It pulses with life and affects every sphere of that person’s existence. Apostle Paul didn’t overplay it when he wrote to the Corinthian church that God’s way isn’t just mere talk, it’s an empowered life. He was right. I should know that. But that isn’t the case with many supposed Christians. They know and accept God’s love for them but whether they believe is a whole different question entirely. You can see in their lifestyle that God is not an influential factor. He is someone they acknowledge but do not necessarily yield to. And how could they? I mean, you can only yield to someone you truly know and trust.’

I didn’t know my mouth was gaping until I swallowed hard and caught myself. I’d never heard anyone talk about Christianity the way this guy did. There was something ethereal about even the expression on his face, not to talk of the almost-tangible power his words carried. Though at that time, I was in denial, right there and then, something shifted in me. I believe that was where the change began. Not in my head. Not in my mind. Right there in my heart.

‘So, you’re saying my desire for proof is simple. If that’s the case, why hasn’t God shown it to me all these years?’ I asked. He doesn’t sound to me like the type to hide His intentions.’

Ayo chuckled ever so lightly. ‘Trust me, Elizabeth, the proof you need has been quite evident since your conception.’

READ ALSO: To Will and to Do (Part 2) – A Two-part Story

I hiked my brow in scepticism. ‘Isn’t that stretching it? I mean, why haven’t I seen it then?’

‘Maybe because you don’t know what to look out for.’ He replied gently with a smile like he knew something I didn’t.

‘That’s absurd.’ I argued.

‘But possible.’ He countered. ‘Think about it. Creation has been there all along, even before your birth. Yet, it took you years to see it for the beautiful masterpiece it was and to finally accept that there had to be Someone supreme behind such amazing work. What’s to say it’s not the same for this proof you’re asking for?’

Once again, I was dumbstruck.

Before my tongue could loosen, he exclaimed, ‘Oh! There’s my stop, finally! Elizabeth, this is officially the most rewarding bus ride ever and the most helpful traffic jam I’ve ever been caught in. I think we’ll find a way to keep in touch, won’t we?’

I flashed a genuine smile at him. I couldn’t help it. He was right. Even at that time when our views clashed, it was still a most interesting conversation. ‘We’ll find a way. Finding people has never been easier. Do take care of yourself.’ I replied.

‘You too,’ He replied and walked down the aisle of the bus as it came to a stop and the door opened a few seats behind us.

As I said, that was where and when it all started.

It was supposed to be just another conversation challenging my beliefs. I’ve had tons of them over the years and quite frankly, I’d grown immune to them. Accepted, this was very different, but it proved to be more than just different. It was the start of something new, howbeit disturbing – at that time.

His most famous words that stuck stubbornly with me through the rest of the bus ride and the days following were the quiet challenge: “Maybe because you don’t know what to look out for.”

It bothered me to frustration that he had a point. The majesty and greatness of creation had been there all along and it took years for me to see and acknowledge that there had to be a God behind it. What was to say the evidence of God’s love I claimed to be looking for was not equally staring me in the eye waiting for me to recognize it?

(Episode 4 drops next week Saturday)

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Reader dearest,

Thank you for taking your precious time to read this episode of this beautiful mini-series. I hope you were blessed, because merely editing it and preparing it for upload, I was touched. It led me to the Throne of Grace because more than ever, I am committed to making sure my walk with God is not a mere religion but an intimate relationship between Divinity and humanity as ordained by God and appropriated by our Saviour, Jesus Christ, because that is the real deal.

However, if you are stuck in that place of religion and God is not as real to you as Ayo has described him in this episode, you need to come up higher to that place of profitable communion with the Godhead. That is where God needs you to be. That is where you can encounter God and enjoy Him. It is also where God can make full and effective use of you for the growth of His kingdom here on earth. For this to happen, you must sincerely ask God to bring you up higher to that place and be intentional about getting and growing there.

I pray God will help us all to truly walk with Him so that we can do profitable and effective work for Him in Jesus name. Amen.

Yours in Christ,
SpiritPen

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2 thoughts on “Loved (A mini series): Episode 3 – The Real Deal

  1. Amen.
    Undauntedly, full conviction is an essential ingredient of matters of faith, hope, and belief.
    And, it takes a great deal of grace and diligence to ensure effective obedience to God’s instructions even when it looks foolish to us (as regards Ayo persistent intercession).
    And, the God of old remains alive to do the seemingly impossible.

    Well done, sis Joy.

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