I wrote this down on paper so it wouldn’t be an emotional piece with the details that can help someone else gain something.
I got filled with the Holy Ghost on the 4th of September 2001. It was a memorable day and so I didn’t forget it it was between 7 pm and 9 pm. I was at a concert. A Christian concert at the University of Lagos.
I could say I was a believing skeptic. I knew about Jesus. I had heard about Him all my life mixed with so many other things.
I was a 19 year old book smart kid at the university. I was in my 300 level. I had my life all planned out, a narrow minded plan, but it was my plan. I got my first job a year later at Nestle but for 2 courses I didn’t retake from 200 level.
Let me not get ahead of myself, there points were clear in the matter:
I had my plan
The devil had his plans
God had His own
I didn’t always believe in the prophetic, I imagined them to be doomsday crazies with hidden agenda and something to gain on their mind. I didn’t believe that the Holy Ghost should speak to you. When I was 13, I had the Bishop spray water on my head and say “receive ye the Holy Spirit” and that was that, I went back to falling into sin, doing penance on Friday and sinning before Sunday (even if it was just thoughts).
I’m not doing an academic article so I will limit the scriptures to the end of the article.
I was 19. I had been going to fellowship on and off for 2-3 years, not always but I was always eager to hear about God then. In yr 1, it was when I could convince my group of friends that it would be a nice place to hang out. I was religious but could not miss the worship atmosphere of the place. I wasn’t saved yet but I didn’t know. I thought being good is good enough, what more can God ask for? After all I am better than “others”.
Anytime I went home from school I raved about prayer, fellowship, sang the songs and prayed over my family, told them the drama acted on stage with all the excitement, I think. To crown it all, in my second year (year 1, I did prelims before getting into school) a word of wisdom and word of knowledge (I didn’t know what it was then) came about a cult boy who… I can’t remember now. All I know was that the guy next to me hit the floor. I looked at him, startled out of my worship, he got up stunned, hit the floor again, got up acting tough, hit the floor again. This time, he ran down the stairs and even though layers of ushers tried to stop him, he broke through and ran away.
I knew that was God.
I continued my worship, closed my eyes and focused on God. I prayed that God would follow him.
I was raised Catholic and Catholic believe in que sera sera, they basically leave all things in God’s hands and it sometimes is.
When i left fellowship, the prayers prayed would stay with me till the weekend, I would go home and pray those prayers on my family. Basically reenact the fellowship at home. Yet I wasn’t saved. I knew about God and liked him but I wasn’t committed. I knew how good it felt to be in His presence but I could still skip service if no one would go with me. I couldn’t go alone, I was always in a pack.
I had this idea, that I was good all the time so why should I confess Jesus as Lord. I’m already with Him so to speak so what was the use of exaggeration? I continued like that.
A year and a half later I surrendered my life to Jesus. I was at home and it was midnight. I was watching The Turning Point. My siblings and I loved watching the founder. The guy had word of knowledge, word of wisdom, all those things with testimonies of people who surrendered their live to the Lord Jesus at their breaking points.
I just repeated the prayers after Him. When I got back to school I decided to seek God with everything in me. A month later there was a 7 month strike. I visited my sister in school, she was in Uniben at the time. I must have prayed with so many Christians, all of them trying to fill me with the Holy Ghost. I didn’t speak in tongues, I kept waiting for the Holy Ghost to speak but nada!
God must have been after me because I remember my bunkie in my first year (PDS) was a converted Muslim. She was always speaking in tongues on the bunk above me. I’d be watching her in the way I do till she explained what it was she was as doing. I had heard something about it in the bible but the Catholic church didn’t believe in that, only the charismatic did, and there was a major disagreement btw the Catholic and the charismatic and why they must speak words that they don’t understand. I just knew that speaking in tongues made her happy.
I love to read and write. It is one of my driving passions. I had set goals of reading the entire bible. Yes I heard the rumours too that if you read the whole bible, you would go crazy. I wonder where those ideas come from.
One day I went for a concert in school. I was visiting my former bunk mates fellowship and basically learning all I could about Christianity. It was no longer entertainment to me. It was about getting to know who I was in Christ. I listened with intent as opposed to my earlier curiosity.
Did I know who I was in Christ?
Was I even in Christ?
I know I said the sinners prayer but I didn’t have any assurance. Issues began cropping up in my family left, right and centre, should a Christian be having troubles? I thought it should all be smooth sailing.
Beautiful worship songs were being sung, I tried to keep up. As I pondered on my issues, this black American man came on the stage with a lighter skinned man and a very white-black girl (I think they are called mulatto by other Americans) came on stage too. My first thought was, they want to use the Americans to impress us.
As the young lady started to sing, she said, “lift up your hands and worship” I did. Kind of robotic but I chose to. She began singing, “You are the air I breathe, you are the air I breathe, Your Holy presence living in me…”
I felt something like water but not drops, the only words that describes it adequately is a ‘deluge’. Too much. I looked and was thinking ‘na wa for these Christians o…’
When I opened my eyes I felt nothing but when I closed my eyes to worship, I felt the deluge again. I opened my eyes again and put my hand on my head to see what was there, nothing, closed my eyes and felt it again.
As I closed my eyes the third time, the big black man in the middle gave a word of knowledge that hit home. As I began crying, I said, “Holy Spirit, you can’t even hide me abi”
I felt this urge to go out when he said, “come out” I couldn’t stay back, I was compelled. I went out expecting so much but he just prayed with me and some 8 people and asked us to join the workers and serve in God’s house else I would never have joined up. I love to stay in the background and not really get involved.
After that day I think I slept for the first time in months. I started shopping for a fellowship. After visiting about 20 fellowships on campus, I joined the work force of the fellowship I had been attending. That was the place where I had first come across the gifts of the Spirit. Afterwards I had the impression that every church had the gifts of the Spirit in ever increasing measure because life in my college fellowship was full of the tangible presence of the Holy Ghost. Thus began my journey with the Holy Ghost.
I used to be close off emotionally. I think I still am.
In the presence of God, I am a crier. I just cry for no reason. I feel so weak, I mean what kind of person can’t control her own emotions. Before I came to Christ, I never cried, except maybe I wanted to get my way or I was really angry and out for vengeance. When I came to Christ I cried morning, afternoon and noon. If I opened my mouth to sing or pray, I cried all the more. If I shut my mouth and refused to sing, as long as I was in the vicinity I cried. The Holy Ghost was on a mission. My siblings were born again by now and they got slain in the Spirit all the time but I never ever got slain in the Spirit even though I wanted to, all I did was cry all the time and ruin my mascara. But no headaches.
Headaches used to be the way my siblings knew I had been crying. This cry of the Holy Ghost, no headaches just peace and calm. I was desperate to hear from God but I heard nothing, all I did was cry. In the era when everyone wanted to be cool, calm and collected, Tessa cried.
How frustrating it was for me. All I did was pray about walking in the Spirit, pray about overcoming anger, fear…and see how much more fierce anger, fear any other negative emotion could be. Over the months I started walking in the Spirit. Cries accompanied my every victory over my flesh. I started getting burdens to pray for people here and there till I was convinced intercession was my calling.
For three months or thereabouts after I received the Holy Spirit, I dreamed daily that I was a samurai with a very long sword/blade that I used to cut down serpents for all of the 6-8 hours I slept that first year, I was occupied killing serpents. I woke up refreshed. The word I was meditating on the entire time was 1 Tim 1:7
When I read Ephesians 6 months later I understood the significance of the “sword of the Spirit” which is the word of God. Immediately I understood it, I knew that arming my spirit with the word is something that God wanted. So I became voracious in reading God’s will word. Got to fellowship that week and my pastor was having us meditate on scriptures weekly. That was confirmation for me so I got up faithfully at 5 am and meditated on: “Everything is permissible for me but not everything is beneficial, everything is permissible for me, but I will not be mastered by anything so all addictions had to go.
My reading had to become streamlined. I can’t invest my money in a worldly book, I have to invest in something that would further God’s kingdom.
I began reading the bible more knowing it was a weapon of offence and defence after all God has told me what to give my time to doing.
Think about it
Over and over again
From time to time, the Holy Ghost would show me a man of God seating on the rock and I would receive instructions teaching me what to do in each season. It would be a conversation. As I read the word on that day or months later, I would see the phrase in the bible,
“Young lady, have faith in God”
I began to recognize most of the instructions already in the bible but for me, there was that emphasis, I would be alert and know when to obey the scripture.
God would give me instructions saying “give” long before I was in church, the Holy Ghost would say “write this”, ” sing”, “be encouraged”, “I love you with an everlasting love”, “you are Mine”, “You are healed”, ” You are Sanctified” (I got this one daily for a month in Hebrew, I was puzzled for a month till I settled down and read a brothers Dakes bible). It was all pretty dramatic, I heard till I started asking everyone around me, what does this mean? What does this mean? In frustration, after no one knew, I had to read my bible to find out. I was very calm for a long time after I understood.
I was touched.
I was occupied. I was moved. God loved this precious daughter of His so much He was determined to lead. His angels were working overtime. I am sure they still are.
I asked anyway.
You expect God to answer.
He doesn’t just answer in the way that you have planned in your head.
He is God.
I had asked. I had promised, even made a covenant, made several or amended the first one.
“Never let me leave Lord, never let me lead myself”.
Why wouldn’t I think He did?
The things on His calendar for me, I always got to know at the right time. This God was more than just words on a book.
The Holy Ghost was the comfort Jesus promised in the person of the Holy Spirit. My constant companion, my standby, my peace, my teacher. My all in all.
I can’t imagine living the Christian life without the Holy Spirit.
I hope this helps someone.
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