MY ‘DAMASCUS ROAD’ EXPERIENCE

(A Brief Account of my call to Ministry)

 

 

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Rev. Dr. Ikechukwu Odumodu

 

 

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I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ in 1988, at a time when the love of Jesus Christ reigned supreme, and nothing else mattered much in Christianity except God. Christianity was fun because of the ‘Joy Unspeakable’ experienced upon salvation, followed by increasing in the knowledge of God, and doing His will. Over the process of time however, elements of the world began to creep into the Church of Jesus Christ and we saw this ultimate focus on Jesus gradually and generally transform to an ultimate focus on self. The quest of the gentiles - what we shall eat, what we shall drink, what we shall wear, and the lust for success, became the new preoccupation of the Church against His command to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. By merging these things together with the worship of God, the Church has fallen away according to the prophecy of 2 Thessalonians 2:3. In the attempt to serve both God and Mammon, she has invariably chosen Mammon, but unfortunately, still appears to be blind to this fact (Revelation 3:17).

 

In the third quarter of the year 2011, God accosted me halfway through the journey from my home state, Anambra, to Abuja the capital city of Nigeria, to see a top government appointee. I was armed with a well-written proposal which I hoped would be implemented at the national level and had great hopes for the success of my mission. As the vehicle sped on, I heard a voice say to me ‘When will you serve me?’ I recognized the voice of God and my mind was immediately taken to an incident over a decade ago when, in the euphoria of worship to God, I vowed to serve Him as a minister. This vow was however with the caveat that He permit me to first go and do business in order not to wrongly convey the motive of profit as my purpose in ministry. Since then, I ventured from writing to business and then to politics. There is nothing wrong with pursuing ones goals and dreams, but if God’s agenda is not number one, and hot on your priorities list, then you have ‘other gods’ in your life.

There is indeed godly success and ungodly success. Joshua 1:8 outlines the conditions for godly success. Ungodly success exists in a situation where the covetous quest for success overwhelms the quest for the love, knowledge and service of God. Godly success is not attained under this condition, and is neither competitive nor showy (Galatians 5:26). It crowns the efforts of those who truly love God and have made His will their priority (Mathew 6:33). However, godly success is not necessarily confirmed by wealth (1 Timothy 6:5), but by the peace of having made God’s goal your priority and the focus of your prime efforts (Philippians 4:7, 9), and by having the spirit of contentment (1 Timothy 6:6). We are not born again to seek prosperity, but to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness. This is why it is wrong for a believer to come with prosperity on his mind to a God who already ‘knoweth that you have need of these things’ (Mathew 6:31 - 32). Again, the pretense that you are wanting the prosperity so that you can be an instrument in ‘establishing His covenant’ holds as much water as Saul’s defense that he spared the best of the sheep and oxen to sacrifice unto the Lord, against His command to utterly destroy everything (1 Samuel 15:1 – 23).

I however kept reaching for Ungodly Success which had become a god to me, and which I had come to desire even more than God Himself (Luke 16:13). In spite of my religious effervescence, the truth was that I had more or less, consigned to God, the role of a prayer-answering genie. I was therefore not truly a God-lover, but a selfish God-user.

This was the condition I was in when God accosted me on this fateful journey. I was on a highway away from God and this highway would have, without divine intervention, led to the extinguishing of the already dim light of my Christian life. I finally arrived at my destination, Abuja, and made out time to think. I counted the cost of an affirmative decision to the call of God, and chose to lay all my personal dreams and goals on the altar of sacrifice. I was led into a fourty-day fast, and in the midst of it, God revealed to me the theme of my ministry - the rapture and the second coming of Jesus Christ. That same night I asked Him what He wanted me to do, and amongst other details, He first said these words to me - ‘Tell my people to get ready; that I am coming soon’.

The signs of His return are evident brethren. Jesus therefore commands, ‘Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning’ (Luke 12:35 KJV). At midnight, the five wise virgins arose and immediately began to trim their lamps to a brighter intensity, before going out to meet Him (Mathew 25:7-8). The wise three hundred of Gideon’s mini-army were given flaming torches inside pitchers preparatory to their daring assault against the forces of oppression (Judges 7:16). These examples of scripture provide us prophetic warning on what is about to happen in our generation, and on our need for preparedness. With excitement, I hereby announce the imminence of the return of Jesus Christ to every listening believer. ‘Awaken from your slumber, Church. It is Midnight now. Your time to shine has come. Shine Church – Jesus is coming soon – Shine, shine now before it’s too late!’

 

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