Monday, January 4, 2010

Gradual Metamorphosis!

Happy New Year! :)
I spent the past week at a Intervarsity Conference called Urbana in St. Louis. I went there apprehensive, not knowing what to expect. I was even beginning to ask myself: "What is wrong with you? You are taking this Jesus thing too far again..." However I knew that deep down inside I still wanted to go and find out what it was all about, My friend D. on the other hand was all bubbly, so excited. I wasn't even a 0.1% of her hype.
When we arrived, i was stumped that I was with 17,000 other students from Universities all over the U.S. who were Jesus freaks. I was amazed because it is so hard to find that many students especially in our time and age that clap on the mention of the resurrection of Jesus or dance at the Glory of God being revealed. That was the beginning of my walls crumpling down. As the sessions went on, it was as though God was specifically hammering and slapping me up and down. I was amazed at just how self-righteous i had been all these years and merely calling myself a believer of Jesus instead of taking steps in my heart and asking for His Grace to be his follower as well.
Before going to the conference, in my personal devotion, i had been praying that God would teach me how to seek His kingdom first and to place Love in my heart (I can be very hateful by nature!). The main focus of the conference was John 1 to 4 (I would encourage you to look it up in the Bible). It was the whole message that God (the Word) became Flesh and made His dwelling amongst us, and through the chapters, we saw how He dwelled with the rejected like the Samaritan Woman, the Pharisees who were trying to get questions answered (Nicodemus), people who were pointed to him (Peter and Philip). And there are countless other examples in further chapters such as Mary Magdalene (the Prostitute). He loved us so much that despite the fact that sin had made its entrance into the world and spoilt the initial design by God, he came to rectify it. The whole gospel of Jesus was just not to believe in him and get eternal life. I realized that that was what i had been living for. Just thinking about how crappy this life was and looking ahead to a land where they would be peace and Joy. I had gotten so enthralled with the Idea of Heaven (Don't get me wrong, Heaven is real and believers are still destined for there!), that i had forgotten to read the fine print. When Jesus called his disciples, he told them that: "Come and I will make you fishers of men!" He didn't say: "Come and i will make you fishers of heaven!" The "Kingdom of God is near..." is what he said. So simple, so down to earth and yet I was blind to what was before my very eyes. Jesus came to pay the wages for sin and to live his life as an example of how we should live: with love, humility and faith. This is Baba God, who owns the Universe, he could have just snuff us out with his nostrils, and yet he CHOOSE to come down and offer us restoration, show us how we should live amongst ourselves and with him. He didn't come to only restore Humans to himself, but also all of creation, all of our relationships, all of the systems, corporations, everything you can think of, can be used to his glory once we let him be the leader. I was just broken when i heard and all this (P.S I would recommend you reading: "True Story' by James Choung). "The kingdom of God is near..." is what Jesus came to show us... showing us how to live as soon as we let him be the cornerstone in our heart. This means giving up our selfish desires, lust, hatred, anger, pain, grief, vanity, pride, greed etc and telling him to take care of it, just telling him to forgive us and let him be the one in charge from now on. It means dying with him and raising with him anew. And believe me, its becomes easier being a whole new person that loves, forgives, trusts in Some One way bigger that we can ever fathom. And yes, we may fall everyday, yet that is the whole process of transformation process... the kingdom of God is near... means we let him transform our sinful nature day by day, asking him each and everyday to come and be the leader and to be in control.
As we went on through the conference, we had sessions on various topics, ranging from Evangelism to Justice to Academics. That was when I realized that God has a restoration plan from Racism to Environmental Pollution. Two seminars broke me down to tears in my soul because i realized that i was in the total wrong being on my stupid self-righteous throne. One was on Sexual Identity and Christ and the other was the Christian response to Islam. I am going to confess that i had just tolerated these two groups of people. However upon walking into the Sexual Identity seminar, the speaker asked us: "Where do you think Jesus would be today? Here with you guys..." He laughed and said that Jesus would be with the LGBT, in their bars, in their homes... When he was on earth, He was in the home of the tax collectors and with the blind, lame, the poor, the prostitutes. He said in a famous quote of Billy Graham: "It isG od's Job to judge, the Holy Spirit's Job to convict and my Job to love." I had been judging and convicting, quoting the Bible verses that says that God hates all forms of sexual immorality... and Yet the same Bible says that: "All sins are equal before the eyes of God..." So me, a liar, a hater, a proud person, a greedy person, a lustful person is just as good as the people that i thought i was more righteous than. My job is just to love because that is all that God did when He dwelled amongst us. All He did was love and love more. I chose to be his follower... and in fact He promised that I would do even more than Him... so who am i not to love even more?
It was the same with Moslems. I had a special grievance because although my paternal extended family is half moslem and half christain and they had never harmed me, the state I grew up in Nigeria harmed so many Christians, and believe me when i say that Christians in that state have never retaliated. They have been persecuted there since the 70's and yet the same persecution goes on. And yet the preacher said, Jesus had already died for our Sins and had won the victory. Despite my many sins, He still washed us clean and made us whole, so who am i to hate?
And so that begun my gradual transformation, metamorphosis if you will, into a follower of Jesus from being just a believer. As Christians, we are supposed to be the light and salt of this world. We have been called by Jesus to lead a revolution, a resistance army, one that is not physical, but one that is spiritual. We are to love from the heart, to be missionary in nature. And by missionary, I don't mean only to go to Iraq and start preaching to everyone, i mean in our lifestyle as well. Show kindness... show good... be the good that we would like to see in the world. We are to sit with those in need, the oppressed, the ones blinded by different Idols of this world and live out and tell this Wonderful Good News of salvation to them. If only we would all rise up and carry forth this Resistance Army of the Lord, we would see that he had given us the Power and the Grace to restore things back to how they were supposed to be... in fact even in a better condition. The many sins have lead to Injustice, Racism, Sexism, Greed, Trafficking etc... We were not designed to hurt each other or even hurt the planet. In Jesus, we are to rectify these problems, lead peacefully in His Power and Grace against the evils of this world and get people on our camp to help in advancing this Kingdom of God... "The Kindgom of God is near..."... untill He returns where we will be fully restored... "When thy Kingdom Come..." let us let Him into our lives and help in living out this Larger than Life gospel.
That then leads me to my New Year's resolution... I have only one: To know the Lord My God deeper and deeper... for him to continue to break me down, to give me humility, submissiveness, love, community and faith. I want to be a closer follower to Jesus... and I know that it is not easy, there are going to be many days when i will stumble and fall... and yet, I want to commit myself to running the race in advancing the Kingdom of Heaven. My Lord and God, grant me your Grace.


  1. Jesus Freak huh? Sounds good. Welcome to blogger and Happy new year to u!

  2. Happy New year and nice to have another believer on here. Thanks for sharing your experience, I actually picked a few things from it.

  3. Thanks guys. Glad you like it. Happy new year to u too :)

  4. Wow, this was deep and a truly great read. It's always so interesting when these things are put in perspective for us. The sexual identity and Christ is a real eye opener because as Christians we tend to look down on Homosexuals and Gays. May God be our guide and continue to lead the way. I am so glad that you took a lot away from the conference and shared with us, may God continue to guide and direct you. Amen!

  5. :-)
    It's always nice to hear your thoughts on things...this one was GOOD. May He lead you to where you need to go, May He help you stand when you stumble.

  6. @ Original Mgbeke and Meron: Thanks... that was really encouraging!!!