On December 31, 2019, during the Crossover Night in Redeemed Christian Church of God, Dallas, US, the Head Pastor, Lanre Sobo, told us about a woman, who was spending time and effort, pleading with God to be used in the Ministry. God seemed not to be hearing her. She did not give up on her request but wondered why He refused to use her.
Pressed one day to use the toilet, the woman entered their toilet room and saw that it was messed up badly. She went to the next one and the story was the same. She went to the third room and from there to the fifth, and still, there was no honey in the honeycomb. They were all very dirty because the taps were dry. On her way to look for any hidden corner she could use, God asked her why she did not use the toilets, though she was pressed badly. “They’re all very dirty. I can’t use a dirty toilet,” she replied. “Can you see now, why I can’t use you, in spite of your repeated desire for Me to use you? You are dirty and so, I can’t use you,” God told her.
A few days later, I started to meditate on that story. It reached a point that I started to suspect that, for the woman to desire to be used by God, she might have been very faithful in attending her Church programmes. She might also be giving good offerings on Sundays and has been faithful in paying her tithe. She might even be a generous giver, committed absolutely in meeting the needs of members as well as those of her Church. It will not surprise me to hear that she is very prominent in the Church and holds an important position. If she dies in this condition, she will be buried by the Church with the assurance that she has made Heaven, not knowing that something was wrong in her life.
I am touched when I read how the Lord Jesus reacted the first time He met Nathaniel, describing him as, “An Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile,” John 1:47. He saw beyond the physical, seeing his heart, that there was no bitterness in him. Glory! That was why God, Who sees the heart, rejected that woman! It is better that we are rejected by human beings than by God. We should, therefore refrain from doing anything that will attract His wrath, though other people may be doing so. God accused her of being filthy like the toilets she could not use. That was her heart, filthy! The heart of man!
I read, sometime ago, how a bride, on their wedding day, was in the Church, hours on end, waiting for her groom and he did not turn up. He was on a revenge mission! He wanted to punish her in retaliation for her unfaithfulness to him. By doing that, his punishment extended to his parents, who were deep neck, preparing for his wedding. He dashed in pieces, their joy that, their son was going to wed. He punished his parents-in-law, who were also much involved in the wedding. The Ministers of God, the Church members, his friends and relations, who left their various businesses to attend his wedding, were not spared. Nobody was left unpunished, not even him. He was not free at all, from that embarrassment, all for one singular purpose: retaliation! That is the heart of man. The Bible says in Jeremiah 17:9 that it is desperately wicked.
It was reputed that his bride slept with his friend, and that they had prearranged it to test her faithfulness, but sadly, she fell into it. Though it is sinful to plan such a trap, she had no reason to have fallen into it. She might have been fornicating with him and perhaps, with other men. Sin is sin, no matter who did it or why it was done. Our body is God’s temple and He sees all the things we do. There is no excuse for sin.
I shared a flat with a lady, when I started work newly in Lagos in 1974. I was aware of the implication of sharing a flat with an unbeliever but my confidence was on my stand in the Lord. One could see disappointment written over her the next morning we arrived there. We had no chairs in the living room, making her to be coming to my room regularly. She could sit down in awkward manner, out of carelessness, or perhaps with seductive intension. Imagine that, after hearing my usual song: ‘When the saints, go matching in!’ The heart of man! One day, I took her to the ‘Open Air Service’, and she was born-again. She was challenged when I told her that the Speaker, who led her to Christ, earned a PhD in her discipline. I was taking her to the Scripture Union and Youth for Christ programmes, which hastened her spiritual growth.
In the case of the couple-to-be above, it was alleged that the lady had caught the man, committing sexual sin also, and she forgave him. Many people toy with God’s Word, not knowing that He is not a respecter of persons and must punish the sinner for his sins unless he repents and confesses them to Him. It was sad that Uncle did not forgive his wife as she did to him. He, like many people, must have been praying always that God should forgive his sins as he forgives others. If God answers him, what will be his fate?
Premarital sex with an intending spouse or with someone else is sinful. Some parents insist that the ladies their sons will wed must be pregnant as a guarantee of their fertility. Some ladies agree to be used as guinea pigs and they still claim that they love Mary, the wife of Joseph, the carpenter, who was chaste until the Lord Jesus was born. Joseph and Mary were like other couples-to-be and had all the attractions that would have driven them to premarital sex but they chose chastity so as to honour God and His Word. God honoured them also. “Draw near to Me and I will draw near to you,” says the Lord. There is no guarantee that a lady, who weds when she is pregnant, will not lose it after wedding and that she will still be pregnant.
Imagine Uncle, putting things together for a wedding he knew that it would not hold! Imagine the excitement of his bride each time they were discussing a wedding he knew that would not hold! Look at him and Aunty, going to the bank to withdraw money for their wedding cake and the discussion on the way about the design, and how she might have won in the discussion, yet, he knew that the wedding would not hold! The next day, they might have gone to the shops to pick his wedding suit and her wedding outfit for a wedding he and he alone knew that it would not hold! The heart of man!
Yes, the heart of man! How could Aunty start her marital life with unfaithfulness by sleeping with another man? Why should Uncle do the same? Why should he not forgive her as she did to him? The heart of man! May God help us!
For further comment, Please contact: Osondu Anyalechi: 0802 3002-471; [email protected]