Well the call is different from the ordination. Jesus called me for the first time at the age of three in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. That was the first time I had a God consciousness. But it was not until 1985 when I was in Law School that I got a call from the Lord to prepare for ministry. I left the country, sometime in August 1985 to Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, where I studied for about a year, before I came back. I founded the church in 1987.
Let me state that people do not understand that God has eyes, arms, ears and so forth. He has form. Remember that we are made in his image, and He can talk to you. The manner he chooses to talk to you is dependent on Him but the most important thing is that He is able to communicate His desires, His thoughts, and His instructions to you.
I think that church for me has been enlightening, First and foremost, I learnt a lot on the job because I was pretty young when I started. It was three years after my salvation experience that I became a pastor. I began a teaching ministry that was totally novel, nobody had done it before. And so I had to deal with the consequences of trying to change the thinking of the average Christian, that is, trying to move them away from legalism to the realm of grace. That is the most difficult situation that we faced – trying to teach people that salvation is by grace and not by works; that God loves them and died for them unconditionally; and that grace is necessary in their lives to sustain their Christianity. That was the basic difficulty I encountered but now it has spread and more people understand the message of grace.
I feel more at ease now. Definitely, as you teach, as you work at anything, you are more confident, you are more accustomed to the vagaries of the climate in which you live. It is a lot better than it used to be at the beginning. I thank God for that.
Sustaining the faith
I sustain my faith the same way everybody else has done. Basically, it is by looking through the scriptures, believing the word of God and walking with the Spirit of God.
With regard to fasting as a way of sustaining the faith, I do not have a regimented behavioural pattern, that is in terms of fasting today and not fasting the next day. I do as the Spirit of God leads me. The first time I did the prolonged fast. It was very difficult. I had to fast without food and water for seven days. And if it were not that God gave me that instruction, I would not have survived it.
Ministry: what it is
It is calling because it is sustained by the power of the Holy Spirit and that grace is only given when God calls you. The enabling power that sustains you in ministry is the grace that is based on the call that God has placed upon your life.
An instance of a Satanic attack
I have met with Satan several times. I remember that he appeared to me three months after I became a born-again Christian in campus. He appeared to me at about 11 ‘o’ clock in the morning, threatening what he was going to do and what he was not going to do. He was worried that I became a Christian and, as a consequence, that a lot of young and old people would be converted to Christianity. But Jesus showed me what to do that day and I overcame his presence because when I call on the name of Jesus, he fell to the ground and crawled out of the place. That gave me the power and the confidence in the name of Jesus from the very beginning because I saw the difference when I call on the name of the Lord.
Since then it has been very challenging, because there are things I know about Jesus Christ, about God that most Christians do not. If you listen to our programme on television, you will know that it is very deep. Because Satan knows that I have secrets about God, he has always tried to challenge me. Sometimes he wants people not to listen to me. So he goes to the press and fabricates stories that will make people not want to listen to me. They lose in the end because I tell them things they do not know.
Yes, I have to deal with Satan from time to time. He is a loser and I am confident that in the name of the Lord Jesus every knee will bow, including Satan’s knee.
Advice to Nigerians
I think the most important thing any young man needs to have in focus because there are so many things contending for his time and his attention. A lot of Nigerians are not focused. We need focus and focus will only come through Jesus Christ. When we accept Him as our Lord and Saviour, He will give us direction. He will give us a vision. He will give us focus.
My normal day
I do not wake up too early because I sleep very late. I do most of my work at night. So, by the time I eventually get up, I do my exercise, and then I go to work. I am usually at work till about early evening when I came back home. I am not a very sociable person, so I do not go to social functions. I am either at home or at work.
Culled from How I was Called.