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The journey of life is full of many unknowns for the children of God. Many will go to any length in order to have the ability of predicting what tomorrow holds. Interestingly, because we know not what tomorrow brings, we act foolishly many times. Many times, I personally look back on my life history and just shake my head in astonishment at the many foolish things I have done. Some of these things continue to show me the power in God’s grace and the unchanging nature of His words and testimony. In those days, even when I was being foolish, God already knew the plans He had for me and, like a loving father, He has carefully guided me towards achieving that purpose. We cannot joke with God’s words, they always come to pass.
I remember a story which I thought was really funny at the time, but when I look back now, I see the foolishness of our actions. I had this friend, who because of His life experiences had grown to love and trust God with all his strength and might. He and I formed part of a group of 16 students sent to Rome, Italy to train with a company called Selenia at that time. We were to be there for six months to train on Air Traffic Control Radar. Well, as junior officers in those days our allowances were not buoyant enough, especially because we also wanted to save some money to buy some high-class gadgets to show that we have also arrived. So, while our bosses were staying one to a room, we decided to stay three to a hotel room.
Every day and night, all my friend did was pray and study the Bible. We could not understand what was wrong with him. Well, so we thought. How could a young man in his twenties spend so much time praying and studying the Bible when there was so much fun out there in Rome? Well as if that was not aggravating enough, this guy will also turn me and our other room mate into his church congregation, asking us to pray with him and teaching us memory verses. So, in class we ganged up against him with our Italian Instructor who will always tell us that he would get to heaven before my friend because he is an Italian and the Pope at that time was Italian. He said he had a stake in the biggest airline that takes people to heaven. I cannot tell you how infuriated my friend was when we all joined in belittling his faith. But he never gave up on us, on me especially because his bed was near mine. We thought God’s word was something to joke with.
Fast forward to 10 years later, I had become a born again Christian and was able to trace my heart conversion to that time we were roommates in Rome. When he was asking me to pray with him and he was quietly discipling me, I thought it was funny then. I had since found there is no joking with the word of God. If only I had known that then, but I thank God for not counting my sins against me. If someone had prophesied to me then, I would have ignored the prophecy. But the Bible tells us that “The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous” Psalms 19:7-9). Those are the words of God. When we immerse ourselves in His word our souls are refreshed, and they are transformed. A once simply foolish man like me can receive God’s wisdom from His statutes. No matter how you do it, looking for God’s instructions and command makes it look like you have a third eye. Everything becomes so bright.
My brothers and sisters; joke not with God’s words. God placed my friend near me at the time to prepare me for the task ahead and I thought it was a joke. God’s words open our eyes, our hearts, and our souls. The Bible says, “The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple” (Psalm 119:130). “Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies” (Psalms 119:98). We must always remind ourselves about God’s words and testimonies because His word is a lamp for our feet, a light on our path (Psalm 119:105). Hallelujah! –
Pastor Simbo Odunaiya