I joined the team for the evening prayers this time. I had missed a number of them recently but this time I found myself abruptly putting aside my search for food and walking all the way to the meeting place to worship. The main focus for the evening was our hearts as individuals this time and when one of the prayer topics was raised, I knew I was a culprit everyday. I’ve always known and taught others what idol worshipping is, and what our common idols as Christians are these days. Of course, the last place you’d expect to find me is in the shrine, with a face masked in powder and clad in usual traditional fetish outfits as seen on local TV and in the local movies. You wouldn’t imagine me dancing to wooden artifacts and stones, and dolls decorated with bottles that once were filled with alcohol, would you? The idols I’m talking about this time, and making it more personal in this article are my phone, social media, Manchester United and everyone or everything that keeps me connected to “the biggest club in the world”.
We were to pray that God help us overcome anything that has have taken precedence over God in our lives and so have become idols for us. This time and like always, I prayed believing that as I ask God to help me, it would be dealt with in a flash without me having to move even a finger. What was different about today’s prayer, or more correctly, what I may have failed to realize all this while was that, I asked God for a test, which He was glad to give me shortly afterwards because he is very generous and kind.
Almost two hours after the meeting and getting back into my room, it was now, the moment I made my bed, lay down and got ready to see what’s happening on social media that I realized that tiny ‘x’ sign on my network connectivity icon wouldn’t go off even after restarting my phone. I couldn’t believe I completely missed the notification that I was running out of internet bundle and needed to buy some more, before the shops closed for the day. Sometimes my network messes up like that so I thought it was one of those occasions. To be sure, I decided to check my account balance. It was all ZERO. From call bonus to internet bundle’s bonus. Hardly do I see such absolute zero. I felt very disturbed, and at this moment that I knew I had to do everything I could to fail the test.
From checking my credit card balance to trying to reach my colleague in the office on phone at 11pm, one can understand how desperate I was to fail this test. Joe didn’t have money in his mobile money wallet. I couldn’t reach Raymond on phone because I had “no call credit”. After all these failed attempts, was I ready to give up? No. I was now contemplating where I should go first when I step out to get the credit for the bundle. Suddenly I heard this little voice ask, “did you not ask to drop the gods some few hours ago? If you couldn’t stay a few ours without internet, then, are you really ready to move on from being can idol worshipper?”. I was instantly ‘paralysed’ and trapped into my bed, with my plans to go out instantly forgotten. There was now a rush of different feelings all at once. It would be difficult to express them but they certainly included guilt and shame. However, that was quickly wiped out shortly as I heard another voice full of love and assurance. This voice assured me that there is One who is always willing to help me overcome these idols, if I would allow Him.
I believe strongly that it isn’t a coincidence that I have been reading the book of Deuteronomy in the past few days. This is a book that in it’s first few chapters has already talked so much about idol worshipping, and our tendency to turn to idols and neglect God. Whilst this article has talked heavily about idol worshipping and may seem to be the theme, I would like to remind the reader more about the truth that God cares about us and he answers our prayers. It doesn’t matter how they are answered or when they are. Just like mine, it could be a test he wants us to pass. He enjoys involving us in the victory process although he carries the banner and leads against the foes. All He says is that, if you have asked Him to take up your battle, stay sober, alert and watch closely as He deals with your problems. At one time almost failing this test, I was still given another chance by Him. When you pray for help, believe with your heart that God has heard and will answer it according to His perfect will for your life. If it is a prayer for help to overcome any sin, genuinely desire that God helps you deal with it. It is out of that genuine desire that I believe you’ll also make every effort to enjoy the victory God has assured you of. God is a prayer answering God, and I hope this article serves as a reminder for you one more time. God loves you.