ANSWERING THE CALL

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Be careful before you sign that life-insurance policy with Jesus Christ. 

Armed-robbers attacked me on Airport Road, but a Good Samaritan came to my rescue.  I thought he came to save my life, only to discover he too had his own agenda.  The robbers made away with my possessions; but my saviour was determined to take something even more precious from me.  He wanted to take my life.

Jesus says: “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).  That means the life I wanted to safeguard was counterfeit.  It became imperative for me to relinquish it for the one Jesus had in store for me.

 

My opponent

In short order, my saviour became my adversary.  I soon discovered he saved me by jeopardizing my life.  Accepting his offer of salvation meant my life was over.  Moreover, the new life he offered was not to my liking.  It involved working with him as a menial fisherman. 

But I was not a fisherman and was not interested in fisheries.  As a matter of fact, I was contemptuous of fishermen.  They smell of fish, are poorly paid and have low social status.  I obtained a doctorate from Oxford University so I could do something better with my life.  To end up as a fisherman would mean my life had been a waste.

But had it not been for my Good Samaritan, I would be dead.  How then could I refuse to work for him in whatever capacity he chose?  What if he were to withdraw his protection?  Would I not soon be at the mercy of armed-robbers again?  Would my preferred life as “a man of timber and calibre” not be precarious? 

I had to make a choice but clearly my personal agenda was not included in my options.  I either had to risk premature death at the hand of armed-robbers, or forgo my grandiose life-long plans and become a poor fisherman. 

 

Divine entrapment

I read about a lady who put a hex on a man and it made him marry her.  She probably had to renew it every so often, so it would continue to work.  But for some reason, years of marriage and many children later, the effects wore off.  Maybe she became careless.  In any case, he woke up one morning, some twenty-seven years later, and asked her in astonishment: “Who are you?” “But I am your wife,” she replied.  “No you are not,” the man insisted, “I never married you.” 

Similarly, I woke up one morning and discovered I was a full-time fisherman.  How in heaven’s name did that come about?  How could I, of all people, be a fisherman?  I was the one who was going to be either Nigeria’s high-flying Foreign-Minister, or the country’s dynamic Permanent Representative to the United Nations.  After all my education and professional background, the last thing on my mind was that I would end up as a Mister Nobody.

I went to the Lord in protest.  “Father, how did you trick me into this?”   I never bargained for any and all of this.  And if you think I was dismayed, think what kind of reaction my transformation must have had on my wife.  The last person Karen married was a bible-carrying nonentity.

 

Buying Jesus insurance

Be careful before you sign that life-insurance policy with Jesus Christ.  There is a lot of fine print in it.  Read it properly because you are signing away your life.  There is no going back.  After you put forward your claim, then you will be shown all sorts of clauses you were not aware of beforehand.  You will need a magnifying glass to read some of them.

“Holy Spirit, did we really agree to this from the beginning?”  “Well, what did you mean when you sang: ‘Unto thee my blessed Saviour, I surrender all?’”  What did you mean when you asked the Lord to “break” you; “mould” you; “fill” you; and “use” you?” 

Solomon gave us due warning: “Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God.  For God is in heaven, and you on earth; therefore let your words be few” (Ecclesiastes 5:2).  But often, the Holy Spirit is the one who inspires our prayers, and we just go ahead sheepishly without realising we are praying our life away. 

I never even gave my life to Christ.  Instead, Jesus took my life.  Some force carried me to the altar of the late Bishop Harford Iloputaife, where I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Saviour.  But by then he was already my Lord and Saviour.  He saved me by taking my life. 

Try as I might, I have not been able to get it back from him.

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