I am aware that many Christians still argue about a number of issues that are being exposed in this book, and I do not want to lead any child of God astray consciously or unconsciously. I dare say I am treading this terrain softly because many Christians have their biases about the discussion in this book. Whatever I have written down on the pages of this book are things that I believe God has given me the grace to share with the followers of Jesus Christ, globally.
One day, I was meditating on the word of God, and suddenly I found myself meditating on the word, “Warfare.” I began to ask myself the question, “What is warfare?” In my reflections, I see warfare as war to be fought. That means there is a battle going on somewhere. With whom am I to fight this war? The powers of darkness! What does war connote? Violence of course! So since war has to do with violence that means it is not a matter of joke! Not at all! The meditation grew deeper. Can one fight any war silently? With the exception of “Silent wars”, most of the time there would always be noise I concluded. Now the next issue is since war calls for violence, can anyone pray spiritual warfare prayer as ‘silent prayer’? Is that how to fight a war?
I do not know what others think, but the reflection jolted me to reality, and made the fact crystal clear to me that it is needful that one puts in all of one’s energy, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to fight this type of war that has attracted the principalities and powers of hell to ‘crush’ someone spiritually, and physically if they can have their ways. Many supposed glorious destinies had been frustrated, ‘caged’ or completely ruined. Others started their journey in life with lofty promises of greatness at sight! Some mind-blowing prophecies had been declared on the lives of some others, but no results at sight. Then the question pops up in one’s mind, “Where is the outcome of those promises and the fulfillment of those wonderful prophecies? Hun-uh! Confusion sets in. Who is to blame? Satan, the individual, the society, the government of the land or who is responsible for this kind of supposed unfulfilled glorious future?
At a period in my life, I began to ruminate over the unfulfilled promises and prophecies in my own life. As a regenerated soul, already washed by the blood of Jesus Christ, and walking in His ways, I was deeply disturbed and worried about my state. Spiritually, I was struggling to enjoy sweet fellowship with the Holy Spirit as a result of loads of burdens, and doubts on my mind which I was not bold enough to share with close associates, how much more my spiritual overseers. What would they think about me? I will be presenting myself to them as a backsliding Christian if they get to know about my pains. But I was ‘dying.’ Stagnancy at all fronts! No progress at the place of work! By the time it appears as if progress was being made in the area of Christian Ministry, the devil would put up a wall again, and all hope would be lost.
I know that some of us Christians see “Dreams” as a lesser form of revelation. I was in your shoes before the Lord helped me to understand better by studying the scriptures. This book is not about dreams, so I do not intend to teach on that, but suffice it to say that the dream that I had about a spiritual attack launched at my studies compelled me to intensify some spiritual exercises such as fasting and praying. At the tail end of my studies, I almost experienced a set-back but the Lord intervened, then I appreciated God for the victory Jesus had won for me on the cross of Calvary.
A Christian sister at my place of work gave me a copy of their church magazine, and after reading through some articles and testimonies that were printed there, I prayed, and I saw the need to attend some of the prayer and deliverance programs of the church. After some months, the Holy Spirit began to unfold some deep secrets to me about my life and the ministry that God has committed into my hands. On one occasion I received a message by the Spirit of the Lord, saying to me, “You will write a book for me,” and the title given to me that day is the title of the book that you have in your hand – The Wriggle -
The Biblical basis
In Proverbs chapter sixteen verse seven, the word of the Lord states, “When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies be at peace with him.” (Amplified Bible). Conversely, if a man’s ways do not please the Lord, I dare to say that what will happen to him will be the opposite, that is to say, his enemies will not be at peace with him. I think this could be the reason behind curses and the battle in a Christian’s life most of the time, though not always. Sometimes Satan fights the Christian for no just cause just as it was in Job’s case. Read Job 2: 1-8.
In all honesty how many Christians are living sinless lives? How many are blameless, and how many are holy? The bible says, “Without holiness, no man can see the Lord.” Sometimes one may even be ignorant of the fact that he or she has sinned. He does not offend in words the bible describes him as a perfect man. (James 3:2). But the Holy Spirit whispers into our hearts saying, my son, or my daughter, do you know that you have just missed the mark? Some people gave that a coinage and described it as “the sins of the saints!” As Christians, many of us know that there are some sins that are obvious such as are mentioned in the Bible. For example, the book of Revelations chapter one, verse eight reads:
But as for the cowards and the ignoble and the contemptible and the cravenly lacking in courage and the cowardly submissive, and as for the unbelieving and faithless, and as for the depraved and defiled with abominations, and as for murderers and the lewd and adulterous and the practicers of magic arts and the idolaters (those who give supreme devotion to anyone or anything other than God) and all liars those who knowingly convey untruth by word or deed) – [all of these shall have] their part in the lake that blazes with fire and brimstone. This is the second death. (Amplified Bible).
But what will one say about a Christian who is being ruled by anger almost all the time? Even though he or she may not blow up the top of the lid, but in that quietness, gently boiling with anger, sin is already recorded against such a fellow except he or she repents and asks God for forgiveness. This brings to my mind the case of a Christian sister who was bitter but she did not know until one remarkable day. She attended a Sunday service at a church and having been convicted by the Spirit of the Lord to amend her ways, she responded to an altar call by the pastor for a re-dedication of her life to Jesus Christ. As she was sitting down in the waiting room expecting to meet with one of the church counselors, the Holy Spirit confronted her with this reality. It was as if someone spoke to her inwardly, “You are bitter against God.” The sister could not believe what she heard. She was so disturbed and after meditating on that sentence for a while she accepted that it was true and she broke down weeping. One of the counselors on standby saw her sobbing but he did not interrupt her. That was a good quality of a counselor. He allowed the sister to settle her case with her creator unhindered. The lady in question quietly confessed her sin of bitterness against God and asked God to forgive her.
Beloved, I was that lady! I brightened up after the prayer and I beckoned to the counselor who had actually been watching the ‘drama,’ and I said to him, “Sir, I am alright. I want to go home.” The counselor asked, “Are you sure you are o.k. or will you like to still meet with a counselor? I put up a beautiful smile and assured him that “all is well.” The counselor prayed with me and I left the Counselling hall liberated from the spirit of bitterness and I went home rejoicing. Reading through this story, many questions may likely be racing through the mind of the reader. How can someone be bitter against God? Is that really possible? I understand your confusion. I was also taken by surprise. How can I be bitter against my creator? But remember that the Holy Spirit searches through the heart of man and He sees what is there even when it is latent, I mean when it appears nothing is at stake.
Considering our story, let us imagine if Satan had struck the sister with infirmity, chains of calamities et cetera, many would have judged wrongly. Some people who knew her closely might even vouch for her that the sister is living right with God, how could such a thing happen to her? But the truth was that she was actually ‘swimming’ in an ocean of bitterness for years against her creator due to the challenges of life she was confronted with. The accuser, Satan, actually had a foothold to hold on to, confidently reporting to God saying something like this, “Have you seen your so-called daughter living in bitterness? I have every right to attack her. What do you have to say, Master?” This is just my imagination! Thank God for the blood, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Some people may not be that fortunate to escape being struck by the devil, even though they are born-again Christians. Deep-seated issues must be cleared with God’s mercy in order to scale through the accusation of the adversary.
The Power of Covenant
What is a covenant? A covenant is a form of agreement between two or more people and it is binding on all the parties concerned. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it is “a formal agreement or a contract.”
Some Christians are into all kinds of covenants. They may be aware of some of such covenants and they may not be aware of some others. Some parents entered into covenants with God on behalf of their unborn children. For example, Samuel was a child of covenant. In the first book of Samuel, chapter one verses 10 -11, Hannah, the mother, had told God in her moment of agony that if God should give her a son she will give him back to God. Her prayer was answered and before Samuel could reach the age of accountability, the mother took him to the temple and handed him over to Prophet Eli, the representative of Yahweh. And Samuel served the Lord in the temple all the days of his life. One needs not to imagine what could have happened to Samuel if he had done otherwise. If after he has grown up as a matured man, suppose he chose to go his own way and call it quits from temple service, I guess terrible things would have happened to him, because he who breaks the hedge, the serpent will bite. (Ecc. 10:8)
What about the man Samson, the son of Manoah in the Bible. He was a covenant child as well. In fact, he was a Nazarene and he was not to cut his hair all the days of his life. He started well with the Lord and as long as he walked in obedience with the God of his fathers he prospered in all his ways, but the moment he veered off into sin and careless living, breaking the covenant that the Lord had with him, calamities befell him. (Judges 16)
The Power of the WORD
In John chapter One, the Bible makes it clear to us the power in the word. It reads thus:
In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. (Jn. 1:1-3)
Jesus was the Word and through Him, the world was created. The Genesis account records that God created the heavens and the earth. “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. (Gen. 1:3).
Reading through verses six through twenty-nine, God was creating by his word. Just as God said in Genesis 1: 11 and 12, seed-bearing plant and fruits are still food for homosapiens to date.
James 3: 8-10 help us to understand that life and death is in the tongue, with the same tongue we bless God, and sometimes we still use the same tongue to rain curses on people that hurt us. It should not be so. Once words are spoken they cannot be retrieved. An African proverb likened words to an egg, once it falls to the ground and breaks, the yolk and albumen cannot be packed back into the shell.
Upon reflection, one realizes that many words had been spoken into many lives, some good, some bad. If out of anger, frustration, agony, and pains, a parent, an uncle, a sibling or a friend has spoken bad and negative words into someone’s life at a point in time, the person will do well to go back and ask for pardon. He must make peace with the fellow that was offended or else Satan may capitalize on those evil words to afflict the affected person. Reuben in the Bible was told by his father that he would not excel in life because he committed incest. “Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine: and Israel heard it.” (Gen. 35: 22) Did he excel in life?
What about the man Jabez? He was given that name of sorrow by his own mother. She said, “Because I bare him with sorrow. (1 Chro. 4: 9b). But Jabez cried unto his God, “Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested. (1 Chro. 4: 10 KJV).
As long as he stayed under that curse his life had no meaning, but when he cried aloud unto the Lord God of Israel his life changed for the better. He became transformed.
In the New Testament, we are confronted with the story of Ananias and Saphira, his wife. They sold their land following the example of other believers and brought the proceeds to the apostles’ feet just like others had been doing, but with a deceitful heart, and the Holy Spirit was displeased with them for telling a lie. Peter spoke a word and what happened? Unfortunately, there was no room for repentance in their case. Peter said, “Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost…?” (Acts 5: 3) It is not possible for any mortal to deceive the Holy Spirit. Ananias and Sapphira died for attempting to deceive their creator. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Gal.6:7)
It is fast becoming a common phenomenon for Christians who had been called by God into ministries to quit serving under their spiritual overseers before they are released by God in order to start off independent ministries. Jesus Christ, who is God incarnate, did not jump out to begin His ministry on earth. The Bible did not provide us with details about His training, but we know from the scriptures that He began the ministry at age thirty. He served under His ‘earthly father’ Joseph, as a carpenter. I believe He learnt more things from this godly man other than carpentry. We need to remember that Joseph was a man that truly feared God, and such a man would have spent time to train his ‘child’ in the ways of the Lord. Proverbs 22:6 states, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Unfortunately in our days, a number of zealous men and women who should still be undergoing ‘in-service training’ under some matured Christian leaders jump out too soon, and that to their own destruction. Some years ago I heard this story about one servant of God who would curse any minister serving under him who dared to leave the ministry without the overseer’s consent. Can that be a true story? I was taken aback just as you feel too, but a minister who left him unannounced mentioned this to me. Sad to say that as many ministers that left him unceremoniously find themselves struggling with the new ministry or church that they planted, and they attributed it to the curses rained upon them by their former overseer.
Those who left with his prayers of blessings were doing well but others who left without his consent had it rough. You may want to ask the question, “why should he curse the people of God who on their own volition or as led by God submitted to his authority to serve God for a while?” The overseer is in the best position to answer that question. My own submission is that quitting any ministry without the leader’s consent and blessing can be very dangerous. The leader is God’s representative. He does not need to curse them at all, the Holy Spirit Himself would definitely convict them sooner or later in life that they were wrong and that they should go back to make amends.
If a Christian curses another Christian will it come to pass? Question for reflection! A ‘brother’ left a particular ministry without the full consent of ‘his’ leader. We know that God is the leader of all. Actually there was a communication gap and so both parties worked on assumptions which led to relationship problems. He began a new work, and he began to struggle in this ministry work until one day God in His mercy revealed his mind to the ‘brother’ and instructed him to go back to his former leader and asked for his forgiveness. The ‘brother’ in question humbled himself, traveled a very far distance to meet his former leader for a reconciliation meeting. The leader was not expecting such a gesture at all because he claimed that he was not offended. But he went ahead to ask his leader to forgive him, which he did, and he prayed for him. After this experience, the ‘brother’s ministry took a new turn. He was no longer under the bondage of Satan, the accuser of the brethren.
Another case study was that of a ‘sister’ who was serving under a ministry’s leader. After some years the Lord began to minister to ‘her’ that He has a specific ministry for ‘her’ to start off for His glory. ‘She’ took time to pray and later informed the leader about this God-given assignment. This was a good step in a good direction. The leader on his part asked ‘her’ to give him some time to pray concerning the matter. He wanted to be convinced that indeed it was God who was leading this follower of his. The ‘prayers’ took him more than two decades before he finally released this fellow. If you have to wait for twenty years or more for your spiritual leader to release you, will you not grumble? Can you even wait for that length of time? Or should we ask ourselves, Should the leader have waited that long to understand God’s mind for a follower of his? Good questions! Conversely, could it be that the Lord was testing the obedience of the servant He was ordaining into another aspect of ministry? Is it not possible that God is teaching ‘her’ the lesson of patience? Waoh!
Thank God for His grace, because the ‘sister’ waited patiently for more than two decades praying quietly and trusting God to speak through this leader, and when the release finally came, the events that followed were glorious. Nobody will doubt the fact that God’s hand is indeed upon the new ministry given to this servant who patiently waited. I know some of my readers may not agree with this long process, but remember we are all servants to the same Master. If that earthly leader truly wasted God’s resources by delaying that follower of his, he is accountable unto his creator. Ours is to please the Master of the harvest.
The book of James describes to us how powerful the tongue is and anyone who is able to control his tongue is said to be a perfect man. Many people have offended in words and out of anger, evil wishes had been laid on such people. Sometimes unknown to them, but the truth is that it works against them for life until God steps in to break off that bondage in His mercy.
Living in disobedience
When a child of God chooses to live in disobedience to God’s instruction, he or she is courting danger. Samson, the son of Manoah was a good example in the bible, so also the man Jonah. (1: 1-12). What about father Adam and mother Eve in Genesis chapter 3? Achan also lived in disobedience and that led to a defeat for the Israelites. He was later found out and he faced God’s judgment along with his family. (Josh. 7). King Saul was another example of a man who disobeyed God, and he paid for it direly. The kingdom was taken away from him. What a sad experience! (1 Sam 13: 9-15).
The story was told of a Christian brother who refused to obey God’s call upon his life. He went on his way, faced his academic pursuit which led to his traveling overseas for further studies. After some years of achieving all he had desired, he became sick and he had to return to his country. He prayed to God earnestly to heal him but no answer. But we know that “God’s hands are not short to heal, neither His ears hard that He cannot hear, but our iniquities have caused separation between God and man”. (Isa. 59: 1-2)
At some point, he was reminded that he disobeyed the call of God to serve and that opened the door for the devil to strike him with sickness. He pleaded with God for mercy which he received, because our God is merciful, but the verdict had been passed. He had been forgiven, but he had to die. Though this man was a Christian he suffered terrible affliction until he died because he was living in the sin of disobedience.
Some people will just notice that there is an obstacle on their way to progress. They will try all that lies within their power but to no avail. That brings to mind the story of a Christian sister who was working on her doctoral dissertation at a time. When she began the program all were moving on well until she hit an unseen obstacle. While working on her research methods she got stuck at the point of crafting the “Statement of problem.” Whatever she wrote was condemned and rejected by the professor who was in charge of this course. Other classmates tried to help her with some useful suggestions but the professor was adamant. It got to a point of frustration, but the sister refused to give up. She suddenly sensed that this must be a spiritual attack on her studies and she began to pray warfare prayers. To God’s glory, she scaled through as the professor approved what he had rejected earlier on. She continued the research work hoping that the hurdle had been crossed. One night as she slept, she had a dream and somebody told her, “I stopped your mother, I will stop you.” She became alarmed because she had listened to a woman’s testimony in their church who had that similar experience in her dream, so she began to pray again.
Terrible attacks! I was a research student! When I was working on my doctoral program, I was happy that I was making progress but suddenly an unseen force rose up again. I remember I had a dream one night and as I was reading my book, an unknown person came and whisked away all the books that were on the table in front of me. I jumped out of my seat, held on to a woman I saw at sight and was begging her to help me. I told her that, “Task force has whisked away my books, please help me to collect my books back.” She was nice enough to reply to me that she does not know these people that I was talking about, but she was willing to help me out of the crisis anyway. She left me for a while and then came back with my books in her hands. I woke up from my sleep terribly afraid and was wondering what manner of a dream is this? That morning I was disturbed and confused. I prayed and asked God for divine intervention in my studies. Was it just a dream? Was the Holy Spirit revealing a deep secret to me? I understood the danger and I began to pray again for God’s intervention in my studies. At the tail end of the program, another battle surfaced! While defending my dissertation, the external examiners complained that I was not audible enough. I improved the pitch of my voice and they said they were alright. Alas! At the end of the exercise the comment was, “Well, we didn’t hear much of what you were saying but…” But what? I was alarmed! But God intervened miraculously and I graduated with a doctorate degree. What a battle! I understood what was happening and I held on to God for His deliverance, and He won the battle for me.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Ephe.6:10-13).