Monday, 7 January 2019

The Battle for the Young(Episode 10)- Young Men of Wrong Choices

After graduating from the university & I was serving my nation as a Nigerian Youth service corps member, I had a friend who came to the orientation camp as a Christian. He was even our "Christian corpers'  fellowship" zonal representative. When we got to our place of primary assignment, there was a choice we had to make. We met some people who said they were welcoming the new corps members with a party. I declared to them that I'm a Christian; I took my stand & told them that I have nothing to do in partnership with unbelievers. Of course, they mocked me & laughed me to scorn. However, my friend stood in-between. He said to me that we should not refuse them. He was careful not to clash with them. I remember that they took him to a beer parlor (a bar selling alcoholic drinks) together with other corps members they were welcoming. There he ordered for soft drinks but those young men said to him, "How could you, a man of your age be drinking what women drink?" Then, a young lady stood up among them & said, " Even me, I can finish at least a bottle of beer at once. How much more, a man like you?" My friend told me later that he became so ashamed that he told them to give him just a cup. It was painful to know that, the single cup of beer opened the door to so many other things that took my friend away from Christ. There was nothing we could do to bring him back; it was terrible. He became haggard in life for many years until he died. Sometimes before he died, I went to see him. He looked at me & said to me, "Brother Gbile, I envy you. " I asked why. Then he said, "We were together as Christians in the camp; and what you are today is what I could have become. But see where I am; I am finished. I am finished", he lamented. I wept, but I knew when he made that choice. He even tried to repent again but he had lost his ground.
There is a fresh ground before you right now as a young person, which is being contested. If you give the devil that ground, you may never get it again. Jesus Christ is standing at the door of your heart with all His power, ready to save & to rescue you. He knows that you are born for a glorious future purpose & that there is a future ahead of you. But the devil's contention is that you are not a robot. You must be given a chance to make  your choice. But ever before he allows you to make your choice, he will begin to flash the pleasure you can derive from all kinds of things before you, even though he will carefully veil from you the reality & the repercussions that will most certainly damage your destiny. he will flash money . . . Lots of money. he will flash women . . . Pretty, open breasted ladies. he will flash alcohol & other ecstatic substances . . . and even a chance of becoming famous; making it to the top in your career while you are yet a youth. All of these only so you will pursue shadows & not consider God's glorious plans for your life.
Therefore take no thought, saying, what shall we eat? or what shall we drink? or, wherewithal shall we be clothed?
For after all these things do the gentiles seek:) for your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God & His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:31-33(KJV)
Several of my colleagues chose wrongly. They have not died, but they are in real trouble. I had a room-mate when I was in my first year in the university. Four of us were accommodated in a room. We had two students squatting with us; so we were six. Early in the morning, when I knelt down by my bedside, to pray or read my bible, this my roommate would deliberately come & hit me on my buttocks with his knee. He would shout aggressively . . ."This is not church! This is not church. Do not show holier than thou attitude here."
He would hit me again & again. And to disturb my concentration he would go & put on 'disco' music on his stereo set, raise it to the highest volume & the whole room would be vibrating. or, wherewithal shall we be clothed?
For after all these things do the gentiles seek:) for your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God & His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:31-33(KJV)
Several of my colleagues chose wrongly. They have not died, but they are in real trouble. I had a room-mate when I was in my first year in the university. Four of us were accommodated in a room. We had two students squatting with us; so we were six. Early in the morning, when I knelt down by my bedside, to pray or read my bible, this my roommate would deliberately come & hit me on my buttocks with his knee. He would shout aggressively . . ."This is not church! This is not church. Do not show holier than thou attitude here."
He would hit me again & again. And to disturb my concentration he would go & put on 'disco' music on his stereo set, raise it to the highest volume & the whole room would be vibrating. When I finally stood up after my prayer time & asked him why he was doing that, he would shout at me & swear to get me out of the room. Many years later, I went with my wife to preach somewhere & suddenly . . . What a surprise! There, sitting in the congregation was that my old room-mate! He had seen the advert on television that one man of God, Gbile Akanni, was going to preach. He asked himself whether that could be his old room-mate. So out of curiosity, he came to the meeting. As I stood up to preach, my eyes met his. I was so startled that I almost called out to him from the pulpit because I had not seen him for many years. After the meeting, I rushed down the pulpit, my eyes were still on the spot where I had seen him. I did not want to miss him. The organizers were calling me to follow them out, but I told them that I saw one of my school mates in the meeting & I needed to see him. As I was walking through the audience, he was also walking towards me. When we met, I thought he was going to hug me jubilantly. Instead, he looked at me with one sorry face & said, "So this is what you were planning to become. I remember when I used to hit your buttocks." Then he asked me if he could have some time to talk with me the following day & I agreed. When we met, he took me to a restaurant. I introduced my wife to him & then he could not control his tears; he began to weep.
He said, "I wish I had listened to you when we were in the same room in the university. I thought I was wise; I thought I was enjoying life.  But as you see me today, I am finished.
Do you remember the girl I was running after at that time, who used to come to our room? She has left me. I now have two wives but I have no home anywhere. I cannot sleep here, I cannot sleep there." When he finished telling me the story, he asked with a broken voice . . . "What will you do now to help me?" I offered him Jesus Christ and salvation for his soul and he received Him. "But what will I do with my life andmy marriage? How do I handle the mess I have put myself in? And see, I cannot be young again".

That is true; you cannot be young again; you can only be young once in your lifetime", I had to painfully agree.

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