In this post, I will be sharing great biblical life lessons that transformed my spiritual life. I am writing these life lessons from Jesus to help anyone who is struggling spiritually or facing challenges in christian life.
First Lesson: Submission to God
This was my very first lesson from the LORD. It took many years to learn submission to God. The LORD allowed me through two dark phases;
1) Failure as a Christian
2) Loneliness and rejection by those who loved me
After these two terrible experiences, He guided me to read a book written by one of His children, Arthur Burt, titled, “Surrender: Your Key to Spiritual Success”.
Failure as a Christian
When I heard about the LORD in my teenage years, I was very excited and happy. I prayed and asked him to lead me. I joined the group of fellow Christians at school in prayers and preaching the word of God. Doing anything for the LORD was just so easy. I experienced many times of refreshments in his presence that filled me so much joy. There was this day, I sang this song intensely with my whole being, “let the rain of your presence fall on me, every day that I live with every breath I breath”. I just will not stop singing. Then suddenly, unexpectedly, I felt like someone poured a bucket of water over me. I stopped. Touched my body to see if I was wet. I was not wet physically. I knew it was the LORD presence. That was the last and strongest refreshments after four years of first knowing the Lord. After this, I went into a period of dryness (christian struggles). I was no longer feeling His presence. Dryness everywhere. I began to struggle in my christian walk. I did not commit any deadly sin (as far as I knew). I could not tell why I was no longer getting the times of refreshment. I prayed and fasted severally. Still, dryness, no refreshment of His presence. I read many Christian books and participated in many church activities. I tried attending different churches, hoping to find Him, but no results. Still, dryness. No refreshing presence. I could only feel a little breath of Spirit flowing from my heart when I prayed earnestly sometimes. This dryness stayed for years, but I knew I still loved the LORD. I did all I could to get back the times of refreshment, but to no avail, instead, I fell into deadly sin. After a long time, I stopped struggling. I was tired of trying to live upright. I just went on living a normal life without caring much for the Christian life (finished college and had a well-paying job). I did not want to be a preacher anymore.
After the pain and frustration of not getting to find the LORD, I went to another terrible phase.
Loneliness and rejection
Just like in a twinkle of an eye, everyone began not liking me again and deserted me. Also, I had just quit my job and left my hometown. Insecurity gripped my soul, no place of refuge for me. I felt fear. It caused to cry out to the LORD and I just won’t stop.
I did not understand why the LORD was far away. I did not understand why I was in such a dark place, but later I understood.
The dryness and failure were because I was not yet grafted to the Vine, I was not yet a part of his Body. Unlike I thought, I had not really submitted to Him as my Shepherd and Teacher. I led myself all the way (I did not know I was leading myself, not after I had prayed for him to lead me). I had prayed severally for him to lead me, but my self-confidence and self-strength was still strong. I did not know the weakness of my flesh. I trusted in my will power.
He led me to these dark places so that I could truly need him and know that I need Him as shepherd and teacher.
One faithful day, after reading late Arthur Burt’s book on Surrender, I pondered on my failures, my insecurities and weakness. I knew I needed to submit and truly submit to Him as Lord.
I prayed from the depth of my heart,
“LORD, I have tried to live the Christian life and failed. I look up to you to lead me henceforth. Anywhere you say I should go, I will go. Anything you say I should do, I will do. I trust in you to bring me to perfection. Anything that happens henceforth in my spiritual life is your responsibility and your fault”
I meant every word I said that day. I still remember the day I made this prayer. I will never forget that day. Everything changed after that day. Nothing I had ever seen or heard. Spiritual life in Christ can not be expressed in words. It can only be experienced. My heart melts with joy and passion even as I write this. Taking a little break before I continue to write….
The LORD Jesus, the love of my life.
I did not know how heavy my commitment to the LORD was, until, I began to lose everything.
It took many years for me to learn to trust Him as Shepherd, teacher and protector.
Second Lesson: Self-Denial
This lesson did not take too long for me to learn. That prayer I made, which I still hold today, “anything you want me to do, I will do”, I did not know how far and how much I will have to let go. But since my heart was set on following the LORD, I was able to swallow the bitter truth and requirements of following Him. Have you ever read this Bible verse?
Now large crowds were traveling with Jesus. He turned and told them,
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters, as well as his own life, he can’t be my disciple.
Whoever doesn’t carry his cross and follow me can’t be my disciple.
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. He will first sit down and estimate the cost to see whether he has enough money to finish it, won’t he?
Otherwise, if he lays a foundation and can’t finish the building, everyone who watches will begin to ridicule him
and say, ‘This person started a building but couldn’t finish it.’
“Or suppose a king is going to war against another king. He will first sit down and consider whether with 10,000 men he can fight the one coming against him with 20,000 men, won’t he?
If he can’t, he will send a delegation to ask for terms of peace while the other king is still far away.
In the same way, none of you can be my disciple unless he gives up all his possessions.” (Luke 14.25-33 ISV)
Do not take any word in it for granted. Do not try to make it sweet. The way to kingdom of Heaven is hard and there are few that find it.
Let me show you another verse,
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone wants to follow me, he must deny himself, pick up his cross, and follow me continually.
Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it,
because what profit will a person have if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what can a person give in exchange for his life? (Mat 16.24-26 ISV)
Sounds familiar right. Let no body tell you that these requirements of the LORD were before the cross. The early church continued in “this way” after the cross and the Lord’s departure. Let nobody also tell you that the gate to the kingdom of Heaven has been shut because the gate will be shut only at the return of the bridegroom, Jesus Christ.
I passed through the trial of the wilderness. My career as a chartered Accountant was my vision. The LORD asked me to give it up. It was very difficult. I couldn’t. But I prayed, “LORD, I want to give it up, but I am unable to do it. Please help me. Do not be angry at my slowness. Help me”. I cried in tears.
When I looked past those years, I am glad I was able to let go. At the time I gave it up (I was tested three times to see if I had truly given it up), I did not know what good things awaited me in the LORD. All things carnal, the best of this world, is dung to the blessedness of finding a place in Him.
Other things I gave up without compromise was the pursuit of money and material things and other carnal pleasures. The LORD will not negotiate here. You cannot serve God and money.
The cross of self-denial I carry with joy in my heart. The cross of self-denial I will never kiss goodbye. The cross of self-denial I will carry till my LORD returns.
Third Lesson: Trust in the LORD God, Your Provider
Without much income coming my way as before, I gradually learned to trust in Him as my provider. All those whom I tried to lean on as financial security would disappoint me and let me struggle (I think the LORD’s hand was in it). Each time I trusted the LORD for a real need, he never, never, failed me. This was how He nursed my faith in Him as Provider. He also sowed the words in Psalms 127.1-2 and Mathew 6.25-34 deep within my heart.
Fourth Lesson: Servant hood
One of my biggest weakness as a person was doing house chores. Good with academics but bad with chores. The LORD made me to go through a period where no one was available or willing to help me. Here I was with three kids (aged 3 months to 4 years) at home. No help (Hubby could only help when he returns from work). I had a “Christian friend” who came to my house almost every day, but who will not offer help and will grumble if you asked her for help. She just liked to rest on my couch and wait for me to serve her with hot food or drinks. It was not at all easy, but I learned to wash her feet and the feet of all the members of my household. A servant I am to my household even to this day.
When Jesus had washed their feet and put on his outer robe, he sat down again and told them, “Do you realize what I have done to you?
You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right because that is what I am.
So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you must also wash one another’s feet.
I have set an example for you, so that you may do as I have done to you.
Truly, I say to you with certainty, a servant is not greater than his master, and a messenger is not greater than the one who sent him.
If you understand these things, how blessed you are if you put them into practice! (John 13.12-17).
The above verse does not mean spiritual washing of feet. It is physical service to one another. During the days of the Lord, a slave would wash the feet of his master. The LORD washed his disciples’ feet and He asked us to do same. Do not misinterpret the scripture to make it sweet. If you do this, it is your loss.
A person who serves in spiritual things must be able to serve his fellow brother and others physically.
Fifth Lesson: Loving the wicked and the ungrateful
It’s many years now, some kids (from one mother) come almost everyday to my house asking for money to buy food. I do not know them as friends or relatives. They are just beggars who came to my house one day and ever since, have never ceased to come. Their mother is aware. Initially, I gave foodstuffs, but their mother said they preferred money. Since then, I have been giving them money.
No word of thanks from this strange woman. When I gave birth to my fourth baby, she came to my house and did not ask or say a single word regarding my delivery or new baby. No thanks, no remarks, no care.
I had to obey the words of the Lord,
Rather, love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind even to ungrateful and evil people (Luke 6.35)
I still give them money even though I have reduced the amount.
There are other lessons from the Lord which I cannot put right now in this post (maybe in subsequent posts).
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Be blessed in Jesus’ name