Relapse?

I love sharing my testimony. Not for the “oohs” and “aahs”. Not for the sake of just sharing. I love sharing my testimony to encourage others and myself. I share so that God’s name can be glorified. I’ve actually shared it before. If you missed it, click here. So imagine the way I felt when the urge suddenly came over me about a month ago…

I was anxious, scared and disappointed. I started crying. For 2 hours. I cried because I didn’t expect it. I cried because I thought I had overcome that struggle. I cried because I thought it was a thing of the past. I cried because I thought I was going to give in.

I couldn’t pray. I couldn’t speak in tongues. I couldn’t do anything. I just cried. I felt weak. I felt like a failure.   This was an attack. A spiritual attack. Between the tears and a headache, I grabbed my phone, slid it up (thanks Apple for this feature) and pressed play. I don’t remember the song playing but it was a Tye Tribbet song. I remember singing with it and I felt the spirit of peace. I was at peace. I was calm. God was with me. I remember crying and saying “Thank you Jesus” at the same time. This was a massive victory.

It was a struggle. It was a thing of the past and I didn’t give in to the urge. The devil has no new tricks. He’s quite dumb in that regard. He uses our past struggles or ‘demons’ for lack of a better word to tempt and attack us. FIGHT. My weapon was worship. Your weapon could be anything. Don’t be discouraged. Keep your head up and keep overcoming.

Have a wonderful weekend and see you in the next post.

Ife A. ❤️

It’s A Gift.

Exactly a month ago, I was studying my bible. Actually, I was studying just three verses and the message I got from those verses has made me see salvation in an extraordinary light. It has made me appreciate it and the Giver of Salvation. It has allowed me to fall deeper in love with Christ. I’m going to share it with you.

Ephesians 2 v 8 – 10 [New Living Translation]

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Did you know that our salvation is a gift from God? Think about it literally. A present. A freebie. You typically give gifts to people that you love and most times, on special occasions. Salvation is God’s freebie to us because He loves us. Let that sink in. Now, here’s the plot twist. We give friends and loved ones gifts because we feel like they deserve it. Yes? Salvation is given through grace. What now is grace? It is unmerited, undeserved and unearned favour! We have done absolutely nothing to deserve this beautiful gift of the salvation of Christ; but we have obtained it as a result of God’s love and grace.

The passage lets us know that Salvation is not by our works – we “can’t take credit for this.” It is not our doing. It is not because we are dope and so deserving. This is where humility comes into play and this is why when we share amazing testimonies, we say, “it is by the GRACE of God!” It is always by the grace of God. It also informs us that we, as individuals, are God’s masterpiece. You are a masterpiece. We are all masterpieces. All different but by made by God. Salvation allows us to be created anew and fresh so that we can do the will of God. This salvation is a gift, made available by grace and is LIFE! We don’t deserve it at all but God has given it to us because He loves us dearly.

With this understanding, I personally can’t take my salvation for granted. It would be abusive of me to purposefully go back to the way things used to be and come back to God as I please because of grace. The beautiful thing about Christ however, is that no matter how many times we fall, He’s always there, waiting to catch us … but we mustn’t abuse His grace.

Appreciate God for your salvation. Cherish it. It’s worth more than anything because this salvation is as a result of Jesus dying on the cross for my sins.

A life was killed so we would not be killed.

The song “The Lamb of God” by the Vertical Church Band summarizes this post. You could listen the song below.

Have a blessed week ahead x

I Struggled With It Too 

This was an extremely difficult post to write but I did it. 😄

I thought it was the norm. I thought it was a part of the western culture. I thought the pastors and parents were blowing everything out of proportion (like they always do). I thought they didn’t understand. I was wrong. Pornography is a demon, okay? Yes, I said it. It was a demon that had a strong hold on me.

I was about 15 when I first watched porn. I heard some classmates talking about it at school and they asked if I watched it. I told them that I didn’t know what it was and they laughed at me. I felt embarrassed. I mean, I was the new Nigerian girl in school. That was good enough reason to be a laughing stock. I didn’t want my naivety to be added bonus, so I decided to find out what all the fuss was about. At night, I would make sure that everyone was asleep and then I would creep into the living room, go and the computer and surf. This would go on for hours and before I knew it, it was already day break. I was curious and this went on for about a month or so till I got bored of it. I felt it was the same thing that I was looking at over and over again. I didn’t understand how people could get addicted to porn because I was already over it and I assumed it was a thing of the past. Awks!  Very awkward because I got curious again years later.

I was 17 and into porn again. I would watch it and get aroused. My body was feeling a type of way and that’s when the masturbation started. I felt disgusted at myself right after. I didn’t understand why but I would tell myself, “Ife, this is the very last time”. Yeah right! It happened again and again and again. Each time, I would tell myself the same thing. It was all lowkey though. Nobody knew. I thought to myself, “Nobody’s gotta know”. I had sexually explicit pictures from social media saved in the phone. Everyone had those so it wasn’t a big deal. One glorious day, I was showing my father a picture on my blackberry, and he decided to scroll through my pictures. Yo! I almost had a heart attack because I knew what was on there. He came across a picture and gave me the death stare and asked me, “WHAT IS THIS?” GUYS! I WANTED THE GROUND TO OPEN UP AND SWALLOW ME IN THAT VERY MOMENT. I quickly formulated a lie about it been sent to my by accident on whatsapp and it saving automatically on my phone. LOOOL don’t judge me but I had to think on feet. I knew he didn’t fully buy that lie but it got me my phone back and I disappeared to my room. After this incident, I stayed away from the porn-crack for a while.

It wasn’t long before I was back at it again. This time there was no remorse. It was normal. It was an activity that I looked forward to at the end of my day. It was dessert after a nice meal. Heck, it was my addiction. Anywhere and anytime, I didn’t care. I just went for it. It was a huge problem. I couldn’t sleep without watching porn and masturbating. It was my sedative. I would use up my data because I just had to have my fix. 

I knew this wasn’t normal. It was a demon in my life. A spirit that controlled me. At this point, I wanted to stop but I just couldn’t. You know that saying, “desperate times call for desperate measures”? This was a desperate situation that needed some immediate and desperate solutions. I confided in a friend and told her what was going on. She was a strong Christian and she told me how she had battled with it herself. She prayed with me because I couldn’t pray by myself. I assumed God had checked out on me. I knew my triggers and would consciously steer clear from them. It was hard. I broke sometimes but I kept going. It was when I took it to God in prayers and studied bible passages about lust and sexual immorality that it became easier. 

The bible doesn’t explicitly talk about porn and masturbation but it does talk about the lust of the flesh and sexual immorality. 1 Corinthians 6 v 18 says “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body” (NIV). Pornography and masturbation stimulates a person sexually. Our bodies are meant to the temple of God so sins against our bodies are just a no-no. 

I know this is an issue a lot of young people go through and no one really talks about it. I’ve decided to take one for the team LOL. I battled with it and I overcame it by the grace of God. 

If anyone has any questions, feel free to email me at ia.adesola@gmail.com 

Have a wonderful day ☺️

“I’m Only Human”

Often times, we make mistakes and the default excuse we use to justify our actions is “I’m human”. Okay Sherlock. Aren’t we all human? Do you want a cookie for stating the obvious fact? I’m not just talking to anyone reading this, I’m talking to myself as well. Yes, we are flesh and blood. We are bound to make mistakes but at the same time, we should always, or at least endeavour to take responsibilities for our actions. We can’t forever blame our human state for situations we put ourselves in deliberately.

As a Christian, my main pursuit is to live a Christ-like life. I can tell you that it’s not easy. It’s not a walk in the park. It’s hard work and not a journey that I can embark on with my own physical strength. It’s not a life I can live on my own terms but on Christ’s terms.

Christian. Christ-ian. CHRIST.

Christ came to earth in human form. Not as a spirit or an alien. A human being. He was born just like you and I so He could be relatable. Just like we go through temptations, Jesus Christ went through temptations as well.

According to the Bible (Matthew 4), there was a time when Jesus was fasting for 40 days and nights. It was expected that he would be hungry so the devil came to tempt him with the idea of food. Well, attempted to tempt Him. He tried to use the whole reverse psychology on Christ. Just imagine LOL! Talking ’bout “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” (verse 3, NLT). Jesus replied this deceiver and said “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (verse 4, NKJV). The devil tried it. He tried it. You would think he would respect levels and keep it moving but this guy kept trying. He kept the temptations rolling and was always shut down with scriptures. He kept at it till Jesus rebuked him. He said, “Get out of here, Satan…” (v. 10, NLT).

Why did I reference a situation that took place over 2000 years ago? Well, here’s the thing. There’s nothing new under the sun. The devil has been in the business of tempting people and it’s not going to stop. Nope. I mean, if he had the nerve to tempt Jesus, he sees us as prey. The devil would present situations and focus on the immediate pleasure we would gain from it. The later effects aren’t usually used in the advertisements that he presents to us. That’s his full time job. He’s resilient and so should we.

What do we need to do so we don’t heed to the devil’s tactics, fall into temptation and then blurt out, “I’m Only Human”? We need to read, study and meditate on the word of God. The Bible says in Psalms 119:11, “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Hiding God’s word in our hearts means it being impended in our minds. Studies have actually shown that we must read, hear or do something six times before it’s in our head. When we study the word, we can be equipped against the wiles of the enemy. When the devil tries it, we can tell dismiss him just like Jesus did. The Bible tells in James 4:7 – “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (NIV). When we as children of God dismiss the devil, he obeys. That is why it is important to understand the authority that we have as a result of our salvation. Other times, we just need to RUN from the evils and temptations. We don’t have time to converse with the temptation. We don’t want a situation where “I’m only human” is our constant comeback.

Yes we are humans but it’s shouldn’t be our default excuse to commit sin.

NKJV – New King James Version || NLT – New Living Translation || NIV – New International Version

Fire!

Amazing analogy. God bless you Somto ❤️

SOMTOCHUKWU

Picture this.
You’re playing with a match box, randomly lighting and then discarding one match stick after the other.
You continue till you eventually get tired and move to another room to sleep.
While you’re sleeping, you start to smell smoke in your dream. All of a sudden, you realise it’s not just a dream; you’re actually smelling smoke. Walk back into the other room, the entire room is on fire.

Fire. Let’s talk about fire.
I was going to define fire, but I don’t even have an adequate definition. We’ll leave that aside anyway.
However, I’ll tell you what fire does.

1. Fire starts little.
A little matchstick is all it took. So you casually dropped a matchstick and left. And that matchstick produced a fire of great proportions. Such humble beginnings.
And so it is with us Christians. A little tweet, a casual conversation with a Bible verse…

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The GOD Factor

I grew up in a Christian home. Morning devotions with hymns started our days officially and night prayers ended them. We were in church at least three times a week – Sundays for the regular sunday services, tuesdays for bible study and Thursdays for faith clinic. It was routine, I didn’t really understand why but I guess I didn’t have a choice. That’s what you’re meant to do – you do what mummy and daddy tell you to do. That was it really – home, school and church. As kids, we didn’t go out much, we had each other to keep company and an open compound.

Fast forward to 2005. My family and I relocated to the UK in October. I was excited. New environment and new accent. No Nigerian food or so I thought. It was a new beginning but this was when the shift and disconnect started in my life. We were no longer sheltered and so i went off literally. I was FREE. Or so I thought. Freedom was sweet. I was getting a lot of attention from guys and I thought I had arrived. This didn’t affect my grades. I was acing school up until year 11. i got really cocky with it and I guess you could say my overconfidence was my downfall in year 12. I was chilling casually with Ds and Es. My parents were obviously disappointed, I was too but I didn’t really dwell on it because I was moving to Canada. All that will be behind me, I thought. New beginning … again.

In May of 2009, I boarded my flight from Heathrow to Toronto Pearson Airport by myself. The rest of the family were going to join me later on in the year. I was thrilled for a fresh start. It was summer time and I got in trouble a few times LOL. So much for a new beginning. I was eager for school to start. Maybe that’s when my new beginning would actually start. Well, I was wrong. I was taken back to grade 12; my sixth form grades were too poor to get admitted into a decent university. It was my fault but when I was asked about it, I would lie and blame it on the education systems being different. After high school, I took a year off to work mainly because I didn’t know what I wanted to study in university. I was very indecisive and I was always told to pray about it. I never did. i believed in God but I had backslidden so much that I thought there was no point. I still went to church but my life was not reflecting of Christ in any way, shape or form. I lived each day with the Y.O.L.O. mentality.

I finally went to university in September of 2011. I had just turned 20. I was determined to steer clear of born-again Christian friends because I didn’t want to be judged. If I found myself among them, I would tell them exactly what they wanted to hear. Whenever I was in a Christian gatherings (I was a part of the gospel choir at my uni) and had to give a contribution to the discussion at hand,  I would contradict myself. I knew the right scriptures to spit out because of my Christian upbringing. I didn’t want to be seen in a different light because I was a PK (pastor’s kid). At the same time however, I was comfortable living a lie. My grades were disgustingly poor. I got my first F in first year. You would think that would be my wake up call to realign my life to what and who I knew was the TRUTH but I kept up with Y.O.L.O. life. Everything about me was very mediocre and  I was very comfortable with that.

Initially, I was meant to graduate in June 2014, but as usual, there was always something wrong. I was due to travel to Nigeria for six months for an internship placement. Another new beginning. I was excited. I enjoyed working in Nigeria for the most part. It somewhat kept me level headed and allowed me reflect on my life a little. Did I change? Nope. I had plans to make a change but still wasn’t ready. I was still a baby girl. It was time to leave Nigeria and I didn’t want to because it meant having to face reality. I wasn’t ready! I had a sit-down with my father and he explained to me that I needed to wake up. I seemed remorseful in that moment and days to come and I did have plans to change … eventually.

In January 2015, I was ready to rededicate my life to Christ but I struggled. I struggled on my own accord. It didn’t occur to me to pray about it. Finally on the 9th of February, 2015, I decided that I needed spiritual healing. I knew that I needed Christ. If I was going to make a complete 360, I needed the help of the Holy Spirit. There’s a saying that you can lead the horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. My parents did all they could to lead in the way of Christ but when i backslid, I just wasn’t interested. One thing they never stopped doing was praying for myself and siblings. They never stopped praying. For that, I am eternally grateful to them.

I included GOD in my life and things changed for the better. I didn’t care about the “oh she’s now one of those Jesus babes”. YES! I am one of those babes. Why you mad? You should want to be a Jesus guy or babe too. It’s not a chore; it’s a lifestyle. i began to put Christ first and the GOD factor was evident in my life. The bible says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6 v 33; NKJV). Once God is the centre of your life, every other thing starts to fall into place. It might not be immediate but when you need it, when GOD see that it’s a necessity, it happens.

Yes, it feels like I lost some years when I wasn’t of where my life was headed but GOD has promised me restoration. The GOD factor brings about restoration. The bible also says “... I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust, my great army which I sent among you” (Joel 2 v 25; NKJV). Here, God is making the promise to restore the years that you and I have lost. This is only guaranteed when we are in Him.

It’s not the IT factor y’all. It’s the GOD Factor.

A quick shoutout to those that have played a part in my journey. My immediate family, my family in the The Revived Generation Group, my sisters in the Women After His Own Heart group, Koromone Koroye, Tayo Bero, and my church, The House of Praise.