by Omolola Oriogun
“What did you say happened to my wife, 3 children, younger brother and sister-in-law? I don’t seem to understand what you are saying. GOD won’t do this to me, all my family dead?, burnt in fire. I don’t think GOD will do this to me..” *weeping bitterly*
“Mr. Evangelist, hold on please. The LORD understands it all sir and we believe HE will make you understand too.”
“What’s there to understand? That GOD took the people I love most in my life – my wife, children and younger brother, my sister-in-law too? What else does GOD want from me? I went on a missionary trip for the LORD, visited different states with the gospel of CHRIST only to come back home to meet the death of my family. GOD, why?!!!”
I couldn’t help but feel pity for Mr. Evangelist. I went to one of his neighbours to ask what really happened and he said that three days ago, Mr. Evangelist’s wife and his three kids, his younger brother and sister-in-law who came to visit, all died overnight in a fire that started from an electrical surge in their home. None of them escaped death. I felt so weak. I understood what Mr. Evangelist was going through, his lamentation, and his anger towards GOD. At that moment, all I could do was pray fervently for him.
A few days later, I asked my spiritual father, “Can GOD allow a bad tragedy happen to HIS children?” His answer was – GOD will use anything to get your attention, e.g, accident, death of a loved one, the loss of job, etc. GOD may have been knocking at Mr. Evangelist’s door so as to get his attention. Mr. Evangelist may be going for missionary trips and all but his attention may not be on GOD. If his family is more important to him, GOD can take them out so as to get his attention. An example of this is Patriarch Job in the bible.
For days, I picked up my bible to study and to understand more about GOD knocking on the door of our hearts, then I saw that in the book of Revelation JESUS addressed the complacent church at Laodicea:Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Rev. 3:20).
Sometimes, HIS knocking is a light tapping in our spirit. But other times, when we are inattentive, HE may use a pounding fist of adversity to turn our focus to HIM.
When GOD needed Saul of Tarsus attention, HE used a pounding fist, as Saul was on his way to Damascus, where he intended to bring great persecution upon the Christians in that city. The Scriptures tells us that Saul was “breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the LORD” (Acts 9:1). It seemed that his cruel mission nearly consumed him but GOD got Saul’s attention in a way he never expected. The LORD sent him crashing to the ground with a blazing light and told him to wait in the city for instructions. Upon opening his eyes, Saul found himself blind and had to ask others to lead him by hand into the city.
The “persecutor of the church” Phil 3:6 definitely received a wake-up call from the LORD that day. In one stunning moment, GOD gained Saul’s undivided attention, striking him with the adversity of blindness and humbling him in front of his travelling companions. Saul felt more than ready to listen when the LORD asked, “Why are you persecuting Me?” (Acts 9:4). Up to that point, he had no idea he was dishonoring GOD. In fact, he thought he was serving the LORD by ridding the world of Christians. A period of intense adversity resulted in a complete turnaround, within a matter of days, he was proclaiming JESUS in the synagogues (Acts 9:20).
The LORD got Saul’s full attention on the road to Damascus. HE used temporary blindness to transform Saul, the zealous Pharisee, into Paul, the powerful apostle and missionary who would spread the gospel and plant churches across the Roman world.
GOD knew exactly what HE was doing when HE saved Paul and HE knows what HE is doing in our lives through the afflictions we are facing. Never delay in responding to HIS call. When HE allows difficulties in our lives, let’s seek HIM, give HIM our full attention, respond to HIS commands quickly and humbly, and listen for what HE has to say to us.
GOD allows adversity in our lives to turn our attention to HIM, and while it can be painful to endure, it leads us into a deeper relationship with HIM and saves us from future destruction.
If you hear the LORD “pounding” through adversity in your life, respond quickly by opening the door to HIM.
We can avoid a lot of pain and suffering by keeping our focus on the LORD and this is beyond what we do for GOD. We can be doing something for GOD, even be in the choir and yet our attention is not on HIM. GOD wants us to work ‘for and with’ HIM, this way, GOD does not have to resort to extremes. HE doesn’t enjoy bringing us to the point of despair in order to get our attention, but HE will do what is necessary to turn our hearts to HIM.
However, if we seek HIM daily through prayer and Scriptures, we will be more likely to hear HIS light tapping and be ready to open the door when HE calls.
Listen, GOD is knocking…