PART 1: THE FUNDAMENTALS.
Hello again lovely people. I’m back again with another conversation series, and what I love about this conversation this time round is there is a central theme of love running through; a clear message. That’s the Holy Spirit y’all! I started doing the ‘Conversation Series’ because I have met, and continue to meet people who have genuinely inspired me and made me look deeper into how I live my life with Christ; testimonies in their own right! All I can is pray and hope it does the same to you and encourages you to tell your story to whomever you come across. You can be the channel by which someone comes to know Jesus!
Anyway this time, I got to sit down with my friend Kunle. Kunle is a Masters student at this current time, studying Virology. As well as this, Kunle is an active member of Trinity Baptist church; serving in areas such as the youth and ushering team. He has been on mission trips such as to Brazil in partnership with Tearfund AND a published freaking author!! I didn’t hear your AMEN ooooo!
As always I start with a verse that sums up this conversation and that verse is John 3:30: “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
We started off with talking about how Kunle came to Christ
AA: I was expecting this one [laughs]. Well I got saved when I was 12, in the summer of 2007. It was either August or September. So, the way it happened was a bit unconventional. No one preached to me, but I believe my mum must’ve been praying for her children because I was born into a Christian family, grew up as Christian; we had our quiet time every morning as a family. But this particular day, I just walk into my mum’s room and I just felt this presence and this conviction in my spirit that if I’d dropped dead at that time, I’d have gone to hell. The reality of heaven and hell became so real to me and that I needed to may my ways right with God and so I had this thing called ‘Godly sorrow.’ So, I went on my knees and started crying and asked God to cleanse me from my sins and I know that was the time that I became born again, when his blood cleansed me from all my sins. So, yeah, that was it really and ever since I haven’t looked back. I was 12 years old.
Experiencing Christ at that young an age is an event in itself! We talked further about how the journey has been so far.
AA: Yeah, it is young. So, afterwards I got baptised in the 28th of September 2008; so, about a year later. And after I got baptised; well, things didn’t really change; it was just normal. But I’d always had this fear of God anyway and life just carried on, until 2010, I took that decision to recommit to Christ. I think it was from then that the journey actually started for me and when I started to get deeper into the word. And it just takes me back to John 8:32 that says those that believed, will become my disciples. So, they had already believed but to transition from a believer into a disciple, they had to continue in His word and that is what happened to me in 2010. I had already been saved, I’d already believed but I hadn’t transitioned into a disciple. So, it was in that year in 2010 that I started to spend time in His word and that’s when the real change started to happen; the change in the heart and all my desire changed. I started to love God more, I started to desire him more, I started to long to serve him more, I started to have encounters. Things just started to become more interesting and more real. The actual journey started in 2010.
This led us to talk about whether is it necessary for every Christian to recommit themselves at some point…?
AA: Oh yeah definitely! I believe that most people at some point in their lives have had to recommit their lives to Christ. I think that’s when the real journey begins or carries on. The most important stage is giving your life to Christ and then afterwards choosing to become a disciple. You know, making the conscious effort to spend time with God and in prayer and in fellowship and fasting and all those things. So, I think it’s so important to grow in your faith and then again, decide that you want to get to know God better for yourself and draw closer to Him. It’s definitely important at some point in your life to recommit.
In our day to day lives, we can forget to keep God at the centre so, we spoke about about we can improve in that
AA: In my personal experience, everything starts from the heart. Like, when God touches your heart genuinely, it just does something to you that just makes you love Him. And once you love God, you started to live this ‘God first’ lifestyle and that was what happened to me. I just started prioritising God, putting Him first in everything I did. I would say it’s not particularly easy in this day and age but I think it’s all about making that decision. Daniel 1:9 says that Daniel purposed in his heart to not sin against God. So, that itself shows that as a man you have to make that decision to not do worldly things. It’s making that conscious effort and asking God “you know what? Help me by your grace to put you first in everything that I do.” Because ultimately it is God that works in us to will and do His good pleasures. So, firstly it’s us making up our minds and two, yield to God to empower you to put Him first in everything that you do.
Practically, I’d say your friends are important. It’s always good to have the right company around you. It says that he who walks with the wise, will be wise. Even Daniel had his friends around him; you know, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. He had his own companions that would help him. So it’s important as young Christians to have fellowship; have people of a like-minded spirit to encourage you and help you in this race. Also being disciplined; Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:23 I bring my body under subjection; so it’s very important to be disciplined – learn to bring your body under subjection to learn about God more. So fellowship, discipline; things like going to church, watching sermons – spirit filled sermons. It’s an intentional decision.
One thing I’m keen on is Christians being able to be transparent with each other about their highs and also their lows. Kunle and I went onto to discuss what his biggest challenge has been?
AA: I would say as a guy, I remember there was a time I used to have a lot of female attention. But at the time that attention came that was when I was on fire I’d say. It wasn’t easy to get distracted however I did. Only because sometimes the way I am, it’s hard to get into my hard so no matter if someone says things to me, it’s hard to get into my head. So I think I’m blessed in that area; in the fact that some things don’t get to my heard too easily. I mean, I wasn’t really distracted per se in that area but in a sense as a Christian you would want to keep your soul pure and please God. But like when these things come about, you’re tempted. But by God’s grace I could resist and that is purely by his grace. Fearing God is so important.
Proverbs 8:13 says to fear God is to abstain from evil. So once you fear God, even when these things present themselves, it’ll be hard to get you to fall as someone that fears God. So develop that fear of God and ask God to give you that fear, that reverence for him. That reverence to not sin and to just please him. I’m not say it will be easy. It says in the bible the righteous man shall fall seven times but still rise. But that is not excuse; and I’ve heard people use that verse as an excuse but it’s not. Even if you do fall, there’s still grace to cover you but don’t make sin a habit. So, yeah – cultivate that fear of God.
AA: The fear of God is having the reverence. You love him so much you don’t want to go against his will. You love him so much you want to please him and not go against his will. For me, that is the fear of God; having respect for his word – submitting to the authority of the word, humbling yourself. And not changing the word to please you but you rather changing yourself to fit the word. So, I think, that is ultimately fearing God – the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. That comes from a humble heart – approaching God’s word with a meekness of heart. James 1 says we should receive God’s word with meekness that’ll be able to save our souls.
With Kunle being a published author, we went on to speak about how others can be encouraged to find their gift and all that comes with it.
AA: Yeah, one thing I’ve seen a lot is that people desire to want to do God’s word without knowing God first. So, I would say get lost in knowing God first. Yearn after him and chase after him. In that process, God starts to reveal things to you and lay things on your heart. Matthew 6:33 says seek his kingdom first. Just love him first and he will start to lead you and inspire you.
Rochelle: How can we avoid the temptation to think we can do things on our own, without God?
AA: I think that comes with maturity in the faith. And I think sometimes a lot of people young in the faith like to do things out of zeal which is good, but as you grow and mature, you start to know that it is solely God working in you. It’s so important to learn from scriptures as well; learning from the mistakes that people made in the Bible. I think that helps us to definitely keep humble and not proud.
Rochelle: But how can one tell the difference between whether they’re acting overzealous or rather it’s just the Holy Spirit moving in them? Is there a difference?
AA: It’s vital to know that Christianity is not about you anymore, it’s not at all. And it’s also important to always seek to be in God’s will every single time. So, as Christians no matter what we decide to do, I think it’s always good to pray about it first to know if it’s in God’s will. Otherwise if you’re doing something out of God’s will, it might seem good to you but is it pleasing to God? And as Christians ultimately, our desire should always be to please God. So, I think that raises the question, how does one know if you’re doing things in your own power or if it’s God led? I think that also comes with growth in spiritual maturity. But I think that anything is geared towards kingdom expansion and not coming from a place of pride, I believe is fine. It’s wrong if the motive is self-glorification. Everything must be about God and Him alone – not about you. John says that we must decrease that He may increase so, I think if we have that mind-set it would help a lot of us.
“The fear of God; it’s having respect for his word – submitting to the authority of the word, humbling yourself. And not changing the word to please you but you rather changing yourself to fit the word.”Ade-Kunle Adeniran.
PART 2: LOVE EXEMPLIFIED IN THE CHRISTLIKE INDIVIDUAL.