By Femi Aribisala “To you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings.” (Malachi 4:2). It is priceless when God calls a nonentity to ministry. It is especially marvellous when he validates this with infallible signs. I readily identify with Mary who, on learning she would be the mother of the promised Messiah, declared: “My soul magnifies the Lord. And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant.” (Luke 1:46-48).
However, everything seemed to unravel during the Redeemed Church fellowship the following Wednesday after my calling to ministry. Inexplicably, the junior Mrs. Adewumi did not attend; only the senior one was there. I told Waikini to sing a praise-song and gave her the Lord’s verdict. But there was no way of knowing whether her blood was changed until after the blood-test. When I spoke of “someone” with chronic back-ache; three people came out and Foluke prayed for them. But in my dream, there was only one person.
Another imponderable involved the person trusting God to meet his bills. I brought the requisite 3,000 naira in a plastic video-case; but nobody handed any piece of paper to Bimbo in confirmation. Her brother, Kunle Bolodeoku, claimed he was the person. But I was convinced it could not be him. On the very afternoon of my Saturday morning dream, I came home to find Kunle waiting in his Mercedes-Benz car. On seeing me, he jumped out and prevailed on me to listen to a testimony. He had won a contract but then rejected it when he discovered it entailed paying bribes. But now, miraculously, God had more than honoured his faith. He showed me letters from two magazine publications asking him to supply a certain amount of newsprint. “All that is left now,” he said, “is for me to mobilise the money with which to supply it.” When I asked how much he needed, he said 150,000 naira. As God would have it, that was roughly the amount I was carrying in an empty carton of Nulec video-tapes; having just collected the takings from my video-shops. Immediately, the Lord said to me: “Give him the money. He will give it back to you.” Therefore, when he said he was the one referred to in my dream, I knew it could not be him.
Confirmation Disappointed, I went back home after the fellowship for a tête-à-tête with God. “What does this mean?” I complained. Calmly, the Lord said to me: “When Kunle Bolodeoku told you it was him, why did you argue with him?” Later, I discovered one vital puzzle-piece. Pasted on the back-windscreen of Kunle’s Mercedes-Benz was the inscription: “My God shall supply all my need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” There were certain nuances between my dream and my actual transactions with Kunle. In the dream, the amount was 3,000 naira. In real life, it was 150,000 naira. In the dream, the money was in a Nulec video-case that normally houses only one video. In real life, the money was in a Nulec carton that formerly contained 50 videotapes. However, 3,000 naira multiplied by 50 is 150,000 naira. What about my assumption that the money was for NITEL or NEPA bills when they were in fact for the procurement of newsprint? Ergo, my insistence the word of God is only what comes directly from the mouth of God. Once passed through man, there are likely to be distortions. Since then, I tell God with importunity: “Please don’t talk to me in parables. Talk plainly to me.” Jesus spoke plainly to his disciples, but he spoke to the multitude in parables. When his disciples asked him the reason for this discrepancy, he said to them: “It has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.” (Matthew 13:11-12). Much later, I also discovered the seeming imprecision in the number of people with backache is standard practice with God-given revelations. If the Lord says he is going to heal someone; that “someone” might turn out to be many people. Whosoever identifies with the prophecy is automatically included in the healing. Therefore, it did not matter that while the Lord only showed me one person with backache in the dream, three people actually came out to receive. A beautiful woman With regard to Mrs. Philippa Adewumi, the Lord said to me: “When I brought her to the Dada’s on Saturday morning, why didn’t you pray for her then?” In retrospect, I concluded my decision to wait until the Wednesday fellowship before praying for Mrs Adewumi was dubious. Clearly, God brought her precisely that Saturday morning to confirm my dream. He also knew she would be absent at the next fellowship. However, I assumed the Lord would prefer her healing to take place during the fellowship because there would be more people to witness it and this would give him greater glory. But I now realise I was also mindful of getting some of the glory myself. God is not into showmanship, and he knows best how to get glory for himself. The Lord’s confirmation was all I needed. I was in Mrs. Adewumi’s house the very next day, having obtained her address from Muyiwa. The senior Mrs. Adewumi had already given her the news. When I told her my dream, she was completely overwhelmed. She acknowledged she had had the problem for some time. After praying with her, she insisted on walking me to my car. Then she asked: “You mean God really loves me? And I am the second wife who has come to scatter this family.” She was practically in tears. I told her I did not know anything about that. It was not part of my brief. But I assured her the Lord would sort out everything. Then I left. Gideon was fearful and cowardly; he threshed wheat in the winepress in order to avoid detection by the Midianites. But when the angel of the Lord saluted him, he called him “a mighty man of valour.” (Judges 6:12). The angel’s opinion of Gideon was not based on what Gideon was but on what he could become. Similarly, God did not describe Mrs. Adewumi according to what she was in her own disparaging eyes but according to what she could become. Mrs. Adewumi was overwhelmed by her inadequacies. But the Lord who knows her heart declared her beautiful internally and externally. Postscript Mrs. Peace Garba, wife of Redeemed Pastor Simon Garba, testified that her back problem was healed immediately Foluke prayed for her. Blood-tests confirmed that Waikini’s blood-type was miraculously changed. She no longer has sickle-cell anaemia. Kunle Bolodeoku paid me back the money I gave him. Senator Julius Adewumi held a lavish thanksgiving breakfast party for his wife’s healing at his Agoro Odinyan residence in Victoria Island, Lagos. He insisted that I seat with him on the high-table. Thus says the Lord: “To you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings.” (Malachi 4:2).
By Femi Aribisala