Click here to read Episode 2
I was shocked at Prayo’s revelation.
‘Yes Ezra’, Prayo said. Well, I didn’t go as deep as you did, but a few years ago, I was addicted to pornography and masturbation’.
‘Were you a Christian then?’ I asked curiously.
‘Of course I was. It started before I repented anyway, but it didn’t stop after I repented. I desired to be free. I cried, prayed, fasted yet, there was no headway. It was an irony that people in the fellowship saw me as a holy and righteous brother. If only they knew what I did in the secret place’.
‘One thing I learnt from that experience is that as good as prayers and fastings are, it is not enough to deliver you from addiction. There is more to do, and that’s what I’m going to share with you’.
I adjusted my legs and paid rapt attention.
‘First’, he began. ‘You have to come to the point of taking a definite decision, a determination to break free. Many times when we pray about these things, we only complain and lament to God. It goes beyond that. You must get to the point where your face is set as a flint and your mind is made up to break free. Without a solid decision, it will be easy to relapse’.
‘Secondly, you must come to the realization of who you are. He paused. ‘Ezra, who are you?’
‘I am a child of God’, I replied.
‘Good. Let’s look at 1 Peter 2 verse 9. Please read it’.
‘But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light’.
‘Now do you see how God describes you?’ he asked. ‘You are chosen. You are royalty. You are holy. You are special. You were called out of darkness to proclaim the praises of God. Ezra, you are not ordinary. You are a carrier of the Most High. When you have full grasp of this, it will change the way you see yourself’.
‘My Brother, do you know that your identity is in Christ Jesus? Let me tell you, when Jesus was nailed to that tree, even your addictions were nailed together with Him. He has won that victory for you already. What the devil does is to feed you with lies by telling you that you can never be free from it. But on the contrary, whom the Son of Man sets free is free indeed, hallelujah!’
‘Jesus is not fighting to give you the victory, Ezra. He has already won this victory for you when he was crucified on the cross. All you need to do is to walk in that knowledge and appropriate His victory to yourself. See, God’s grace is more than sufficient for you. When you collide with God’s grace, it empowers you to walk freely in the victory that Christ has won for you. Are you getting me?’
‘Yes sir’ I responded.
‘Okay. Another very critical thing I will say is that many persons look for God’s help or solution but only few people look for His presence.
When I was struggling with that addiction, I will cry before God for a solution. In fact anytime I knelt down to pray. All I was asking was “Lord give me a solution. How do I stop this? What can I do? Lord deliver me”. I will read books on how to stop masturbating or on how to break free from addictions. While all these books were very good, they were not able to help me in the long run.
My deliverance came when I started looking for God’s presence and not His solution’.
‘How do you mean?’ I asked.
‘I started dwelling in His presence. I started seeking God for who He is and not what I could get from Him. I started pursuing God for intimacy and communion, and not just because I needed His help. I devoted my time to loving God and pouring my life before him like a drink offering.
Look, in the presence of God, all flesh bows. Flesh may withstand your prayers, but no flesh can withstand the presence and the glory of God. There is a way a man will so dwell in the presence of God that flesh will lose its hold on him totally. As you dwell more and more in His presence, every activity of flesh take to their heels, including lust and masturbation. The glory of God comes with His presence so as you dwell in his presence, his glory overshadows you.’
My legs were vibrating. I had never heard all this before.
Prayo continued. ‘It was the presence and the grace of God that dealt with the root of the problem- my thoughts. I learnt how to renew my thoughts and that was when I realized that the main problem of masturbation had to do with my thoughts.
As I renewed my thoughts in the presence of God, I became transformed and fired up. My zeal and passion for the things of God increased tremendously. That was when 2 Corinthians 3 verse 18 became real to me. Can you please read it?’
‘But we all, with an unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord’.
‘Exactly! So as long as I behold the presence and glory of God, I am being transformed into His image from glory to glory, Hallelujah!’
By this time, I was on my knees.
He looked at me and said ‘This is my testimony, and it has been my testimony for the past three years and counting. Even though I have been tempted severally, I have never had to look back. It has always been an onward march. The same God who did it for me can do it for you. Do you believe?’
‘Yes. Yes I believe. I believe’, I said as I wept.
‘Remember the process I have outlined. I will also add that there are physical measures you can put in place like staying away from places or things or persons that arouse the desire in you, getting yourself busy with the things of God or things that genuinely interest you whenever you feel distracted, and so on and so forth. There may be more, but this is my success story and I believe it will help you. Do you have anything to say?’ he asked me kindly.
‘Please just pray with me’, I said. Tears were streaming down my face.
Prayo held my hands and we went to the Lord in prayers. I thanked him profusely and hurried to the parade ground as it was already time for the evening session.
I knew God had started the process in my life and I felt as light as a bird. I became aware of where I had missed it. All through my struggle against masturbation and lust, I had not once been resolute and decisive about breaking free. In fact, I had almost accepted it as part of my own cross to bear.
However, with this new revelation I got from Prayo, I felt a new surge of energy bursting in me. I have overcome and my testimony has arrived!
On the day the new state Executives were unveiled, I wasn’t called out as part of them. I had told them to exempt me, as God had specifically told me not to take up any leadership position. I was glad. I needed this period to grow afresh in the presence of God, without activities or distractions.
I was posted to a College of Education in Oyo town and I was excited about it. As I was about to board the bus provided to convey us to our various Local Governments, I saw Jael coming towards my direction. I called her name and she smiled as soon as she saw me.
‘Where were you posted to?’ I asked her.
‘Ogbomoso’, she said. ‘How about you?’
‘Oyo town’, I replied.
She smiled again. ‘I hope you enjoy your stay there’.
‘I hope you do too’, I replied.
Over the next few months, I saw the mercy and grace of God at work in my life in no small measure. The temptations came, but I firmly resisted them by standing on the authority of God’s word and by taking refuge in His presence. I made daily declarations of my victory and triumph and I leaned solely on God’s guidance and directions.
Today, I can look back at that experience and say ‘Thus far the Lord has helped me.’
I hope you learnt some lessons from this fictional story. I’ll be so glad to receive your feedback. Do let me know your thoughts on this in the comment section.
Please feel free to share this link with as many persons as you can. You never know who needs this deliverance.
Thanks for reading!