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In our spiritual walk with the Lord, we have

good times and hard times. When the going is
good, we say we are in good times. When the
going is tough, we say we are experiencing
hard times. Remember, life itself is a mission.
While we are on the go, we need to stop
between steps, to re-focus on the Word and
the Will of God. While we are on the go, I
mean, while we are on the mission, we need
to sometimes stop at intervals to assess our
progress and prepare ourselves for the
challenges ahead. Certain challenges on our
way usually make us stop awhile – I mean, for a
moment. When you stop awhile, you are not
down. What are these challenges? They could
come in the form of sickness, failure, setback,
imprisonment, poverty. For instance, if I
receive a sack letter from my very lucrative
job, there is a natural tendency for me to cry and lament, if I do not view
the situation from the maturity that comes from faith. It takes faith to
realise that the situation is a mere stopping interval – a short break
between two events.

I do not need to go very far to cite or give an example of what I am saying

because my experience in life is enough to illustrate this philosophy or principle of
life. As we said earlier, many things could cause one to stop between steps. I
could still remember vividly when I sat for and passed the entrance examination
into the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna.

I was invited for the interview and I had to board the train from Lagos to Kaduna.
Behold, on our journey the train developed some serious faults that kept us in the
bush in Jebba for six horrible days with little or no provision. Remember, I was
going for an interview that was billed to hold the following day. I was on the
railway line in Jebba while the interview was going on in Kaduna and there was
nothing I could do to help the situation as I lacked the means to arrange for an
alternative way of transporting myself to the venue of the interview, so I missed
the whole thing.

This was how the ambition to enlist into the military was aborted by what was
obviously an act of fate. Who knows what would have happened if I had
successfully attended that interview. I actually felt very bitter I had missed
another chance of making it in life.

With a very heavy heart I went to the village to complain to my mother of how so
many opportunities had slipped by. Little would I have reasoned that it was one of
those stops between steps in my spiritual walk with God until my mother did her
best to calm me down, saying: “My son, do not mind the seeming appearance of
things as of today. If I am ever confident of any child, you are that child. Do not be
afraid of what the future holds for you, because I know if anyone is destined to
fail, you are not the one. So, be patient and you would see what God would do in
your life. I am so sure of your future breakthrough, considering the strength of the
predictions and prophecies about you even before you were born. I cannot forget
so easily what I experienced when I was pregnant with you, and I know God
cannot lie. My son, whatever you may be going through today, just take it as a
temporary setback, meant to prepare you for the challenges ahead. Don’t forget
your name is “Temitope” and, by the grace of God, the whole world shall have the
cause to thank God for your sake.”

After this encounter with my mother, I began to look at whatever came my way
with a more mature mind whose focus was on God alone. I mean, the maturity
that comes from faith in the finished works of our Lord Jesus Christ. My case was
already settled in Heaven. Here I am today in your midst; I can boast of what God
is doing for us. Hallelu jah! You are all witnesses.

In my spiritual walk with God I have experienced

both good and hard times. Who knows what would
have happened if those temporary stops did not
come at intervals. Consider how my education
suffered epileptic fits; today I am in school, the
next day I am out. Remember, when God is
executing His plan in our lives, He also designs and
arranges events which continue to unfold until His
purpose is revealed. The ups and downs in my
education were part of the events that revealed the
purpose of God in my life. Remember, the man who
is poor is not the man that has no money, but one
without a dream. They are suffering that have no
dream. They are poor that have no dream.

Before I knew it, I had gone around six different

colleges in less than one year. I enrolled for the
examinations of JAMB (Joint Admission and
Matriculation Board) four times and on each
occasion it was either I forgot my
acknowledgement card and other necessary documents or there was an accident
on the way to the exam venues. People who saw what was happening to me
simply attributed my predicament to either sin or non-seriousness on my part. But
those with the maturity that comes from faith, like my mother, saw it as mere
stopping intervals or natural stops in my spiritual walk with God.

In James 4:7, we are told to submit ourselves to God and resist the devil. If we
examine carefully our attitudes toward certain situations, we would see how much
we willingly submit ourselves to the devil each time we view things with the
maturity that comes from the experience rather than of faith. The maturity that
comes from experience is based on what is seen, what is heard and what
circumstances look like. When your maturity is derived from circumstantial factors
other than faith, your level of maturity would continue to fluctuate rather than
being stable. This is why I am enabled to maintain a balance and stable approach
to the challenges that come my way every day. I am not moved by what people
say or do concerning my relationship with God. I submit myself to His direct will
which is good and perfect with no evil in it. Sometimes, God uses foolish things to
strengthen our desire for Him.

In Luke 22:32, Jesus said to Peter, “I pray that your faith would not fail”. This
means, all men make mistakes but people of God get back up. Certainly we would
fall, but with Jesus supporting our position, we would soon get back up.