(Testimony of Bro. Julius Adewumi)
Many folks have asked me about my testimony of how I came to know the Lord. I will today narrate the leading years before I was born again.
I was born and raised a moslem. My parents were not fanatical moslems, although they atttended the mosques whenever they could and we also usually went with them. My Mom was more into the religion than my Dad. I cannot remember a day when she did not say the night prayers on her mat.
Instead of five time a day, I think they had an exception whereby they say all the five times in one stretch at the end of the day. The whole of my clan (grandparents, great grandparents) were moslems, and they also were celebrity-moslems. By celebrity-moslem, I mean those folks who would ride a horse to the mosque and on their festival days. When I was about twelve years old, my daddy took up the celebrity status and began to ride a horse during festivals, taking with him a crowd of cheerleaders and hired drummers.
With all of those, he still was not a fanatical moslem. He believed any religion can take you to heaven if you practise the religion well.
Because of this liberality, all the children in our house attended an African Church Primary School due to its proximity to our house, instead of walking a mile to the nearest moslem school. I therefore owe my first exposure to the Bible to this grade school. There was religious studies as a course where the bible was the text book, just as the koran was the text book in the moslem schools. There was also school assembly each morning where prayer was said or read before the students matched into the classrooms. During those days my parents also enrolled us for after-school Koran studies for a while.
When my big Sister, who was 6 years older than myself, was attending a Catholic Junior High School, she asked my daddy one day about religion. When my daddy said to her that everyone is free to choose whatever religion one prefered, she announced that she would prefer to attend Church, perhaps because of her school, friends. I liked the idea, and being close to her, I opted to follow in the same direction. I attended Catholic Church and the Catholic high school out of town. I got baptized and confirmed the Catholic way in high school.
However at the end of high school, I was inclined to seek more of God. The reason why I had the desire to seek more of God was because the reality of evil powers was transparent in the African society around me. The evil powers were real. I will give you an example. Take what happened to Job in the bible: how he was cut down from high position of wealth and prosperity with children, to a position where he had nothing within a few days. That type of evil occurence is narrated often in the African society. Not only narrated like stories, but also they will point to real-life cases in the society. They will always point to the fact that there are satanic forces which do those evils.
Now as a student of the bible, I know that the African society is right on that fact. Job's affliction was caused directly by Satan himself. The African society always believe that the satanic forces do not regularly attack persons without human agents sending them on errands. Thus was the reason for the witchcraft cults and the witch-doctors, and the voodoo priests, who practice the art of sending and retrieving the demons.
You can now understand the preface I wrote in my book The Unseen World, when I stated thus:
I was born amidst them!
I was raised running from them!
I was cautioned against them!
I was threatened by them in my youth!
I was invited by them to join and make peace!
I heed the voice of the true shepherd; they persecuted me!
I was given a sword against them and power to trample on them!
I therefore know what I talk about, when I tell you the truth that
"only Jesus can save"!
From this realization of the wicked world, people like me after high school have the heart to seek for supernatural protection from the forces of evil. Some folks went to the witch-doctors and voodoo priests for their protection, while some others heard about pentecostal power in some churches. After high school, some friends pointed out to me that one pentecostal church had power in prayer which do conquer the forces of evil. Therefore I joined the pentecostal church. Although the gospel of salvation was preached in this church but it did not register in my heart, because all my heart wanted was protection from evil forces. The idea of sin as an hinderance to prayers was often mentioned with a clause that all men are sinners. We therefore ask for forgiveness everyday. There was no effort to forsake the most common sins.
A year after graduating from high school, I went to college to study Engineering. It was in the college that I met the born-again believers in the Evangelical Christian Union. These students would distribute gospel tracts in the college campus, and conduct meetings. I would accept those tracts, since I was also very religious in my church and very prayerful. I would gather those tracts and actually kept them in a folder.
During one academic year, the Lord had began to work on my heart, and there was conviction in my heart to forsake the common practice of sexual relationship with the girlfriend when one is not married. Especially because that was
the only sin I could point to in my life, and I said to myself: "if I could cut it off, I would be closer to the Lord
and my prayers would be effective as I desired". I therefore had began to consciously avoid contact with my sin-partner though it was like a tug of war within my spirit anytime the girl-friend was around.
Throughout the academic year, I kept those tracts and during the summer vacation, I brought out the tracts and on my bed I began to read them. Some of the tracts addressed the problem of sin head-on, citing examples of sin. There could be a prayer to say at the end of the tract. While reading them, the Lord began to speak to my heart that I had been struggling within myself to stop the sin but have not really asked the Lord to take it away from me. I usually pray for every other thing but never really prayed for that. He told me to kneel down and ask the Lord to take it away. Immediately, I knelt down and prayed, asking the Lord to take the habit away. When I rose up from my knees, I was free in my heart. No more tug of war "to do" or "not to do" it. I was free to tell my friends, now without shame, that I don't do those things anymore. My friends first laughed at me, but when I pointed to the scriptures that those things are offences before God, and that I am determined to make heaven my home, the laughter sort of reduced overtime. I later had the opportunity to lead some of my friends to the Lord.
When the Lord saved me and set me free from my sin, I realized that all my personal efforts in trying to break off the relationship with this girlfriend, by frowning at her and resisting to entertain her visits, were not the proper way to get rid of the devil. Now I began to share the scriptures with her, as with all other friends, why those habits were wrong before God. This is enough to break any devilish relationship.
After the summer vacation I was back in college. I usually would go to my pentecostal church, off campus. One of those days, one of the evangelical students, who was my next door neighbor, invited me to their fellowship on campus. It was an Easter service and they were doing the "breaking of bread". I decided to go. That was the first time I would attend their service. Before the breaking of bread, they made a threatening declaration about who should or should not partake of the breaking of the bread. I perceive they had told one another that they would invite some religious friends to the fellowship, and that they should challenge them to a life of total commitment to the Lord and not mere religion. The threat was from the writing of Apostle Paul (1Cor.11:27-31). They were saying, "if you dare partake of this bread without commiting your life to the Lord, without commitment to cast away your sinful life, you will be bringing damnation to yourself." It was kind of intimidating. I told myself that I had commited my life to the Lord and had determined to cast away my sins, and I went forward to partake of the breaking of bread.
After the breaking of bread, there was a calmness, a peace that came upon my heart. That was my open acceptance of the Life of the Lord Jesus Christ. The previous touch was in a room all by myself. I could feel the peace, the calmness that came upon me. It even showed in my walking. No hurry. No hassle. A love for Jesus came into my soul. I wanted him to come that day so that I could go away with him. I cannot explain it. It was "the peace of God which passeth all understanding". That was the day I knew that a new heart came to me, and I was born again. That evening, there was lightning in the sky and I exclaimed "Jesus is coming!" That was how expectant I was.
The noticeable change in my heart was that of being "heaven-bound" henceforth, instead of being "earth-bound". Remember, before this, I was following religion to keep myself alive here on earth from the evil attacks -earth-bound; from that day forward, I was longing for Jesus to come and take me home to heaven with him -- heaven-bound.
I began to fellowship with the evangelical christians on campus and later was filled with the Holy Ghost. We would visit villages as a group to preach the gospel. After college I began to do the work of the Lord as my other testimonies had narrated. Praise the Lord.
There were other high spots in my life during my search for the Lord which I will narrate in another testimony. The summary which I gave here is to show to all that there is a sharp difference between "religion", (which I had both in the moslem religion and in the church religion), and true Christianity, when Christ gives a new heart and a new life. Yea "all things become new!" Ambitions do change, desires do change, the outlook towards life do change, when Christ comes into one's life.
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
old things are passed away; behold all things are become new."