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Poju Oyemade - The Radicalization of the Vulnerable

  • May 29, 2017 8:56 AM CEST

I switch on the television to listen to the news and I hear of the havoc wrought by what they termed radicalization. The experts talk about how vulnerable young men are easy targets for radicalization.

How these young men who feel left behind by society, shut out of the mainstream become easy prey to those who want to inflict damage on the entire system.

    As I listened something clicked on the inside of me. Yes, I could understand what they were saying for I had experienced something similar in my christian walk.

    Let me start with a little from my background. I had led a campus fellowship for about 2 years at the University of Lagos, we held massive meetings which hosted the likes of Arch-Bishop Benson Idahosa, Bishop Oyedepo, Dr Tunde Joda, Rev Emiko Amotsuka, Bishop Godwin Elomobor in a single conference. We packed out the main auditorium University of Lagos where people had to be turned back at the gates in large numbers.

Fast forward and I start a church and everyone who knew me and had goodwill towards me felt it will only be a matter of months for the same thing we saw on campus to be reproduced. They waited and it wasn't forthcoming.

It didn't work out that way. I preached, prayed, labored yet no results. I began to get discouraged. I remember a church member, a dear sister rushing into my office one day excited about a meeting another church which started about the same time as ours was hosting. They had powerful speakers from around the world, I felt discouraged.

A dear friend visited me after 3 years and asked me to shut down Covenant Christian Centre that from what he saw I wasn't sent. Sounds hard to believe now. He advised I should go set up a teaching ministry.

Another friend came one midweek service and just kept sighing to my hearing. A new acquaintance who belonged to a large denomination advised me to come under their church, drop the idea of Covenant. He said he had listened to me, if I came into their denomination I will rise up fast instead of all the struggle I was going through.

Being in this state with the feeling that I was left behind, I became vulnerable. You are open to things you may not have considered in the past.

When you are in this kind of place, don't linger in the struggle. quickly go to God and ask Him for one thing, wisdom. If you stay in that place for too long you become vulnerable and satan begins to move in.

God told Cain in Genesis 4:7 "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him"

Here comes a senior friend of mine. We went to the same primary school, secondary school and university. He was older than me and so I deferred to him as my egbon(older friend). He spoke to me about all he felt was wrong with the church as a whole(nationally speaking) and he was bitter. I listened and absorbed and came out of that encounter contaminated. My messages began to change.
People I once respected and will do anything to sit under and hear them preach, I seemed to rage against in my heart. I had gotten offended. After some time with much prayer and reading John Bevere's book on the bait of satan, I got myself out of that trap. However, I had wasted much time. Years were probably lost. I got myself back on track and after a while I experienced a move of the Spirit and things began to happen.

    Did Jesus not say to the Jews of John the Baptist in John 5:35 "He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light"
You were willing for a season to rejoice in their light now you hate them. Men whom they never met, who may not even know who they are and yet they are so bitter towards them. Ministries they once told everyone about.

I write this because there might be young men or women out there who are going through a season where you feel left behind. A season of obscurity. You have laboured, you have prayed yet the commensurate results are not showing. You become a target for a temptation similar to that which Cain faced when Abel seemed blessed and he appeared rejected.

    It is a test and if you pass it you will surpass every thing you have dreamt of doing for God. Watch your step here please, do not allow anyone to come into your life and plant a seed of bitterness and radicalize you where you start raging at men you once respected and held in high regard. I have been there, I know it.

It could come through a phone call from someone, by listening to a message that turns your heart or through an association with someone you feel knows more than you and you get poisoned.

Don't go the way of Cain, let that lame foot be healed rather than turned out of the way. All you need is to ask for wisdom. God will show you the small changes you need to make. Very little things that will amount to much.

John the Baptist faced this too. Here was a man who introduced Jesus to the world. A man who proclaimed to his followers "another cometh after me who is mightier than I whose shoe latchet I am unworthy to unloose" one of whom he said to the multitude behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.

ohn 1:29 (KJV)
"The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world"
What then will make this same John who proclaimed Christ say this of him
Matthew 11:2,3
"Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?"

Why would John question the authenticity of Jesus after all the accolades? Did he being in prison, shut out and hearing of all that God was doing through Jesus affect him? Was it the works of Jesus he heard while he was in prison? Are some seemingly in some confining situation in their lives today and this opens them up to question the works going on in other places?

Jesus answered John this way Matthew 11:4-6 "Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me"

His conclusive statement to John was blessed is he that is not offended in me. We will go through different seasons and tests where we become vulnerable and can be radicalized by those who have a root of bitterness in them. This shuts down the flow of grace.
When they come, when they call, when they preach, kindly shut your ears and worship Jesus. Lift up your hands which hang down and the feeble knees, follow peace with all men and the God of all grace will establish you.

    Offense destroys, the Bible teaches that and I know it cause I have been there.