A few years ago, The Lord gave me a revelation that entirely changed my orientation about ministry and finances. It helped me to reshape my financial life vis a vis the full time ministerial operations which the Lord had committed into my hands. It helped me to access some heights in the realm of finances and encouraged me to take some bold steps in managing my finances and approaching some heights of business accomplishments which I have not hitherto attained.
Let me share briefly with you my background before I had this awesome experience that I am about to explain to you now.
I got born again on the campus of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife in 1992 as a Masters Student. I immediately joined a campus fellowship. I grew rapidly in the things of God and became a Student’s Missionary to one of the churches in town. My only regret was that I didn’t use my days as an undergraduate to serve The Lord. It was through the missionary activities that I came to discover my ministry in the world of evangelical drama and it took me a very short time to quickly decide to give my all to serve The Lord in the drama ministry.
By April 1994, two years after I gave my life to Christ, I was already into full time drama ministry. To say The Lord did exploits through our ministry was an understatement. We traveled from Port Harcourt to Warri, to Lagos, Abeokuta, Ondo, Oyo, Ogbomosho, Akure, Ibadan, Benin and many cities preaching the word through drama with signs and wonders following and massive soul winning and revival.
We saw no need to do any other thing again. We ministered on stage everywhere and when there were no ministrations, we studied the Bible. We read every book that needed to be read and went to conferences.
But we were very poor!!!
I remember a most painful incident. My wife was pregnant and we had nothing to eat for breakfast even at 8pm!!! She was damn hungry. I walked up to her and asked a rather foolish question. I said, “I hope you are not hungry?”
She looked at me cynically, unsure of what to say and sneered…”No, am not hungry” She said sarcastically. How could I have asked such a silly question from a heavily pregnant woman?
The horrible experiences were many, ranging from hunger, deep lack, constant and consistent expectation of divine miracles of supply every now and then.
I wish I got this revelation am about to share with you on time, we probably wouldn’t have had it that rough. I agree, we needed to go through the wilderness experiences, but ignorance and lack of deep understanding of His word made the experience more painful and unnecessarily longer.
On several occasions, I questioned God, wondering why He gave me all those wonderful promises when I went into full time ministry. I was not happy that those promises were not yet fulfilled. I questioned Him on many issues. I reminded Him of my academic certificates and laurels. I told Him I had a good MSc. Grade; a 67B+ precisely. Each time, I took the certificates and questioned why He took them away from me and left me wandering about in the wilderness of poverty even though I was doing ministerial exploits.
In one of those days, the Lord responded by taking me to the story of Hannah the mother of Samuel in I Sam. 1:10. She tarried before she got Samuel from the Lord. Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. She made this vow: “O Lord Almighty, if you will look down upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.” Then she went ahead to donate the only son; Samuel to the Lord.
The boy Samuel lived in the house of the Lord, working day and night. Then Elkanah and Hannah returned home to Ramah without Samuel. Verse 11 of chapter 2 says “And the boy became the Lord’s helper, for he assisted Eli the priest”
I got angry again. A woman who at her advanced age got an only son has to donate that only one child to the Lord. I got further incensed as I read more verses…
18 Now Samuel, though only a boy, was the Lord’s helper. He wore a linen tunic just like that of a priest. 19 Each year, his mother made a small coat for him and brought it to him when she came with her husband for the sacrifice.
So the poor woman still has to make clothing provisions for her son who is in the service of the Lord!!! Then I asked in anger “So what is the woman expected to do when she gets to old age. Who will take care of her!!?”
Then my eyes open as I read the later part….
20 Before they returned home, Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, “May the Lord give you other children to take the place of this one she gave to the Lord.* ” 21 And the Lord gave Hannah three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.
Oh!!! So Hannah had other children!!!
These are the children who will take care of Hannah in her old age. What Samuel could not do for Hannah, these other children will do!!! God gave these children to Hannah so that the pressure of domestic responsibilities can be taken off Samuels’s neck. No wonder Samuel grew in the presence of The Lord!!!
Then God spoke to me…”I took your ambition from you and stopped you from pursing your own agenda, because I wanted you to serve me wholeheartedly. You have obeyed me and gave me your Samuel. I have responded by giving you the other children of Hannah…find them out”
Haaa. My eyes opened! The Other Children of Hannah!!! I was not angry again.
I have been wrong all the while, The Lord had been right! He took my Samuel (personal goals and ambitions) and gave the other children of Hannah (business ideas and solutions to human problems/needs/challenges) to take care of my needs. He gave Hannah those other children so that, Samuel won’t be distracted from the service of the Lord. He won’t be bothered about the welfare of his mother to the extent of loosing focus. The other children of Hannah will take care of that.
After that experience, my understanding got opened, I began to search for the other children of Hannah assigned to me, following the release of my Samuel. Because I have consciously learnt to search for them, I have found some while I am still searching for others. The consequence is that I have experienced a lot of relief in doing God’s work without the much stress that accompanied the prolonged wilderness experience of the past.
When invited to ministrations, I receive honorarium, but not with expectations but additional gratitude unlike before when my family waited eagerly for me to return from ministrations before they could eat.
Have you received understanding….For every Samuel taken by the Lord, there are other children of Hannah sent to console her.