Houses Filled with All Good Things...
“...And it shall be, when the Lord your God shall have brought you into the land (now the land of Christ Jesus) which He swore unto your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you great and goodly cities, which you didn’t build, And houses
of ALL good things, which you didn’t fill, and wells dug, which you didn’t dig, vineyards and olive trees, which you didn’t plant; when you shall have eaten and be full...” – Deuteronomy 6:10 & 11
“...Through Wisdom is a house built; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be riches...” – Proverbs 24:3 & 4
precious and pleasant
January 2003, arrived on the shores of the United Kingdom and picked up by my brother at Heathrow Airport. Stood staring out his windows observing what I regarded as this strange new world... it’s a bit like the Lord showed me though I thought... Everywhere looks so neat and cultured but there does seem to be a certain feel of emptiness and despondency to the atmosphere... Well this is a new level the Lord’s getting me into which is exciting... Went back to the Airport and boarded my BMI flight to Edinburgh, and then a taxi to Waverly Station and it was all I could do to stop that driver from talking about how happy he was the Nigerian Football team beat the English in a previous World Cup or International friendly...my mind was elsewhere, taking in the scenery all around me and thinking excitedly about all the good things the Holy Spirit had shown me would come to pass in my life, and I was one step closer... Boarded the train at Waverly to Dundee, and felt like I was in some alien world... got dark by 4pm... streets all icy so kept falling down as I tried to make my way to the University to find accommodation... Got a leaflet about a B&B close by (8mins walk) and took a Taxi. Arrived at Airlie Guest house and got a room... walked back down the road to a phone-box I remembered seeing from the Taxi and used my change to call home that I had arrived okay and it was all I could do to say I am coming right back! Got back to the room and tried to get some sleep but it was so cold I couldn’t fold myself tight enough... They charge good money for this room, they can at least not save on the heating... spoke to the lady who smiled saying the heating
was ok, and gave me a blanket... Thinking out loud, I exclaimed wondering how human beings could live in such a place... somehow managed to shiver myself to some kind of sleep and then woke up in this strange environment... looking out the window across the railroads towards the Tay river taking in the scenery, and then into the backyard garden walled around by rough-hewn stone, I enjoyed the rustic look I had seen in the pictures of Enid Blyton story books I read as a boy as I watched a couple of kids playing and skidding on the ice, and then smiled... it’s not all that bad I thought... I looked in the distance and saw a large Tesco Supermarket just by the Riverside and then felt a slight growl in my stomach...
Its been weeks now, and I am yet to find any proper accommodation and money flying out at an alarming rate... I saw an advert for a flat on Blackness Road and reservations began creeping in... how could these people call a Road ‘Blackness Road’, well for my sake I’ll rename it `Lightness Road`... Sweeping aside these reservations and resolving to at least see it because it was after all just a walking distance from the University and not too expensive... Small bedsit with a separate bathroom and kitchen but well laid out, nicely painted and furnished... Plus, according to the course-mate from Kazakhstan who had lived there up till now, “the heating was so good I’d feel like I was in Africa...”, Heating’s good, I thought...This will do I thought but then street-smarts began to creep in... This guy still had a year and a half to go on the course so why is he fixing to move out of such a nice place? He mentioned he was bringing his family over and was getting a bigger place so this being good enough an explanation, I decided God had blessed me, got introduced to the landlords, signed the agreement, settled the rent on the property, and moved my things in...
Strange things began happening within this flat... There seemed to be a thick cloud of depression, loneliness and despondency in the place... prayer seemed near impossible a feat to accomplish as I tried to make sense of it all. I woke up one morning to see a dark cloud in the corner of the room, and rebuked that in the name of Jesus, it left and a calm returned... These dark feelings would often return seemingly insistently, and in asking the Lord what was going on, His exact Words were “You are in the big leagues now son...”. We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12), and in order to possess the land and enjoy the good things God had promised, I would have to exercise the authority He had given me in Christ Jesus and fight just like the children of Israel had to, in order to possess Canaan... I later discovered the real reason why this Kazahki boy was leaving the flat was because he had been robbed constantly since he moved in there... and I remember coming in one day and feeling like someone had been in the flat, and declaring the fear of God upon the place and placing angels at the four corners of the flat like I had heard my mum do when she prayed, and I was not robbed once in all the two years I spent in the flat.
I began looking for a good church, and saw a church nameplate along `Nethergate`, called `Spiritualist Church`... Healings on Wednesday... Oh great! I exclaimed, they
believe in healing so it must be a good church... went there the next Sunday to find myself in the midst of a chanting group with no Bible in sight... just a spiritualist handbook, and such a feeling of evil in the place... walked out instantly time spent in all was 2 minutes... saw another Nigerian going to a church down the road called `The Gate` Christian Fellowship, which though lacking in the real meat of the Word of God I was accustomed to, the worship was open-hearted and the Presence of God was there so I said now this is more like it...
Educational course finished in Dundee, and had it in my heart to move to Edinburgh where the Lord directed me to a job in the financial sector... commuted from Dundee for a month, and then moved up with another course-mate who had decided the same with the promise of a flat all ready to move into... A flat in an area called Stockbridge was on my heart but went for this flat which I was later to discover was in one of the roughest council estates in the city... living among drug addicts and thieves, I would return home with a prayer and regularly see fresh vomit on the stairs with the rank odour of stale alcohol and cigarette smoke as well as hypodermic needles everywhere I looked... what was worse, this flat had been rented from the council illegally on a false name by the Nigerian guy we were renting from, and of all names to use was `Samuel Jackson`... I’m not sure the real chap would’ve liked that too much... Needless to say we were given the left boot of fellowship in 2months, me getting a phone-call from the fear-filled voice of my course-mate in the middle of my normal working day... All our stuff out of the house, on the street, and nowhere to go... In all this I had forgotten to seek the Lord’s help but tried to work everything out by myself... Remembering I still had an active status as a student at the Heriot-Watt University in the City so we took what things we could carry, and they agreed to store the rest in the flat till we would come back and get them, but by the time we got back we discovered we had been robbed!?
The only accommodation available at the University was conference accommodation which meant I could only book it one week at a time, and if it so happened that it was booked we would have nowhere to go... my course-mate and I cramped into this small student room, and lived week by week... the couple of days the room was booked we spent on another Nigerian’s couch! I reached the point when I had had enough, particularly as this course-mate of mine seemed to be surrounded by so many people with questionable characters, and I had been listening to him instead of the Lord which was why I was in this mess in the first place (Psalm 1)... plus, we had planned to start a business so he had stopped working and was doing the research while I footed all the bills... well I had had enough of that so I told him I was going to move into temporary hostel accommodation while I looked for another place to stay, and advised him to go and stay with his relatives... Though I was a covenant child of God and had enjoyed His protection, I suffered through disregarding one of the very first instructions He gave me which was that “He that walks with the wise shall be wise, but a companion of fools shall be destroyed..” (Proverbs 13:20)
Though we are called to love everyone, we were never called to be everybody’s friend so we have to be very careful with our associations... We cannot walk in the light as children of the light and have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness... in order words have a close
relationship with people with questionable lifestyles who have no qualms about
Though we know Jesus loved and loves everybody, we have it on record that He does not trust everybody (John 2:23 – 25)... This their lifestyles and would even draw you into the same...
is because He has given each and every one of us a free will which He will not violate, but it is His desire that we use this free will to love Him and all people back, and from this relationship of a constant track record and heart desire for obedience would grow greater and greater levels of trust with more and more authority... more and more influence and financial blessing.
I saw a hostel at the Haymarket area of Edinburgh with vacancies brightly lit in front but was rejected at the doorsteps with the gruff voice and hostile facial expression of a white man who appeared to be the caretaker saying there are no vacancies for me... heart a bit sunk, laughed it away to myself thinking I guess I wasn’t the right colour, I went to the next hostel just beside and was admitted by the very white, and South African couple for that matter who were the caretakers of that hostel. I had gotten a room from a work colleague by this time, but it was being renovated for 2weeks which would be the time I would spend in the hostel. This time was a complete laugh... met all kinds of people from all over the world and talked late into the night... at other times I would spend walking the grounds of princes street gardens and all over the west end and city centre thinking and contemplating on where the favour of God I had been so accustomed to was gone... Flat sharing didn’t quite work out with me because I enjoyed late night showers, and the old pipes in a new build bathroom (funny isn’t it) kept letting out a loud gurgling sound that hindered the guy next door from a peaceful sleep... plus I constantly heard unwelcome human sighs and groans, and the bed in the room next to mine creaking night after night as I struggled to force out of my mind images the enemy would have liked me to dwell on... Plus, this new landlord was fixing to retire early at our expense so he constantly found the tiniest excuses to raise the rent, so I decided it was about time to move somewhere else... saw an advert on gum-tree for a room with a 4month contract and decided to take that while I looked for a suitable place, and this happened to be with a nice Czech Christian couple who I was later to discover had some real marital problems... Wasn’t too safe for me to stay in the flat because the guy was out working all the time, and the girl always seemed unhappy, and I always seemed to say the right things which made her take a liking to me and I was a single unmarried guy and she was quite goodly to look to, withal of a fair countenance (as the KJV Bible would put it)... it beat me for the life of me what dissatisfied this guy about this woman but I didn’t wait to find out, so of course I stayed away most of the time...
I heard of a flat-share through mutual friends with a chap who had just moved up to Scotland from down south so thought well, perhaps I should give flat-sharing another shot... it didn’t occur to me to seek the Lord’s opinion or plan regarding this, I was just making decisions as the need arose... of course this turned out to be another disaster as this chap though having a polite cultured facade, actually turned out to be quite the Muslim fundamentalist... Pork was not allowed in the house as he set about evangelizing me round to chicken instead... well I liked all meats including bacon and sausages so I wouldn’t budge, plus I was paying for the place and then I began to
see a real wicked streak in the chap... turning up the hot water shower to the hottest when he knew I was going to take one etc... so of course I couldn’t stay...
October 2006, a surprisingly warm sunny afternoon though not at all quite sunny in my heart, going through one of the most trying periods of my life... in a seeming limbo as to the purpose of God for me... having a desire to go back to Nigeria and to the spiritual comfort of my home church `House on the Rock` where the Word was rich and nutritious for my healthy spiritual growth, but perceiving the Lord’s leading to remain here in what I regarded as the spiritual wasteland of Scotland where I had seen such ungodliness and debauchery as cannot even be seen in the most dire of heathens in Nigeria. I had been under all kinds of pressure to leave Scotland and return back to Nigeria; of course, I now realise it was these same Ephesians 6:12 fellows who were trying to get me out of my place of appointment. It was when I began to seek the Lord, He reminded me how He had specifically told me about Scotland in 1999, and about His plan for revival here....
Trying to get back properly in sync with the Lord with what was available here, my Muslim flatmate making things a tinge more difficult with his religious inclinations and pettiness, I walked like a zombie... with a heavy and empty heart all at the same time, just walking... not knowing where I was going but just knowing I wanted to be anywhere else but in that flat... My walks led me or so I thought at the time, but was really the Spirit of the Lord ordering my footsteps to the shore-side of Granton... I didn’t know such a nice place existed, pleasant to view with its pier-side, Boat-club, Yachts, and new build seaside apartments... I had never been there before... I stood at the top of the old stony steps staring at the deep blue sea, my eyes taking in the beauty from end to end as I saw the glistening sun on the waves as they washed ever so gently to the beach and that is when I heard Him... The still small voice that told me “From this day I will start blessing you...” when I broke off an unhealthy association, said “do you like it...”, I said yes Lord its nice... and He said “I will give you a flat here”. Quietly accepting this, I walked down those steps to the road, and then over to the pier-side and well into the Old Chain Pier taking in the whole area in detail... gazing across the sea towards Newhaven Harbour and Ocean Terminal, then across to what I now know to be Fife. It was nice, I liked it... I looked at the Boats and Yachts and my mind began to travel as my imagination dwelt on and enjoyed a time when life would be free of all distressing constraints and I would live in complete security, prosperity and happiness with my wife and my family all around me... Biting my lip, I headed back to that tumultuous stress-filled flat off Ferry Road and resolved to search for a new place to stay. Got onto the Internet, and the first place that came up on a Google search was my current address with the contact name and number underneath. Phoned the chap up and managed to view on a Thursday that same week. It was nice... tastefully furnished all over... glistening with the crème of interior decor, chandeliers etc... even the toilet glistened with the very best of furnishings and art... The Lord said “...remember I promised to give you Houses Filled with all good things well this is one of the first now that you have started listening to Me...” The guy that lived there was an Interior Designer and had only been there for 4 yrs, and had spent all that time decorating the place, and then was moving out... I don’t think he actually realised that he had been decorating the place for me... he referred me to the landlord who promptly
gave me a contract, the Lord providing the deposit and that was me... got into the flat and knelt down in the middle of the living room singing praises to the Most High, and then looked at the cooker and said â€œMy wife would cook for me on this Lord...â€?.
Your brother In Christ, Temisan
“...You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavour? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the light of the world-like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father...” – Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:13 – 16) New Living Translation