July 20, 2022

A Purpose to Please God

My parents taught me about the Gospel from my earliest days. The Bible was an open Book in our house, and my siblings and I were instructed from it daily. I remember that even as a young child, I had a problem with sin in my life. I would fight, tell lies, disobey my parents, and always wanted to have my own way. My parents told me to ask God for forgiveness and pray through to salvation, and one glorious day early in my childhood, I did that. I asked God for forgiveness, and He wonderfully saved my soul. My parents and teachers at church taught me to continue seeking God, and soon He sanctified me. The root of sin was taken out of my life, and the joy of God filled my soul!

The change God made in my life was something that others could see. The students at school would say about me, “God has helped Christiana; she is a child of God.” I became obedient to my parents, had more patience, and was friendly to my peers and siblings.

From an early age, God helped me understand that salvation was a very special gift and that I was a treasure to Him. He taught me to value living a holy life, one that is different from the life of an unbeliever. He gave me a sensitivity so that while growing up, anytime my heart would begin to go astray, the Spirit of God would warn me and remind me that I was to be set apart from the world, living in holiness unto the Lord. Then I would tell God I was sorry, and clear up that matter with Him. Thank God, that relationship with Him has been an anchor in my life.

As I got older, God gave me a desire to read the Bible, and I loved to tell my friends what the Lord had done for me. I really wanted to work for the Lord, and was invited to join the children’s choir. I sang during all of my primary and secondary school years. God also helped me learn a musical instrument to play for Him. Then during my high school years, He baptized me with the Holy Ghost. From then on, I became even more zealous for the Lord and loved to pray. My greatest desire became to serve God to the very best of my ability.

Before I married, my mother became sick and passed on to her reward in Heaven. That was the first time I faced the reality of death, knowing that I could never see my mom again in this lifetime. It was a tough time for me, but God walked with me and was there for me. Seven years later, the Lord took my father also, and again God was a great help and support. Though I have no mother or father, God has been my Guide, Tutor, Mentor—He is everything to me!

When thinking about marriage, my prayer was that God would choose a man for me who loved Him, so that we could serve God together and raise our children in the Gospel. Today, my husband and I have been together for over thirty years, and I can say that the Lord answered my prayer. He gave me a husband who also desires to be working for God most of all, and who has supported me in trying times and encouraged my faith.

God blessed our home with three children. While our oldest was in high school and the youngest was in elementary school, my husband lost his job. That was a very challenging time for us. He pursued a number of businesses, but none succeeded. During those years, we did not understand God’s plan or how things would work out, but He encouraged us to keep trusting in Him. I clung to the promise in Psalm 34:10, “The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.”

As we continued to look to God for direction for our livelihood, an opportunity opened to emigrate from Nigeria to the United Kingdom. We prayed together as a family, looking to God with fasting, and soon the news came that all five of our family members were approved to emigrate. We knew God was opening doors for us, so we proceeded. I later heard that some families were split up because not all of their applications were approved, which confirmed to me that God had worked miraculously on our behalf.

In 2004, when our children were ages ten, thirteen, and sixteen, we moved from Nigeria to the United Kingdom. Relocating was difficult in many ways, but God helped us. I had been a high school teacher in Nigeria and wanted to continue at that level in the United Kingdom. That required me to attend university and earn my credentials again, which the Lord helped me to do despite a number of obstacles. However, I later found out that teaching high school in the United Kingdom was even more challenging than I had envisioned. As I kept looking to God, He opened a new opportunity for me to retrain and teach a different age group, which I have enjoyed ever since.

I cannot help but praise God for godly parents who helped me see the goodness of the Gospel before I knew of anything else in this world. Serving God has been a source of great blessing and joy in my life. God has always been there for me, and when I pray, He hears and answers. By His grace, my desire is that every part of my life should be pleasing to Him.

apostolic faith magazine