Spiritual Infancy & Soft Targets.

This is still under Stepping into Salvation, but now that I am already in it, we can as well start discussing the life after. Last time I shared my first few months and years after I gave my life to Christ. This first year was characterized by a mixture of my former religious beliefs while having this new faith of “Believing in Christ”. I had a hybrid faith of sorts. I now know that in truth, I was not properly converted. – “Bado sikuwa nimeokoka”. Looking back I really see how much God loved me and how much He was patient with me. Being born again and delivered from whatever chains of bondage – minor or major is a big affair. As long as I continued attending masses, I was still professing to those beliefs – I was still chained. You know how the Israelites had seen the goodness of the Lord, having been saved from Pharaoh, and then again the army, led by a cloud by day and a flame by night and still one moments of cultivated impatience got them wishing for melons, and garlic… That was me. That is all of us. The problem is bigger than Pharaoh and we need God to get us out of those unseen chains entangling us.

I would love to give a disclaimer here that from this point forward, any reference to my former faith will elicit some legitimate emotional waves. It may feel like I am attacking them or something close to it but I will try to be easy as possible and with love as I share the discoveries that I made years later. I do not come from a point of hate or bitterness because that very faith served me and served me good in its season – it molded a large part of my young life. I say this with a lot of confidence because now, I can tell the difference between church hurt and everything else in between. At this point, I am not yet broken.

My hybrid tendencies at this point were influenced by my background. I felt safer in my previous place and I didn’t trust the future. I did not know what the future held. I came in with the attitude that we all serve and worship one God – Which is a lie people! and that wherever we serve God and however we do it, we are still on the same track but with different names. It doesn’t matter. We are not. This was spiritual infancy. My conclusions on this was mainly because I had never taken a chance to study the Bible by myself among other reasons like the company I kept and the content we consumed. I never knew that we could have a relationship with God. I did not know that we could have a personal relationship with God – to a point where He speaks – audibly. At this point all I knew was; I would be a good person, who can now pray for longer and would probably get everything they wanted because God now has a new “good person” – me. I could not also leave this place I was at because the people there were also good to me and they seemed like truly God fearing people.

I feel I was also on a social/ religious pedestal because, I felt that there was a lot of drama and a lot of lies in these Pentecostal, Evangelical, Holy Spirit filled churches. I was keen on prayer in dark, silent and enclosed spaces as the place to be. Definitely my church was the only place where I would be. The best actually. Every one else was a fraud. I felt a sense of security because my televangelist’s couldn’t get through the airwaves to deceive me. Also there was no way I could send a dollar to support the work of the Lord at the time. I was good with my offering. Tithe, I would need to work on it. Most of those around me especially family could not accept my conversion. There was nothing to show for it on the outside. We still would meet with my aunt in church on Sunday and have a chat before heading home. You can imagine generations having believed something and then you come from out there – the city especially, “acting/ claiming” to know something better, or having discovered a better way to do what they’ve been doing for years. My fam is actually so serious about it that we have Italian and Latin names in our family. There is nothing wrong about names and their sources, just that you can track the inspiration behind the names. Telling my extended family that I was born again would have been a dangerous affair. That is why I did not mention it.

I told my mum though, I had eased her into the idea that I am undertaking an endeavor that is slowly changing my view about religion. That’s why she was constantly asking if I would change churches. In fact, she was asking me if those people have asked me to change my church yet. By family here I mean the larger extended family. Frankly, they hadn’t. But now I know they didn’t do that because as I have learnt, it is the Holy Spirit who does the convicting to change these ways and a lot more. I would have also been resentful of anyone trying to make my church look bad. But I will share a critical meeting we had that got me on a higher gear. If someone had approached me and told me stop attending that church, I would have been defensive. Already many used to point out to a few things here and there and claim Idolatry but I couldn’t hear none of that. It got my heart harder. It took sometime to let go fully. I was trying to protect a system that was out of line in key aspects with what my new life in Christ entailed. By the time I was telling mum (as the most concerned party of this process, not because I report to her my spiritual growth) I have stopped attending masses, she didn’t even seem surprised about it. She didn’t try to convince me otherwise.

I continued visiting the Sunday school at Kerugoya. I even taught once in a while, as a guest teacher. I remained neutral though. By this I mean, I wasn’t there telling kids to repent and give their lives to Christ or they would go to hell. I was still doing my moral teachings there. The ‘obey your parents, do not take your friends pencil without their permission and don’t make noise in class’. Another reason why I never made this public is because these parents would crucify me on the assumption that I am here to turn and mislead their children. On this particular random Sunday, I was visiting Kerugoya and I skipped the mass to teach the Sunday school kids. We would leave home together, but I wouldn’t attend the main church. After the lesson, I received a call from one of my relatives. It was a lengthy one and the main agenda of the call was about my leaving of the church. The family was concerned that as an icon of the younger members of the family, I would really be getting them confused about what to believe and their spiritual journey. In short I would be of a bad influence to them because of leaving the church. At this point, I was not firm enough to contend for the faith. I was still a shallow believer – an infant. Spiritual babies are soft targets for all sorts of attacks. In my mind I had a lot of “wait and see” and I even think I did share that sentiment but not in the words of “Let’s wait and see”. I couldn’t even tell them how good believing and accepting Christ is, in our lives because I was too young spiritually to discern the results and I was still underconfident about sharing my faith. Respect to elders and honoring our parents at this point was a very tricky affair. But I maintained my hush. The topic never came up again officially, but I could tell I was the talk of the family from uncles and aunties to cousins.

I would remain under observation – at least unofficially, but I maintained my spiritual growth and this never came up again until I was deep into the marriage process. Wueh!.. I wish I could tell what was going on in the minds of my people honestly. There was a period of silence there. However, I had started boldly ministering to some of my cousins and even invited a few of them to the church I attended. On another very serious encounter, I lived with two cousins of mine who hosted me at a time when we had been locked out of our rental with my sister. I tell you. However in these hard times, there was still someone who was watching me and desired to have this which I had, but I couldn’t share it out at the time. This was the situation: I am homeless and trying to share the gospel with my hosts, then on the other side, I am inviting others to church to come and hear this gospel – which at this point I cannot share by myself. – Here I applied some wisdom I learnt from my network marketing venture days. If you couldn’t pitch and convince someone to join the business, you invited them over to a joint meeting where the experienced ones did the convincing for you.

Fast forward to 2018, when I was undertaking the various processes of marriage. My grandparents sat me down and we had a very interesting conversation. For starters, they were worried that I have lost the way. You know at their end, the summarized version of my story that reached their ears was “Chris found a girl, he changed churches and now he is going to marry the girl (who made her change churches”. According to them it was automatic in some way that I would be getting married at my local church in Kerugoya – Which I was definitely an alien at this point. To hear that their grandson is getting married to a girl he met in the city, just a year ago, sounded like a lost cause. They asked the name of the church and I told them the name. Faith Harvest International Churches. They didn’t seem to understand me. So I interpreted in Embu. “íketha ría wítíkia,” and prayed that the Lord would give them understanding. Looking back months later, I wondered what I was really doing.

You are probably reading this and can relate to the challenges of convincing the people around you, people who think they know you better and what’s best for you more than God who created you. The modern culture of attending a different church in the city and the parent’s church while upcountry. The very fact that we feel we need to go with our people to the very place we moved from so that we can not disappoint them/ because we miss our friends there just this one time, is part of the subtle bondage we’re under. It is never about them. Its all about Jesus. The backlash is part of it. I grew up knowing people in our church don’t get saved because I thought being saved – “kuokoka” was just speaking in tongues and carrying bibles to church. But hang in there. Trust God to help you handle the process with love, without you falling back into the past in the name of pleasing people and engaging yourself in unnecessary battles trying to protect the Gospel. For years the Gospel has been under attack – Jesus himself was attacked but the testimony stood firm. It is why we are here in the first place. This backlash will never end. It morphs as you grow spiritually. It will range from “wewe umepotea wewe”. “Chunga usiwekelewe mikono ukuwe fala kama wengine” to “You are now in a cult”, to the smart alecs who want to teach you anthropology and Greek to prove you don’t know anything about the Bible. This will never change a thing. (I will share more about cults in the coming posts – because we do have cults under the guise of churches). God remains sovereign. As a parent, we need to give our children a chance to walk their own spiritual journey. Religion (The deeper meaning) is not in our genes. One can profess a faith for over 80-90 years and an encounter with the Lord will turn them around and proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and savior in the last minute. It is not a competition of which religion is better than the other. There is only one way to God and that is through Jesus Christ.

‘Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’

John 14:5-6 NKJV

The word of God is very clear, not through Mary, not by parent’s anointing, or praying through a whole list of late “saints”. Its personal and direct. Otherwise the curtain that was torn into pieces in the temple, tore in vain. Denying Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit all week and appearing to church on Sunday doesn’t cut it. I mentioned, “trusting God to help you handle the process with love” because, the future always awaits all of us, everyone around you is watching and some even give you a deadline of your salvation, but in due course, the fruits of the Holy Spirit will start manifesting in your life and you wont have to convince anyone by word of mouth of what God had been doing on the inside. It Shall be Seen!!!


Spiritual Infancy & Soft Targets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top