Christian living

CHRISTIANS IN LAGOS: 10 WAYS TO BUILD A STRONGER SPIRITUAL LIFE

Christians in Lagos

If you have not worked in Lagos before, you may not understand how difficult it is for Christians to maintain a spiritual walk with God in that busy city.

I still remember when I first got a job there. I had waited for close to a year searching for a job and one day, I attended an interview somewhere in Surulere, and boom! I got a mail informing me to resume work. I was so excited.

It was going to be my first job in a corporate organisation and in a field different from what I was trained to do. As expected, I went to Idumota, got new clothes and shoes and got ready to commence work but it never occurred to me that I would ever go for days without having my quiet time.

I stayed somewhere around Ayobo and by 5:30 a.m, I had to be out of my house otherwise I’d get to work late.  It was in Lagos that I first saw a situation where one could hardly tell who was walking beside you as you hurried to the bus stop. We just saw shapes and heard footsteps. I hit the road again by 5p.m and many times I arrive home not until 10 or 11 p.m. Lagos is a crazy place to work, I tell you.

Now imagine a person living in Sango and going to Lekki everyday. That’s suicidal.

For us as Christians, we know our hustling ends here. We understand that merely pursuing earthly gains will not count in eternity. This body we pamper so much will one day rot. Yes, it will and we will have to stand before God and give an account of what we spent our lives doing.

On a serious note, it is dangerous to leave our soul unattended to.  Apart from the fact that we will walk constantly in the flesh and do things displeasing to God, we will never be able to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives. For hundreds of Christians residing there, attending mid-week services is an impossible task.

How can Christians in Lagos build a strong relationship with Christ? Here are 10 helpful steps.

1. Make a decision not to step out of your house without reading at least a verse of the Bible.

The thing is, taking small steps towards spending time with the Word is more profitable than carving out time for a once in a week study. This means you will have to adjust your schedule to fit in this new goal. Say, waking up 10 minutes earlier than your usual time. I have said this before, Habits are not formed in a day. Start small and then gradually increase the time.

2. Get an Audio Bible.

This tool is one of the best ways to keep the word at your fingertip. Plug in an earpiece while you are stuck in traffic instead of quickly running to social media to check out the latest updates. You can always do that later.

Before you leave in the morning, decide on what chapter to listen to for the day. There is the possibility to forget after carrying out this exercise the first day. There is no cause for alarm. Ask the Holy Spirit to keep reminding you. This has worked many times for me and is still working. I find myself longing to reach out to the Word because I rely so much on Him.

For tools, read 5 tools to spice your devotional life

3. Get Sermons.

This is a Yes Yes for me. Get lots of sermons and download to your phone. Whether you are driving home or you are in a commercial bus, reaching out for those grace-filled words will help you.

Faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God. Apart from tuning in to your favourite radio stations or playing those heart lifting songs, include edifying sermons from preachers to feed your spirit.

Youtube is a great place to visit. Download the Youtube app and save sermons offline. Another alternative is to visit the websites of those preachers. They would usually make provisions for access to their sermons. This again will take a lot of discipline because your flesh prefers to spend those hours clicking comedy videos and scrolling down your newsfeed.

 

4. Chat with a friend on WhatsApp about a scripture.

Use the opportunity to share the word with your friend or spouse who may also be held up in traffic. In your general discussions, chip in the verse you have read for the day, ask your friend to do same. This will keep you conscious of God’s word.

5. Plan your weekend to include a personal time with God.

You have to be deliberate about this. While you may have chores and laundry to do, create time on Saturday to spend quality time with God. I’m aware that some Christians work on Saturday. If Saturday is not feasible, then make that plan for Sunday even if it is for an hour or two.

Break it down the way you want. You could decide to listen to a sermon on a particular topic for that day and pray on it. You could include bible reading, meditations, praying in the Spirit. Just set out a time and look forward to it.

6. Make Word Designs.

There are apps like Canva, Font Studio or Inshot which allows you to design texts on pictures. I find this useful when I need to stay awake. It keeps my mind at alert.

Using the text editor, write out the scripture for the day and your thoughts on it. Pixabay and Pexels are great places to download pictures from. Apart from the fact that it is fun and interesting, you will unconsciously be renewing your mind.  Below is a sample of one of my word designs.

You can also put up your prayer points in this format. It keeps you organised especially when you don’t know what to pray about.

7.  What’s your Friday hangout like?

Friday evenings are generally hangout evenings in Lagos especially for Men. Who wants to rush home on a friday evening? Lots of Lagosians hang out after work to unwind before heading home. On one or more of those hangouts, can you schedule to meet with Christian friends to talk about the Word? Iron sharpens iron.

8. Set boundaries.

Let’s face the truth:If we sit and reflect on what we spend our time doing after work, we will discover that some of the things we engage in are really unprofitable.  I remember how I would return from work and chat endlessly with friends even though I was tired and sometimes it would be after midnight before I finally got on my bed.
If we can cut down on some of those activities, we will have enough time for the Word.
It’s okay to say No. I know there are times when a friend comes online with a hot gist just as you are about to shut down for the day and it’s so difficult to say, ‘Let’s talk about this tomorrow.’  You do not only want to hear what she has to say, you also don’t want to offend your friend.
 If you want to develop your spiritual walk badly, you will have to make certain decisions to see that happen. Establish boundaries. Every minute counts.

9. Starting your day with checking social media or emails will disorganise your day.

I write this from experience. I notice that when the first thing I do when I wake up is check my notifications on my social media handles, my day never goes so well. It’s either I am restless, anxious or confused. From time to time, I would find myself going back to my newsfeed and checking for new updates.
I also discover that when I do this,  concentrating on my devotion becomes usually very difficult.
Even if you have a job that requires you to be on the net all day, ensure you have communed with God before that happens. If possible, put your phone on airplane mood if there is a tendency to get distracted.

10. Get Christian literature and movies.

Thank God for e-books. You can read this anytime as long as your phone is charged. There are lots of e-books you can download to your phone. Most of the books written by Kenneth Hagins that I have read were in soft copies.  Olajumoke Hadassah shares ebooks every month on her Facebook wall. You can visit her facebook page.
If you are a lover of novels, you can also get soft copies. Francine Rivers and Frank Peretti novels will keep you glued to your phone.
Watching Christian movies and short films is also another way to keep yourself both entertained and inspired. There are lots of them online. By the way have you seen God’s Not dead 2 and Abejoye? Wonderful movies, I tell you. Deep thots films by Opeyemi Akintunde is another great avenue to find short christian films. You can also visit MZFM or Damilola Bamiloye’s YouTube channel for edifying movies.
On a closing note:
We can’t do any of these without the help of the Holy Spirit. Again, success in any of these steps may not come in a day. We depend and cooperate with the Holy Spirit for a deeper relationship with God. He is our helper.
I look forward to hearing testimonies of how your spiritual life has been strengthened through these steps.
What other way do you think a Christian can develop his spiritual walk in the midst of a busy schedule? Do leave a comment below. Again, share this post with anyone who would be blessed by this.

 

8 thoughts on “CHRISTIANS IN LAGOS: 10 WAYS TO BUILD A STRONGER SPIRITUAL LIFE”

  1. God bless you ma. Another thing we can do is to learn to pray while working. At times we get so busy that we may not be able to lift our hands off the table but we can consciously train our minds to always express some things to God in our hearts even with mouths closed.Simple intervals of worship will greatly do make our spirit cool and connected.THANK YOU MA!

  2. This is just me presently.. I started working after some time off my previous flexible job outside Lagos and now I do wish I can go back to the days I would sit with my bible, pray at night, listen to sermons while working at home or even on the road. The hustling and bustling on lagos roads can be so distracting.

    Will surely seek the help of the Holy Spirit and put into practice some of the points highlighted here. Thanks Ife.

  3. I can relate so well to that hustle and bustling life. It could be draining at times. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I'm sure you will see those beautiful study and prayer times return again. Thanks for reading.

  4. Kai!! I relate with this. Got to Nigeria from in Feb and landed in Lagos and I saw poverty,stress,pain,traffic jam,anger etc written all over pple's face and sincerely all my spiritual vibes and vigor seemed to be sapped and drained in just one day that I boarded a bus from Bariga to VI and fro. I got home and I realized I couldn't pray or flow in the Spirit as I would have normally done while I was out of the country(for some years). I began questioning what was wrong and then I realized the environment, the angry words and looks and tensed atmosphere had really vexed my soul(as the Bible spoke of the soul of that Righteous man Lot being vexed daily by what he sees and hears). I had to pause and asked the HOLYGHOST how one can survive in this land and how a christian can continually grow it such an atmosphere.
    Well…I didnt have up to the ten you gave but I totally agree with them. We must be deliberate about our growth and that is in the place of DEVOTION (intimacy). Pray often in the HOLYGHOST even while working and walking (if you have been baptised in Him and if not….pls seek it, its a vital tool not just to survive but to live beyond this earth realm).
    Also, being a citizen of heavenly Zion(seated in heavenly places), we are meant to learn and master how to constantly switch from this earthly realm to the heavenly realm(by putting in place many of the thing you listed)….because the longer we stay on this earth realm,the more the dusts of this earth will settle on us and we begin to be vexed by almost everything. But when we often translocate ourselves to that heavenly realm where we belong, we automatically carry the radiance of heaven all around us such that others begin to wonder if we aren't in this same world(Lagos)!!?
    Thanks Ife Dada for this great piece(as usual)

  5. I know you poured your heart into this comment. It held me glued from start to finish. Thanks you for sharing these important nuggets. I really love the part of praying consistently in the Spirit. It brings so much peace to our souls. Thanks again for sharing.

    1. I trust that with the help of the Holy Spirit, you will see the results you desires. Thanks for stopping by, Motunrayo

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