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.
7. What’s your Friday hangout like?
8. Set boundaries.
9. Starting your day with checking social media or emails will disorganise your day.
10. Get Christian literature and movies.