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Sermon #79: My Salvation - A True Story of God's Grace

I was completely taken by surprise when God sent me to jail!

It had never dawned on my spirit that God had been trailing me all along. You might be in a similar situation.

If you are still unsaved, you've got to understand that God is trailing you and will never give up on you. You will, however, need to come to a point of attentiveness, for you to hear and heed His call. If you become too busy with some other things, you will definitely miss that which is most important to you.

I will walk you through my personal experience, to show you one of the ways that God could use to get hold of straying people.

I graduated from the University of Zimbabwe in 1991. When I was still at college, I thought I would get a job soon after completing my studies. I became even more convinced about this when I passed well in my final examinations - I do not, however, mean that passing well was a new experience for me.

I used to rent a room in Hatcliffe, Harare, when I was in my second year at college, because I had failed to secure accommodation on campus. Even though I eventually managed to get accommodation on campus in my third year, I decided to continue renting the room, as storage for a few belongings that I had acquired.

After completing my degree I returned to Hatcliffe. I had some money for my upkeep that I had saved from my student allowances. I was looking for a job, but it seemed employment was eluding me. I had initially thought that I would get a job within the first quarter of 1992, but things turned out the other way.

I came to a point when I no longer afforded rent and food. The student allowances had run out and I had no other source of income.

I have a relative by the name Clever Makaza. After seeing my plight, he invited me to stay at his place. He was by then renting a flat in Eastlea, where he was staying with his family. I opted to stay in a semi-complete house that he was building in Kuwadzana 2.

I had no money. I had no food. I was lucky that I had found free accommodation. But even though I was in such bad financial shape, I could not bring myself to ask for money from anybody, not even my closest relatives. I said to myself, "I am not employed; if I borrow money how will I repay? What guarantee would I give the lender?" I also considered it improper to ask for donations. So I kept my silence on such issues.

Having noted my attitude, Clever would come to my place, look around in the room to see which food items had run out, then go to the shops to buy the required provisions, without me asking. That’s what kept me alive.

Clever subsequently got saved. I considered it totally naive of him to have done so. I wondered why people worshiped God. I thought that Christians were mistaken somehow. I did not believe God existed; to me, God was an imaginary figure.

One day Clever came to my place and said, "Sekuru, may you please accompany me to church on Sunday. Do not worry about bus fare; I will pay for you."

Clever had put me in a hard place by requesting this. I just did not want to go to church. I had no business there!

I could have used the excuse of being broke, but Clever had already pre-empted this. I could have used the excuse that I was required at work, but Clever knew that I still had not got a job. I could have used the excuse that I had other commitments, but Clever knew too well that I spent my days doing nothing but sit.

So I was in a hard place. The matter was compounded by the fact that I did not believe that God existed. I would have opted to spend the day staring at my shadow than attend church; but I had no choice. I could not let Clever down, given all that he had done for me. So I agreed; but I was going to accompany him only as a favor. Imagine.

The following Sunday I accompanied Clever to church, as per his request. That was during the third quarter of 1992. The service was held in Hatfield. I did not see or hear anything spectacular in the service; neither did I understand much of what was being preached.

After church we went our separate ways.

I thought I was done with the church business, but was greatly disturbed when the following Sunday Clever returned with the same request. "Again!" I complained internally.

I began to wonder what Clever was up to, for he seemed to have suddenly developed a passion for disrupting my peace. But I gave in to his request...again.

Yet something remarkable happened to me during the second service! Like in the previous service, I neither saw nor heard anything extraordinary, but for some reason I came to a decision that totally transformed my life!

As I sat there, I became sensitive to the existence and presence of God. It was like waking up from a dark night into a bright morning…a holy awakening! I said to myself, "I should have worshipped God a long time ago. What has been holding me back?"

I also vowed that if ever Clever was to depart from the way of the Lord I would not follow him. He would go alone. As I write this article, I am twenty-plus years old in the service of the Lord; glory to Him!

God works in wonderful ways!

If you read my story carefully, you will note that all that happened to me was a build-up to this climax. It is true that faith comes by hearing the message.

God is talking to you. You need to listen to Him. Whether you are a Christian or non-Christian, there are words coming from God relevant to your situation.

I sat and listened. As I did, God arrested me. Now I am happy in His prison.

Do I want to get out of this prison? No! Never! I want to remain in, not doing my own will but His; not having my own kind of freedom, but His. My kind of freedom would spell spiritual death, but His means life, always.

I have shared my story with many people and have received comments of various shades. Some understood me because they had experienced much the same thing.

I still remember vividly one comment that I received from somebody who evidently did not believe in God. He said, “You gave your life to God because you were vulnerable at the time. You had no job; you had no money, so you had no choice.”

What this brother did not appreciate is the fact that the decision that I took was not a physical one. It did not come from my brain. It was a spiritual decision that cannot be explained on the basis of human reasoning.

I sat and heard the preacher talk about God. The preacher was so soft-spoken that (in the physical) one could not have been inspired by the words she said or by the way she gave her presentation. I was new to church and obviously could not understand some of the things that the preacher was talking about.

But as I sat in that service, listening to the words, the Holy Ghost worked on me, triggering a mighty awakening on my part. Suddenly, it was like I had known God for ages!

I did not know that God could give me a job; neither did I know that God could straighten my financial status. I did not know that God could give me divine health and guide my ways. The sermon never touched on such things.

The only thing that my spirit grasped in that service was the certainty of God’s existence; and the need for His Lordship over my life.

So I gave Him my life. It had nothing to do with my financial crisis; although it was the financial help that I received from Clever that made me give in to his request to accompany him to church. It certainly had nothing to do with my ‘vulnerability’ because at the time I did not expect anything from God! I did not know exactly how my life was going to change after accepting Him; all I knew was that by accepting Him I had made the best decision ever.

Never be fooled. You might not be lacking any material thing, but if you are not saved, a God-shaped vacuum still exists in you. That vacuum is crying out, “Please fill me!” This cry, if not satisfied, becomes louder by the day; it would take a lot of negative strength for one to continue to ignore it.

Faith comes by hearing. Remember this always.