Article of Faith: Coincidences Don’t Exist, By Femi Aribisala

Femi Aribisala, Ph.D
Femi Aribisala

God is not a coincidental God.

My DVD player has a slow-motion application.  When you press it, you see the film you are watching in slow-motion.  That way, you are likely to notice things you would otherwise have overlooked.  When I first met the Lord, he set my life to slow-motion for the first two to three months so I could see things I had not noticed before.  Suddenly, I discovered that everything about my life followed an ordered pattern.  There was discernibly a guiding hand to all the things happening around me.

I would ask the Lord a question and wait for him to answer; and he answered every time.  But what was fascinating was the way he answered.  In some cases, he answered directly in my mind.  But more often than not, he used the things around me to answer.  I would turn on the television and he would use someone on the screen to speak to me.  Someone would come to visit me and would answer my question without my asking.  I would open my bible and the answer would speak to me from one of the pages.

On one occasion, I asked the Lord a question while driving.  When I looked up, the answer was there; boldly written on a billboard.  I then wondered whether the billboard was a vision or whether it was really there.  So I went back again on the same route.  When I got there, the billboard was right there, with the same message on it.  Apparently, it had been there for a while.  But why was it that the exact time I asked the Lord the question was the exact time I drove past the billboard?  Did I ask the question or did the Lord cause me to ask it at that particular time?  Your guess is as good as mine.

After some time, the Lord switched off the slow-motion and everything went back to normal speed.  But now I know it is up to me to be observant.  Accordingly, I now spend every day of my life on the look-out for God.  I make it my business to know what God is doing in the situations and circumstances of my life.  It is my business to know the purpose he has purposed for me.  Jesus says: “I must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.” (John 9:4).

Finger of God

Once, the Police arrested my former Business Manager, Ernest Oboh, on trumped-up charges.  I had to go to the station to see what I could do.  Before I left, I said a short prayer asking God for help.  I asked him for the favour of God and the favour of man.

When I got to the Police Station, I spoke to the arresting officer.  The man listened to me intently for a few minutes and then directed that my Manager be released immediately.  Then he gave me his reasons.  He said to me: “I am releasing him for three reasons.  I am releasing him because I have a lot of respect for people who have grey hair, and you have a lot of it.  I am releasing him because I understand you have a doctorate, and I just have lots of respect for people who have doctorates.  I am releasing him because you are a pastor, and I just have a lot of respect for pastors.”

I told the officer: “I am sorry to disagree with you, Sir.  You are not releasing him because of any of those reasons.  You are releasing him because before I came here, I went down on my knees and prayed and asked God to give me favour.”

You see, right from the beginning of that episode, God brought the case to a man whose mind he had already prepared to be sympathetic to me.  All the issues about grey hairs and doctorates were simply the devices of God.  Somebody else could have hated me precisely because my hair was grey, and he could have hated me for having a doctorate.

Strategically-placed helpers

Many years ago, some Liberian refugee members of our fellowship were arrested for “loitering,” and we had to go to the police station to secure their release.  So we knelt down and asked God to take control.  When we got to the Station, we were directed to the office of the Divisional Commander.  Immediately I walked into his office, I saw the kingdom of God.  All over the walls were posters with slogans affirming the supremacy of Christ.

When I sat down, I said to the DCO: “I see, Sir, that you are a Christian.”  In answer to that question, he and I started sharing testimonies about the goodness of the Lord.  This went on for some thirty minutes, after which he suddenly said: “By the way, why have you come to see me?”

I told him some members of our fellowship were arrested for “loitering,” and I wanted to see if I could secure their release.  The policeman was angry.  “For loitering!” he exclaimed.  He not only directed they be released immediately, but that those who arrested them should be locked up.

Don’t panic

Joy Ogwu’s son was going back to the United States from Nigeria.  He had an American passport and a Nigerian passport simultaneously.  He came in with his Nigerian passport, which meant he did not have a Nigerian visa.  But if he tried to leave with his Nigerian passport, they would require him to show a visa for his destination.  That meant he would have to show his American passport.  But dual nationality had then been suspended in Nigeria.  If he only showed his American passport, they would ask him how he got into the country without a Nigerian visa.

It was a “Catch 22” situation.  Joy took the matter to God and asked for his help.  Then she went to the airport with her son.  But on getting there, she had a panic attack.  Perhaps there was someone she knew who could help her?  Perhaps if she spoke politely to the immigration official he would overlook the matter?  Perhaps; perhaps; perhaps.  Finally, the Holy Spirit spoke: “Did you not ask me for help?  So why are you still anxious?”

Remorseful, she stood there in the middle of the airport terminal apologising to God.  She had scarcely finished praying her apologies when someone called her name.  “Professor Ogwu is that you?”  She looked up to see this distinguished military officer standing in front of her with a big grin on his face.  “What are you doing here?” he asked.  “My son is travelling to the United States.”  “Where is he?” the man asked taking charge.  He took charge so completely he ushered him past immigration and literally on to the plane.  Problem solved.

When Joy told her husband what happened, he was unimpressed.  “It was just a coincidence,” he insisted.  Coincidence my foot!  Our God is not a coincidental God.

Femi Aribisala is the fellowship coordinator of Healing Wings. Healing Wings is a pentecostal Christian fellowship which meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He blogs at Femi Aribisala . E-mail: faribisala@yahoo.com

 


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  • Lanre

    Dr. Aribisala, may the Good Lord that we continue to worship, through Jesus Christ, His Son, continue to guide us. You would not believe that just today I was mulling in my mind some critical issues. And I looked up at the Sun. It stood there, bright shining. I said to myself “Why doesn’t the Sun just crash to the floor, to earth?” Of course, scientists will explain away the situation about Stars and Gravity and the Solar System. Deep inside me though I said if God can hold the Sun from dropping in the sky and all the other peculiarities of Nature, then He has to be in control. Everything is ordained and ordered. With prayer comes unfoldment and revelation. Yes. I agree with you, there are no coincidences.

  • Seye

    And that’s what I tell to people. God is in the know of everything. This piece was sent to me by a Muslim friend and it has started my day very well. God bless you for this wonderful message Dr. Aribisala.

  • vince

    Hmmm! I’ve followed you for a while now always with a pre-set mind for rejection of your messages and interpretations based on what obtains in our world today, secondly, you tend to fall-out with abuses on whoever disagrees with your opinion rather than clarify, but sincerely for about 4-5 weeks now your messages I have come to accepts as containing truths. I challenged people with it and they cannot defend… I admonish all readers to always hear him out.

  • Gfada

    GOD’S WORD: AN UNSHAKABLE ANCHOR
    So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. –Romans 10:17

    Are there coincidences with God? Definitely not. Everything in this world happens for a reason. Even the most senseless acts of violence, carnage or natural disaster, happens only because it was permitted. Because God is sovereign and already knows “the end from the beginning” (Isa. 46:10), it means nothing can happen to us by chance or accident. Here it is necessary to point out that God permitting something to occur is entirely different from his perfect will. God’s perfect will is good and pure. “His plans for us are for good not evil.” –Jer. 29:11

    However, it is important to note that this TRUTH is from the Bible, God’s Word, -which was barely quoted in this article. (Is it not strange? 1200 words and only one unrelated scripture!) Rather, we have dubious “testimonies” from this writer which are supposedly meant to build our faith. But “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God!” The Bible contains all the truth we need for “life and godliness.” When we recall that it is this very writer who has at earlier times, dismissed the very notion he is propagating today as nonsense, we must then be wary. According to him:
    – Jesus’ was “murdered senselessly and did not die for our sins.” (It was not part of any divine plan despite numerous scriptures to the contrary).
    – The Bible is not God’s word since he believes it has been corrupted over the years (implying that God is incapable of preserving this divine revelation from corruption).

    These and other heresies by this writer are aimed at attacking your faith and belief in the Word of God. But tell me, what makes this writer believe his own experiences are more credible than those documented in the Bible? What demonic arrogance pushes this writer to say as he did last week “that Hebrews 7 belongs in the trash” and not know that his own deluded tripe is not even fit for the compost heap??

    In conclusion, if you are a Christian, keep reading your Bible (all of it), under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and do not be deceived or confused by “feel-good” messages without scriptural basis. The reason this apostate wants you to disregard the Bible and instead listen to his own lies and twisted truth is because the Word of God exposes him! Remember that apostasy starts gradually and not all at once. You start questioning the Bible, then the Church’s authority, then soon, you believe you’re the only true conduit of God’s messages and others are liars. Sounds like anyone you know??

    Have a blessed week.