There are habits, lifestyles and desires that manifest in the old or natural life. These habits wear off as you become spiritually transformed. Your friends, neighbours, relations and associates should be able to notice the change. This change is an evidence of spiritual transformation which starts one moment then the effects grow with time.
Romans 12:2 says, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” By the power of the Holy Spirit, we are progressively transformed to right by knowing and doing the will of God. Renewing of the mind is a continuous process. The soul, which controls the mind, will and emotions steadily comes under the control and power of the Holy Spirit.
I didn’t know about pornography until the late seventies when I started travelling to advanced countries for international conferences. I discovered that nearly every country had “red districts” or “red zones” or commercial sex markets. I indulged in visiting these places. They are popular spots in big cities like London, Hamburg, Boston, Las Vegas, Paris, Amsterdam, Milan, Madrid and so on. At that time, I didn’t know there was something wrong with visiting those places, except that I had to spend my foreign exchange. In fact, visiting those places became my incentive for travelling for conferences.
As one can imagine, at that time, I was a nominal Christian, a mere church-goer. How could one have been attending church without a Bible? I attended regularly because I had some friends as members and it was an opportunity of meeting them.
My commitment to church attendance was tested when I started the business of Pharmanews in 1979. I had to be directly involved in all the aspects of the business. I thought then that I could achieve a lot by working on Sunday mornings. At that time, my wife would go to church with our young kids while I remained indoors to read, write and edit manuscripts.
Honestly, I didn’t feel guilty for not going to church, except that my wife felt incomplete without me. One Sunday she returned from church and complained that she was embarrassed by one of her friends who asked her whether the young man beside her was her husband. On Sundays that I didn’t feel like working, I would go to church.
This habit of not being committed to church actually started while I was in the University of Ife, Ibadan branch. In the campus, I worshipped in the chapel occasionally. Of course, in my secondary school which was a mission school, regular attendance was compulsory.
I have realised that if God has given you an assignment, He ensures that there is a performance. He makes the necessary provisions for the assignment to be carried out successfully. During the first ten years of Pharmanews, I enjoyed prosperity. It was during this period that God equipped me with various training programmes.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) invited me to a most beneficial training for health editors in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1984. This was the training that exposed me to editors of reputable international biomedical journals. At the same seminar, I was introduced to the European Association of Science Editors (EASE) and I started attending their annual conferences and seminars in various European countries. Of course, from 1977 I started attending annual FIP conferences. I really enjoyed the favour of God and man even though I didn’t know Him as my heavenly Father.
It was after I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour on 11 February, 1989, that certain desires and habits changed. I realised that my life was incomplete, despite the apparent prosperity. There was a vacuum waiting to be filled. In fact, my motive for work changed. I perceived that God has a purpose for my life and specific assignments for me. It dawned on me that my work is a service unto God. I challenged myself on the use of the money, time, talents and other resources God has placed at my disposal. I even realised that I don’t even own any business as such. I am just a steward taking care of God’s business.
One habit I developed is asking God what He wants me to do and to keep me away from doing things that I should not be doing. Psalm 119:37 says it well: “Turn me away from wanting any other plan than yours…”