The General Overseer of God First Ministries (a.k.a Illumination Assembly) Bishop Dr. Isaac Idahosa has described as “really painful” betrayal in ministry. In an exclusive interview with Christian Benefits magazine on the 31st anniversary celebration of God First Ministries recently held at the church Light House headquarters, Ajah, Lagos, the bishop shared his experiences in the 31 years of existence of his apostolic ministry.
Speaking on how he feels at God First Ministries, also known as Illumination Assembly, clocking 31 years old, the excited Archbishop-designate Isaac Idahosa expressed profound gratitude to God, and said he feels the same way he felt when Illumination Assembly started a little over three decades ago at Minna, Niger state in 1989. “I feel the say way I felt when it all started. It is grace paddled. It is all empowered by grace. Once you are still in grace and you are enjoying grace, the same God who started it is still granting all that is required in keeping us moving on,” he said.
Bishop Idahosa, who disclosed that he started Illumination Assembly, which is now a global church, with a meagre sum of 50 kobo confessed that he never envisaged that the church would attain the high level of glory and fame it has attained today within the space of 31 years of existence. It described his plunge into the ministry as a faith venture. His words: I couldn’t have envisaged the glory and fame that God First Ministries as a church has attained today. It is a faith venture. God will tell you where you are going, but would not tell you what you have to go through before you get there. When you take a step of faith in obedience, God will unveil the next phase. He will keep unveiling as your faith keeps depending and trusting in him,” he shared.
Idahosa pointed that behind the glory and glamour that people see in the church today at 31 was a story of several challenges he had faced and overcame within the years. The urbane gospel preacher said in the course of the 31 years, he had suffered disappointments, rejection and misunderstanding so much that he considered quitting the ministry many times, but God always showed up and kept him going.
“Several times I had moments that I got discouraged, pained, rejected and felt like quitting. But at the same a still small voice keeps pushing us on. You can’t be convinced and be confused. When you receive God’s calling, it’s a divine mandate by the conviction of the Holy Spirit that has given you the task. Sometimes you feel like God, where are you; more so when you want to work in your own time, not knowing that God wants to turn you from an eaglet to an eagle. To become an eagle you have to pass through a lot of training. Sometimes, God can allow certain things. I liken it to the experience of Gideon where he seated under an oak tree discouraged and disgusted. And an angel came and said to him, thou mighty man of valour. The Lord is with you. And Gideon was like asking the angel that in this kind of condition what is mighty about me? If the Lord is with me, why am in this condition? Why couldn’t I pay my bills? Why this rejection? Why all these manners of storms. And the Lord said to him go in this might of yours. It is not what happened around you, but what happens inside you. The strength of a man is not determined by his surrounding. It is determined by what is inside him.”
The amiable preacher further disclosed that ministry and life have both taught him several lessons in the 31 years journey of God First Ministries. “Ministry in 31 years of God First Ministries has taught me that God is over all. Secondly, my ministry is powered by two things; hearing and doing. We hear what he says and carry out what he says. Life and ministry have taught me to always depend on God. Life and ministry have taught me that I would not always have everything I want. Life and ministry have taught me to keep what God is saying until the right time.
“Life and ministry have taught me to mind my business. Life and ministry have taught me to keep my lane and keep the speed. Life and Ministry have taught me not to compete, but to complement. Life and ministry have taught me not to depend on the arm of the flesh. Life and ministry have taught me so many things. Ministry has taught me that life is a school without a graduation. You will keep learning if you want to learn. Bishop Oyedepo said if you don’t learn by examples you will become an example. I like teaching all the time. I like to forgive and to study the more in order to feed my mind, free my mind and focus my mind.”
Bishop Isaac Idahosa particularly explained how he handles betrayal from fellow ministers of God and people generally as General Overseer of Illumination Assembly since 1989 till date and also as a seasoned global front line preacher of the gospel. “Betrayal in ministry is really painful, but I sleep like a baby in the face of betrayal in ministry. As I told you about three things: I feed my mind, free my mind and focus my mind. God has made provision for our rescue; even before we entered into ministry. God does not react. He is a proactive God. He has made the plan available even before your failures. It’s not about failures, pains, betrayal or frustrations. It is about God. God is too faithful to fail,” the bishop remarked.
# Read the full details and comprehensive interview with Bishop Dr. Isaac Idahosa on the 31st Anniversary of God First Ministries in the current and regular (hard copy) edition of Christian Benefits magazine.