From late Arch Bishop Benson Idahosa’s archive; How God tempted me when I was desperately in need of a breakthrough.
In June 1976, my wife and I visited people we regarded as parents in the ministry in a country called UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. We had been in the ministry for years. At that time, what I now call breakthrough hadn’t come. We were struggling, we were trying but despite every effort we made, it seemed there was no breakthrough.
Although, we had souls and membership, we even had men and women coming to the church, but to make two ends meet wasn’t there.
Because we didn’t have much, it was difficult to preach at home. In June 1976, my wife and I went to visit our spiritual parents whom I have known since 1960.
While we were there, my spiritual father said to me, “Benson, come to the car.”
My wife and I went into the car. He began to drive us around. He said the Lord wanted him to be a blessing to me and my wife.
That was the only one thing you don’t tempt me with. When God asks you to bless me, don’t use it to tempt me because I will never say NO!
He took us to three wealthy places (most wealthy, wealthy and the well to do areas).
“I want you to choose a home out of the homes advertised for sale and our foundation will buy you the home and give you a few years to pay us back.”
But I know the Bible says, lead us not into temptation but this was a genuine Holy Ghost temptation and I was about to fall into it.
My wife and I went with them.
We started from the well to do area.
The first home we saw (four bedrooms and a basement), looked so beautiful and the home we had at that time was just a house. So, we said, “we choose this.”
“Don’t choose yet.” He said.
Then he took us to another area. We didn’t know that was the wealthy area.
We entered the home (four bedrooms, two guests rooms, two living rooms, music room for children and swimming pool).
“I choose this.” I said.
He then took us to the wealthiest area.
We came down from the car, went in and my wife said in our native language, “we don’t need the first two because this house is so beautiful.”
“We choose this instead.” I said.
We asked how much? And they said, “1.2 million dollars”.
The income of our ministry per year was just 3000 dollars. Sweat came upon me. I liked the house but I hated the price.
He said, “Don’t look at the price, the foundation will pay.”
Everything was in that house, I could see where my bed was going to be. Finally we had dinner and went to bed.
At 2am, I heard “Son…”
And I asked, “Who?”
He said, “I am your Heavenly Father.”
I said, ”devil, I bind you in Jesus Name, I rebuke you!”
The Lord said to me, ”Have you finished?”
“Yes.” I replied.
He said, “Go home! If you stay here, I kill you!”
I began to cry while speaking in tongues…(I shall not die but live).
Just then, I touched my wife and said, “The Lord said we should go home. We shouldn’t take that house. If we stay here, He will kill us.”
My wife said, “Tell Him to talk to me!”
“The Lord is serious!” I replied.
“He did not tell me. If He’s going to kill you. Let Him kill you, He’s not going to kill me.” She said.
I stood up, went to the room of the man of God and his wife. After knocking, he said, “Yes?”
“the Lord asked me to go, or He will kill me.” I said.
“Are you alright?” He asked.
“Benson, go and sleep, the excitement is troubling you.” His wife said.
“No, its not excitement, it’s the Lord who says He’s gonna kill me if I don’t leave.” I affirmed.
The next morning, I left for the airport because I thought I will die by 6AM if I didn’t leave.
By 5:20am, I got a taxi to the airport. When I arrived New York, I called the man of God (T.L Osborne) to check on my wife, if she had died.
He asked if I wanted to talk to her.
I said, “yes.”
He gave my wife the phone and I spoke with her.
Then, T.L Osborne said to me, “Benson, if you obey God, having seen all you saw and chose to go, the Lord shall honour your faith”
From New York, I flew to London and from London to Lagos. Between New York and London, the Lord said to me, “Everything you saw in America that you liked, if you go and do what I called you to do in Africa, I shall give them to you and more!”
I began to cry because I had never seen that type of house before and there was no way I would see that type of house again.
I said, “Lord, how am I going to have a house like the one they wanted to give me and you asked me to go?”
He said, “Preach me to the world and I will give you more than you’re asking for. Go home and do what I raised you for and you shall have more than you need”.
When I arrived home, I went to the telephone company to call America and my wife was still alive.
She asked, “When are you coming?”
I said, “Bring my luggage along when you are returning!”
The next month, I held a crusade. Before then, our attendance in any crusade used to be 2000-3000, but the first crusade after that experience, was 10,000 – 20,000.
A year later, 100,000 people attended our crusade and to the glory of God, I now stand before one million people several times to proclaim the Gospel.
Few years after that experience, the most expensive house that was to kill me, is now like one of my guest houses.
God gave us more than we asked for.