Days rolled into weeks, and weeks rolled into months as time flew past rapidly, however, nothing eventful happened. Daniel continued in his studies and in his relationship with Obinna. He was a brilliant student and was doing well in his class in Jss1. His teachers took note of him and continued to encourage and befriend him. Obinna, however, was not doing quite well. Not because he was not brilliant, but rather, he rarely paid attention to his studies. He will always copy Daniel’s assignments whenever the teacher gave them assignments to do, and he made Daniel to be assisting him with answers during their examinations- a practice which displeased God; but his Angels continued their protection over him.
His grandmother too continued to pray for his wellbeing and salvation, while Mr. Agbo kept up his prayers for his school children and the Bible club. The demons were rejoicing in the little victory that they were gaining over Daniel, as Obinna had taught him to cheat in the exams and to tell ‘little’ lies. At least, these were signs of bigger things to come. While, they were basking in their plans, the plan of God was cooking.
During their 3rd term in Daniel’s Jss1 class, the school’s Bible club organized an evangelism week. They went from class to class preaching God’s word to the students in all the classes, and inviting them to their fellowship meetings. Daniel was touched in his heart as he remembered all the words and counsels of his grand mum to him; so, he decided to start attending the bible clubs. They met just twice in a week during break times. He tried to invite Obinna along, but Obinna gave the excuse of his needing his break times so he can buy food, chat with friends, and play football. “I cannot sit down again for another class during break, when I have been sitting down all day”, he said. Therefore, Daniel went alone to the bible club. He kept this practice all through his 3rd term, and this made him get closer to God, and farther away from the influence of Obinna.
The long summer holidays came and passed. Daniel had been invited to the Bible Club’s students camp in August, but his father refused to let him attend as he felt he was too young. “Don’t worry, when you enter SS1, I can permit you to be going for all those programs”, he said.
Schools resumed again as the long break came to an end. By this time, Daniel and Obinna were to enter to JSS2. Krioni and Nathan, guardian angels of Daniel were also ready for what God was going to do that season. The Lord had sent a report that it was in his JSS2 that Daniel was going to personally meet with Mr. Thomas Agbo. Times of great trials were going to come for Daniel, as the Lord had foretold, but Mr. Agbo will be instrumental in leading him through it all. Therefore, before Satan and his demons could make any move, the Lord of hosts acted first.
Nathan left Daniel in Krioni’s care while he went to meet with Jahdiel on the first day of resumption.
“Hail Jahdiel!” he greeted.
“Hail Nathan!” Jahdiel replied, “how has it been with you?”,
“Not quite eventful. The young Daniel has a good grandmother who has played a great role in presenting him. So, apart from a few lying and fighting here and there, he was generally good”. Nathan concluded, “What of you?”
“Ah! It was a great trying time for Thomas”, Jahdiel said, “Two of his children fell sick and he spent quite some amounts treating them. The enemy wanted to use it to discourage him, but he is a very strong man. The Lord strengthened him and healed his children. All is well now. Thanks to the Lord of Hosts!!”
“Any news from the Almighty?”, Nathan asked.
“Yes, Gabriel, the messenger, brought us news that Mr. Thomas will be speaking at the Bible club in two weeks’ time. Once he finishes speaking, the Holy Spirit will press it in the heart of the young Daniel to go and meet him for counselling. At first, he is going to resist it, but all hands must be on deck to ensure that no demon discourages him from going to see Mr. Thomas personally”, Jahdiel said.
“Oh! That’s good”, Nathan said.
“Well” said Jahdiel, “the second news is not so good. Daniel did so well in his exams. He will be announced as the best student in Jss1. This will cause a spirit of pride and arrogance to gain an inroad into him, and this spirit will be a major precursor to all the challenges he will face in later years”.
“Oh Pride!”, Nathan exhaled, “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall”.
“So says the wise king Solomon,” Jahdiel continued, “but men will never learn. Of all the sins on earth pride is the greatest because it cuts a man short from God’s grace. However, the mercy of God will be for Daniel and he will be delivered. In years to come, he will be led to the cross. Then and only then will we know his final decision – to follow God or the world”.
“God will help us all”, Nathan prayed.
“Amen”, Jahdiel replied, as Nathan took his leave to report to Krioni the heavenly news.
Two weeks later on a Friday during break, Mr. Thomas Agbo was to preach at the Bible club. For the first time, Obinna offered to follow Daniel to fellowship and Daniel was very happy. They went together to the fellowship. Mr. Agbo picked his text from 1 Corinthians 15:33- “Bad company corrupts good character”.
Citing the story of Amnon, the son of David in 2 Samuel 13:1- end, who had a bad friend that advised him on how to rape his half-sister, he encouraged the student to be careful of the friends they keep.
“If your best friend is not a Christian, and he is not encouraging you to come to fellowship, read your bible and books, and to live a good life, then he is not the best friend for you, cut off from such a person,” he said.
He made them realize that no matter how good a person is, if he keeps company constantly with a bad person, he will most likely end up being bad.
“I am not saying you should not be friendly with your classmates and age mates; you can be friendly with them but they should not be your close friends. Even Jesus was called the “Friend of sinners” because he was friendly with everyone including those who were seen as ‘sinners’; but they were not his closest friends. His closest friends were his disciples – Peter, James, John, etc. – who were also good people and righteous followers of Jesus,” he said.
“Therefore, keep company with Christians, and cut off from all your ungodly friends. Remember once again, “Bad company corrupts good character”, he concluded.
His preaching touched Daniel so much as he sometimes found himself wondering how he will handle his friend, Obinna. Since, he knew him, he had only learnt lying, cheating in exams and laziness from Obinna. He has not learnt from him any good thing. Should he meet with Mr. Agbo and ask him for advice? He resolved in himself that he will do just that.
“Daniel,” Obinna called, as he shook Daniel out of reverie. “What are you thinking about?”, he asked.
“I think I need to see Mr. Agbo”, he said absentmindedly.
“Why do you want to see him”, Obinna asked.
By then, Daniel had fully recovered himself and said, “Oh never mind”. But the demon forces around had already heard what he said. Suddenly it began to dawn on them why they had a premonition that something was going to happen. This had made them to force Obinna to come to fellowship that day just to be close to Daniel.
Krioni and Nathan, and other nearby angels were already glaring at the demons Malice, Fighting and Stubbornness who were grinning sheepishly. “Now we know what you want to do”, Malice said, “and we will not let it happen”. Krioni and Nathan did not say a word. “Let us go!”, Fighting shouted in Obinna’s mind. “Let us go”, Obinna said to Daniel as he pulled him and they left the fellowship hall.
Throughout that weekend Daniel struggled with his mind whether to see Mr. Thomas next week or to just forget it. Many voices whispered in his mind. Some told him not to go. Some told him that Mr. Thomas will flog him if he goes. Some told him that there was no need for him to go; after all, Obinna had started going to fellowship. If anyone could see in the spirit, they would have seen the demons – Deception, Lying and Laziness who were specially sent to discourage Daniel from his decision. However, the Spirit pressed it firm on his heart. In fact, that Sunday, the Sunday school teacher preached on the verse that said, “In the multitude of counselling there is safety”. He encouraged the children to learn to seek advice from their parents, pastors, godly teachers and senior. After that, Daniel made up his mind to see Mr. Agbo the next day.
During break on Monday, Daniel set out to go and see Mr. Agbo. Suddenly, he saw Obinna drag him back with a smile on his face and said, “Let us go to the canteen and buy snacks to eat”.
“No, thank you”, Daniel said, “I have somewhere to go. When I am through, I will meet you at the football pitch”.
“No, let us go now”, Obinna said stubbornly as if pressed by some external unseen forces, as he stubbornly held Daniel’s hand.
In the realms of the unseen, Krioni and Nathan pulled their swords from the sheath and threatened the demons to let Daniel go or be harmed. Afraid of what the Angels will do, they let go.
“No,” said Daniel, “I have to go to my own place first. I will see you later”.
“Ok”, said Obinna, as he reluctantly let him go.
Mr. Agbo’s office door was open as Daniel approached, yet he knocked before entering.
“Good day Sir”, Daniel greeted.
“Good day, my boy, what can I do for you”, Mr. Agbo responded.
“Sir, my name is Daniel Atuegwu, I am in Jss 2c, I want to seek your advice, sir”, he responded.
“Ok, sit down”, Mr. Agbo responded.
Jahdiel smiled at Nathan and Krioni as the young Daniel entered Mr. Agbo’s office.
“A job well done”, he said to them.
“All thanks to the Lord”, they responded.
Their purpose achieved, they left Mr. Agbo and Daniel to talk while they put their heads together to discuss strategies for the coming days and the coming trials of Daniel Atuegwu. Below them Mr. Agbo and Daniel talked, while unseen above, three angels sat together holding a crucial meeting for their well-being.