How Jesus met a radical Muslim
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. - Romans 15:4
Last year I had the privilege of meeting a former radical Muslim. This Turkish man had wonderfully encountered Jesus as more than just an inspired prophet. What struck me most was not his past or how much he had been delivered from, though both were obviously significant; I was most inspired by how this man who had once been an enemy to Christians, had now become a brother.
Hearing of angelic visitations, heavenly dreams, spiritual visions and other powerful manifestations of God’s grace in the Muslim world is not rare. What I had yet to hear was someone drawn into friendship with the Father purely on the weight of having read the Bible. As I spent time with this humble, passionate follower of Jesus I couldn’t help but feel floored by his story.
My new friend had read the Quran and the entire Bible, coming to the conclusion entirely “on his own” - with no believers encouraging his thoughts, that the same God could not have authored both books. He re-read the Quran and then re-read the Bible, at which time he believed the Gospel of good news and surrendered his heart to Jesus. This man is now a pastor and evangelist to his Muslim brothers and sisters.
If a radical Muslim comes to Jesus solely by reading God’s Word - how should it be changing me?
Last week, far from the Middle East, it dawned on me how many friends I have who are struggling to “feel” or “hear” God. Anyone who knows me knows I value greatly all the gifts of the Holy Spirit and spiritual experiences. I can’t help but be concerned, though, that our passion for the simplicity of knowing God - by His Word - may be falling flat to our emotional or experiential realities.
Brothers and sisters: God is a speaking, hearing Father. Jesus is a speaking, hearing brother. The Holy Spirit is a speaking, hearing helper. Regardless of what you are, in this moment, “receiving” from God, I challenge you to start fresh with the God of miracles in the only book holding power enough to win the least of likely converts.
Invite the Holy Spirit to speak to you by God’s Word. Jesus! Give me a hunger for Your Word! Increase my passion for the Bible. To know it and be known by it. For two millennia these Words on inspired pages have changed the world. Don’t for even a second believe the lie that you are the exception.
Return to the basics.
Return to the Bible.
Holy Spirit, please pour out the full weight of God’s glory into our hearts by the written Word.
Spark a fire for the Word that burns brighter in me than any other flame.