"I don't want to..."
Those would be the words to describe my feelings this morning. I was walking out of the house to go to the pharmacy and buy medicine for my foot - I stepped on a nail this weekend and have not enjoyed walking on it since! As I got to the junction and waited for a car, I kept debating with myself - should I go and see Inusah or skip it today? I had a good excuse! I had a hole in my foot and would have had to walk about 1/4 mile to get to his house. I mean, come on, did God really expect me to walk that far with a hole from a nail in my foot? Did I have to hobble around like a person with polio? I could just wait until Friday.
Then God put this thought in my mind. Jesus hung on a cross for hours, pinned by three nails for me, and here I was complaining about a small hole. That thought won the arguement. How could I fight against that truth? When I got on the tro-tro (mini-bus) Philippians 3:10 came to mind. 'That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.' I was not really suffering but simply getting to understand a little more of what Christ did for me. He bore the pain of nails for me, so couldn't I take the discomfort of one for someone else?
I am glad God won.
After getting to Inusah's house and waiting for him to finish the last few minutes of a movie he was watching, we started our Bible study. Currently I have been assigning him chapters in John to read and then he asks me questions about them. The goal was to get the Word into his mind and let It answer the questions that were still plaguing him about Christ.
Well, to my suprise he had some questions out of First Corinthains chapter six. After we talked for a while, Inusah looked at me and said, "I am going to become a Christian today, I am going to confess Christ!" Before I could say anything he said, "I today believe that Jesus is Christ, that He is God, and that He died for my sins, and I choose to follow Him, with all my strength, power, will, and mind. I am a Christian. I will not turn back!"
At first, I just sat there. I have witnessed to him for so long. I have asked him so many times if he was ready. And after all the waiting, it seemed so sudden. It had finally happened!
After a moment Inusah asked me what I thought. I took him to Romans chapter ten and showed him God's Word - if he really believed what he had just said, then God said he was saved. I asked him what would happen if he died, and he told me that he would go to Heaven. Then he added, "If my family asks me now if I am a Muslim, I will tell them that I am Christian now." Then, "Pastor now that I am a Christian, what do I need to do?"
I talked to him about the five basic things a Christian should do: read the Bible, pray, go to church, witness, and give. After that, we talked about baptism. On Friday we will continue our study on baptism. Baptism will be a big step. Confession is important to the individual converting from Islam, but not the family. Confession can be hidden, but when a person gets publicly baptized, there is no turning back. Often that is when the persecution starts.
I was still in shock when we parted, and he walked away with a big smile on his face. You never know when the fruit will be ripe, and God will allow it to be picked! I guess that is why faithfulness is so important.
I believe God wanted me to see the truth of Philippians 3:10 today. I must be willing to fellowship with His suffering and die to self, before I can taste the power of His ressurection. There is no resurrection without death, and there is no cross without suffering. God, please let us be willing to feel the nails so that we can see Your person and power!