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We Give Ourselves Far Too Much Credit
AUTHOR: A missionary* living among the Fotizo people in the Turkic-Arabic area | CATEGORY: #MissionariesMobilized, #TransformingLives | POSTED Oct 20, 2017
One of the things God has recently been teaching me is how to realistically consider the roll I play in reaching this country for Christ. We have been studying some of the common denominators that are present with people who come to faith from an Islamic background. Present in most cases are dreams and visions sent from God. These visions usually point them toward Christ or to the Bible. In many instances, these occurrences went on for years before a person actually came to faith in Christ. In most cases, people also had a miraculous encounter with God’s Word. Somehow these believers got their hands on a copy of the Bible. What was interesting to me is that a large majority had no interaction whatsoever with a foreign worker.
This left me thinking. What is my purpose here? So much of the process of someone coming to faith in Christ is out of my control. I have no control over sending someone visions. Sure, I can give people God’s Word, but they will not be ready to accept his Word—which they believe to be corrupted by Christians—unless God softens their hearts. So much of someone becoming a disciple of Christ depends on the miraculous work of God in their lives.
So, what is it we are here to do? Combine these thoughts with the fact that my spouse and I are still in the language learning process, most days it can seem like we are in over our heads. However, even though so much of God’s work is not dependent upon us, God has chosen not to work alone. He has chosen to use his church as his instrument to reach the lost.
And so we press on. . . . We continue learning the language. We continue sharing as much as we can about our faith. We continue to seek what I like to call divine coincidences—times when we meet with people and God clearly had his hand in guiding us to them at that particular moment. What may seem like coincidence to us is the result of God engineering circumstances in ways that gives those seeking him an opportunity to find him.
Maybe it’s us taking the time to pray for a neighbor in need. Maybe it’s an opportunity to explain communion while showing friends our wedding album. Maybe it’s as simple as talking to someone whom society has deemed an outcast. Whatever it is, we pray for and anticipate divine coincidences every day. We pray every day that God would be working in miraculous ways in this land. We pray that he would be preparing an awakening, a spiritual movement of people coming to faith in Christ. While our role may be small in all of this, we believe God uses his followers in critical ways to point people towards himself. We want to be obedient and ready to be used by him at every moment.
*Names omitted for security reasons.