Praise God that we are learning all the time. There are so many things to learn. Things that cannot be learned in a class room. Things that must be learned as we are going about doing what God has called us to.
We are being stretched in so many ways. Wonderful ways. Ways that we did not know was possible. Let me tell you about one.....
There is a man that we met the first day we started doing the functional fitness classes. He gave his life to Jesus and met Jesus in a very radical and real way. When I say he met Jesus, I mean he met Jesus. As we prayed for him, he began seeing a vision of Jesus walking in to his room and tell him that he would now follow Him. This man gave up everything, immediately. This has nothing to do with ANYTHING we said or did, we only prayed for him.
Last week he went to for an official interview with those who are overseeing his asylum case. He told them he wants to change his religion and his name. Understandably, they asked him, "why do you want to change your religion? Why do you want to become Christian." Here was his answer, "Because I saw Jesus." End of sentence. End of discussion. Mic drop.....silence.
Before we ever gave this man a bible he was witnessing and leading his friends to Christ telling biblically accurate stories. Several times we would pull him aside and ask, "have you read the bible before?" His answer was always, "No, Jesus comes to me at night and teaches me." What do you do with this???? We have no category to put him in!! What do you do with a man who is being discipled personally by Jesus?!?!
As a man coming from his cultural he understands the concept of a Holy Book. Mostly those from his cultural do not read their Holy Book for content but rather for spiritual blessing. As in earning favor with God. I would have rejected this before but something interesting occurred to me yesterday.
I sent my friend a text asking him how he was doing. He responded that he has been spending his day sitting by the river reading his bible. This made my heart swell with joy! Yet something bigger was happening. Something I was learning. The bible is inspired by God in it's content. All that it says is true. But this man was seeing something that I had never seen before. This man has been tortured, beaten, thrown around, pushed out of his country, and forced to live in horrible conditions. Two months ago he was on intense medication for anxiety and depression. Today he is free, totally. Here is what he is seeing, when he reads the bible he feels the peace of God come into his heart. Literally he is learning to run to the word of God as his comfort in the time of storm.
I do not believe that reading the bible earns any favor with God. I believe Jesus earned our favor with God for us. Yet I am seeing that there is tremendous blessing - even apart from the content - from reading the bible. Just to sit and listen to the voice of your Father speaking over you, regardless of what He says, is a wonderful blessing from God.
The sound of our Father's voice is a tremendous comfort to us. Let us give Him all of our attention!