A New Perspective on Real Faith
Sometimes God brings people into our lives to give us a whole new perspective – one that opens our eyes and humbles us. One that He knows we need. God brought that perspective to me not long ago by way of a Unite 4 Africa leader from Africa who was in Tucson, Arizona for training. I won’t mention his name or the country in Africa he came from because of the heavy persecution, including death, for claiming Christ in that country.
Okongo had some ministry appointments that day so I decided to spend some time with this gentleman. I thought I would bless him with a tour the Arizona Desert and a visit to the Museum not far from our home. On the drive I asked him to tell me his story about how he became a follower of Jesus Christ. And that’s when the new perspective began to blow me away. I’ve heard many stories from some of the Unite 4 Africa leaders about how God moved in their lives in amazing ways, but this gentleman’s story was unlike any I’d heard. Our great God chose to speak to him in a mosque.
He had recently found a partial copy of the Bible and while reading it had just begun to understand who God really is. Of all places and circumstances, in that mosque he started praying for God to lead him to a church. Now, keep in mind that in that country even asking about a church could have gotten him killed and he had no idea who to turn to for help. But God knew and began speaking to his heart in a very tangible way by telling him to start walking down a particular street, then turn left, then another left, and a right, etc. For several hours he followed God’s very distinct directions until he arrived at a house. Knowing that asking whoever lived there if this was a church could get him in some serious trouble, fear and doubt rose in his heart. But he had taken too many God-directed steps to not take one final step of faith. So, he knocked. When a man answered the door he asked, in an oblique way, just in case, where the “church” was. The person informed him that this house was the church. And that day, after following God’s directions, my friend’s life as a disciple of Jesus began.
Over the next several years, with God directing him in various ways, he traveled to several countries sharing Jesus Christ with others, sometimes under threat of persecution and even potential death. Along the way God continually brought people to him to help, confirming over and over that when asked to follow God’s steps, He can be trusted.
So, let me ask you a personal question. And I ask myself the same question. Are we willing to follow God’s direction? I mean, even if, like this man, it meant possible persecution or even death? I have to confess that I’m not sure what I’d do. I wonder sometimes if I have the faith to just do what God asks me to do without knowing the outcome. Mathew 2:14 describes Joseph getting up in the middle of the night after hearing from God to take his family to Egypt. I know if that happened to me, I would probably answer with something like, “God, if you tell me what else you have in store over the next year, then I will go. And, oh, by the way, can you give me several more signs so I can make sure it’s actually you?”
I am continually humbled God chose you and me to carry out His plan through our partnership with Unite 4 Africa. He continually challenges my faith as I hear these amazing God stories. May God continue to strengthen your faith and mine as we follow Him. May He continue to demonstrate to us, through the faith and obedience of the many amazing men and women leading Unite 4 Africa, that He can be trusted.
By Scott Genzman