Walking With Muslims
… It has been an experience of utter faith and abandon to God’s will in the deepest crevices of our souls, or a walking in our own pitiful strength. In the end, though, it was an experience of jubilant praises and quiet awe, of “praise the Lord” shouts and sighs of deep gratitude and imperative silence before the Almighty. As Jude walked with Muslims, he tried to place his feet in the footprints of God that he not fall out of sync, and dared not to leap away as the momentum grew.
It was frequently chaotic. Jude learned that chaos was part of the process about which the only thing constant was God’s Spirit and the unexpected challenges and requisite dependence on Him….
Farooq and Rasheed were two very different Muslim men when Jude knew them. Their personalities, backgrounds, education, family relationships were distinctively different from one another. The difference required individualized methods, and their relationship with Jude was not the same. Those differences were not immediately apparent, but ultimately God taught Jude that respect, genuine love, patience, prayer and utter abandon to the leading of the Holy Spirit would yield fruit. The measure of the fruit of each man’s ministry was more an indicator of their differences in personalities, rather than their commitment to the task or faithfulness to God’s leading. Both men’s faith, both men’s diligence in doing the work of God often caused Jude to reflect on his own spiritual condition with repentance....
There were only a few lessons that Jude would pass on to readers, a few things that seemed to repeatedly call him to attention before the Lord.
- The significance of his call to work with Muslims in the city. There was no turning back until God turned him back. Perseverance was essential.
- Submission: wait on the Lord, then rest in Him, with or without an answer.
- Believe that He will accomplish His purpose….
- Priesthood of the believers. His Holy Spirit indwells the hearts of ALL believers, including those he taught, including those newest of MBBs [Muslim-Background Believers]. They too are inspired.
- Acknowledge that: neither the power of his planning nor the method he suggested to Rasheed and Farooq; neither by choosing the perfect Scriptures for each circumstance, nor by his winsome, culturally relevant words would MBBs be persuaded to grow in their faith and faithfulness. It was only by the power of God’s Spirit working through an entirely submitted human spirit—if the MBBs were looking more at Jude, they may have missed the main focus! They need ALL focus on the King!”
- “Leadership is more about ‘being’ than ‘doing.’” Oswald Chambers’ quote echoed often in Jude’s spirit. Being was not only something to teach, it was something to ‘be’ himself as God’s Word convicted him. Scripture repeatedly teaches “being” and then “doing.” 1 Tim 3:1-13. For Jude, leadership was discipleship!
- Choosing to disciple in a way that will allow the work to be as indigenous as possible is just that, a daily choice. It may mean to set aside your own personal desires to “see” the work, or to “model” what your disciple should do, or to introduce someone else to your disciple or his work.
- Deny yourself and commit your heart to your disciple’s spiritual good. Those decisions aren’t always easy or obvious, but require thoughtful practice and much prayer.
- “You still look like a Muslim.” “Of course I do. The change takes place on the inside.” There is no substitute for the effective witness of an MBB who maintains his voice in the Muslim community from which he came.
- Jude had, over time, formulated and adapted lessons to equip MBBs to evangelize Muslims, assure them of their new life with Isa and grow them up as strong disciples, but there was no set program of lessons, no quick response, short-term relationship, or seminar strategy that could have addressed the issues in the hearts and minds of eager new MBBs. It required patience, knowing them, and much, much prayer and humility before the Lord, that His will be done. A 1 Timothy 1:5 perspective is essential.
- Make a point of listening to the Holy Spirit’s strategy—from the MBBs!
- Teach interactively, so you will know that they understand what you are teaching.