God's love and Word are more powerful than doubts, New Age ideas and temptation
Anna is a disciple-maker in the middle east. She is continuing to see her Muslim friend be transformed by God's Word. You can read the first part of Layla's story here. In this story, you'll see how God's love and Word are more powerful than doubts, New Age ideas and temptation. Here's Anna and Layla's story!
Always Point Them Back to the True Source
Layla, a nominal Muslim who I've shared about before, is so close to following Jesus. However, her being a non-devout Muslim means that she has been open to many other spiritual beliefs. She sometimes reads New Age books about our connection with the universe. One time she told me that the author in the book said that Jesus is not God, just the son of God. I wanted to just tell Layla to stop reading those books. Instead, I kept my cool and told her,
"Come on Layla, you're reading these stories from the Bible, and you're seeing they're true. You are applying it to your life, and you are seeing it works. Why would you need to listen to anything else?"
She seemed to receive my words well.
Don't Skip the Old Testament
In the earlier months of our DBS, she struggled as we read the Old Testament. "Why do we have to read Leviticus? What does it have to do with us?" "Just be patient," I told her. "we'll get there!" Once we finally got to the New Testament, she is overjoyed with every story we read. However, I don't believe it would have had such an impact on her if we had just skipped the Old Testament which provides necessary context for understanding why Jesus matters.
God's Love and Word Fascinates Unbelievers
Recently, we read John 3 where Nicodemus asks Jesus how he can enter God's Kingdom. Layla marveled, "I love this story! It's amazing! You know what, Anna? I'm going to go and tell everyone that the Kingdom of God is here!" We continued to pour over the John 3 story. "Some people are not in God's Kingdom! Why?" Layla questioned. I could have told her all the answers, but I didn't. Instead, I kept pointing her back to the passage. We reread, pondered, and discussed the story for two whole hours. It was deep, challenging, and so good. I feel like Layla is coming face to face to Jesus, but she isn't ready to commit because it just doesn't "click" yet. She concluded, "We need to tell people about God's Kingdom. That's the only purpose we live for, and if we don't do it, our life is meaningless!" It's not just all enthusiasm though—Layla is practically obeying God's word. She has taken significant steps in avoiding temptation. One of her commitments was that whenever she feels angry or frustrated, she will stop and remind herself that God loves her. "I'll remind myself that God loves me and cares for me, then I'll remember that I don't have to be upset!" She told me. I followed up with her on her "I Will" statement the next week, and she said, "I kept telling myself that God loves me, and it really worked! God's love does miracles—it's so miraculous what God's love does for us!"
Anna and Layla's story displays how God's Word overcomes other voices and untruths that come against unbelievers. Even though Layla dabbled in New Age material, Anna kept her focused on God's Word. When she did that, Layla saw the power of God's love and Kingdom! This story also shows how it is important to honor the entire narrative and context of scripture. The Old Testament provided the foundation Layla needed to really understand why Jesus matters. Finally, we learn that God's Word and His love are sufficient to capture the hearts of not-yet-believers. We can trust that as long as we get people into the Word of God, they're encounter Him, and their lives will be changed forever!
Free Podcast: Why Not Skip Past the Old Testament Straight to Jesus?
When you open a book, where do you start? At the beginning! When you are helping someone discover God, where do you start? This podcast is about why we use the Creation to Christ Scripture list in a Discovery Bible Study. It's 26 passages that begins in Genesis and ends with Jesus.
Many times we start with Jesus as we're introducing someone to the Word of God. But most people don't know who Jesus is or why his death and resurrection are necessary. Learn how to start a strong foundation with those you're discipling that can lead to a movement by listening today!