If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things pass away, all things become new. – 2 Corinthians 5:17
I read this book that has changed me in certain ways. The book is called “I Dared to Call Him Father.” It is by a lady named Belquis (think “Bell-Keys”) Sheikh (like “shake”). She was a Muslim in Pakistan and Jesus called her to follow Him. She did just that.
There is a stark contrast between giving your life to Jesus in the middle east and doing it here in America. Belquis was quite aware of the price tag each time she took a step. Over there, life has no choice but to change for you if you choose to call yourself a Christian. I couldn’t help but wonder how much longer it will be before this happens in America. In general, if someone here chooses Jesus and tells someone, they mostly get “that’s great” or “good for you.” I remember the first person I ever told said to me, “that’s nice, but it won’t last.” Nobody would wish for persecution, but it sure makes it obvious who is truly in and who is out.
I won’t give too much of the book away, just in case you want to read it. I say I “read” it, but I listened to it on audiobook. I was more moved by the small details of her life that changed than the big ones. For example, she had servants who would bring her breakfast and fix her hair. They would dread dropping anything in her sight because they knew they would get a scolding. After her conversion, she made a point to say how badly she wanted to still scold them, but she refrained and simply said, “that’s okay.” Later in the book, one of her servants would tell Belquis, “When you speak of Jesus, your whole demeanor changes. It’s like you are a completely different person.” I wondered if it is like that with me.
Here is the one that got me. I’ve been talking to a young man about Jesus for a long time. At first, it was pure. I just wanted this kid to know Him. As I’ve watched him sink deeper and deeper into sin, my talks have become more corrective in nature than simply making an introduction to Jesus. Belquis was witnessing and basically letting the person know they needed to change and think differently. The presence of the Lord left her, and she wondered why. God revealed to her that the only thing required when witnessing is to have His presence when she spoke of Him. He would do the work on the man’s heart, not her. As soon as I read that line, I prayed for forgiveness. How many times have I tried to play the part of the Holy Spirit? I’ll never come close to being able to play that role.
Lord, thank you for using this lady’s story to change me. I want to grow in you, and I want to grow in your ways. I want it to be obvious that I know you. Help the church in America to look like you. We seem to be so much more concerned with our likes and dislikes than yours. Thank you for people who have truly lived the Christian life. May our paths be lit by them. Father, I don’t want to play holy spirit anymore. Please allow your presence to remain with me so you can go to work in the hearts of men. You are still and always will be the greatest thing this planet offers. Thank you for saving me and working in me. I love you. Amen.