Reaching Muslims From the Inside Out
by Murray Cornelius
A little boy tried to open rose buds by pulling open the petals one by one. Inevitably, the flower never bloomed and the petals fell to the ground. In frustration, he asked his mother why he could not make the roses bloom. She wisely pointed out the God opens the flowers from the inside out.
Today, God is opening the hearts of Islamic people and transforming them from the inside out.
Let me illustrate!
Shofar is a Muslim Background Believer who is leading a people movement called the "People of the Book". It thrives within the Islamic community of Ethiopia and the surrounding countries. His conversion is a miraculous story of God's provision and call.
While still a Muslim and living with his family in difficult circumstances and poverty, God miraculously multiplied their food. One day as he and his wife prepared a final meal of macaroni, a day when there was only enough left for their own family, a knock came to the door and some guests arrived. As is their custom, they shared their food. As they cooked their last little bit of macaroni, it miraculously multiplied. Shofar thought his wife had been hiding food, but as they continued to share, it continued to multiply. Does that sound familiar? Do we still believe God can work in these simple and powerful ways?
That evening Shofar had a vision in which Jesus came and revealed himself as the Multiplier of the Macaroni. Jesus told Shofar that if he would follow Him, He would "multiply" his life. Shofar, by his own confession, was more interested in a Jesus that would multiply macaroni rather than lives. Alas, the macaroni miracle was a one time only intervention.
For the next few years, Shofar sought this Jesus and through a progressing understanding that began in the Koran, he came to know the Jesus of the Bible first as Saviour and then as the Son of God, who is God, who died to bring redemption to mankind.
The Koran knows the prophet Isa, Jesus, and it encourages Islamic people to pray everyday that they might find the "straight way". They are told in other writings that the "People of the Book" will be able to show them the "straight way".
Today, Shofar leads Islamic people through a process that helps them discover that Jesus is the Son of God. He relies heavily on the Holy Spirit who works in the process through dreams and visions to help Islamic people come to see that Jesus represents the straight way and that Muslim Background Believers are the people of the Book who can lead others into the straight way.
Over the last few years, he has seen well over three thousand people, many of them significant community leaders in the Islamic culture, become followers of Jesus. Through the process they come to understand that Jesus is not a westerner, but one of their own, a Middle Easterner who died for them.
This is Jesus' way of opening hearts to the truth and transforming Muslims from the inside out.
From Matt: How can STM senders begin engaging more with Muslim people and restricted access nations?