Monday, March 5, 2012

His Word is Alive and Powerful!

While living in Albania, one of my biggest problems has been not knowing how to communicate with other people about my faith.  Telling someone about Christ is a daunting task in itself, but add to that the confusion of a language barrier and it sometimes seems impossible!  I have been learning as much Albanian as I can pick up without taking lessons, but by now my vocabulary is only that of a two-year-old.  And most of the young Albanians that I have met know a good amount of English, but it's not enough to speak fluently on important topics.  (You know, how the God who created the Universe sent his son in human form to save us from our sin and depravity, and stuff like that.)  With such an obstacle, fear of miscommunication seems like a very legitimate concern.  But how can I do what I feel God has called me to do when I am so afraid to speak to others about Him?

Recently, I have been reading through Isaiah and Jeremiah.  Several verses jumped out at me and, like a slap in the face, showed me how ridiculous I have been:
  • Isaiah 50:4 - "The Sovereign Lord has given me His words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary..."
  • Isaiah 51:16 - "And I have put my words in your mouth and hidden you safely in my hand..."
  • Isaiah 59:21 - "'And this is my covenant with them,' says the Lord.  "My Spirit will not leave them, and neither will these words I have given you.  They will be on your lips and on the lips of your children and your children's children forever.  I, the Lord, have spoken."
  • Jeremiah 1:7-9 - "The Lord replied, 'Don't say "I'm too young," for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you.  And don't be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you.  I, the Lord, have spoken!'  Then the Lord reached out and touched my mouth and said, 'Look, I have put my words in your mouth!'"
God gave His prophets, Isaiah and Jeremiah, the right words to say because He knew they could not do it alone.  I realize now that my worry is completely unfounded.  When God gives us a job, He also provides us with what we need to do it.  And not only will He give us the words to say, but He has also provided us with the Bible, which is powerful enough to speak for itself!  Now, I have a new found confidence that God will provide me with His words.  After all, I am nothing more than His instrument.  I cannot accomplish anything on my own, but He will provide what I need to bring Him glory.

I have continued to build a relationship with an Albanian friend.  She speaks enough English that we can communicate fairly well, although we often end up laughing over the misunderstandings that the language barrier creates.  I often go to her house for lunch and to help her with her English homework.  She has also been coming to church with me almost every Sunday for the past two months.  She enjoys the service, and I know that she pays attention because she often comments about the message and tells me that it really made her think.  She is very open and receptive to the Gospel.  Yesterday, I gave her an Albanian Bible and a pamphlet about eternal life.  Later that day, she called me to tell me that she had spent the past few hours reading them, and that it's been making her think about her life.  She said it made her realize that she does wrong things, and she told me over and over how much she loved the books.

It's truly incredible how God has been working in her!  To her, the Word of God is like a mirror, showing her sin and her need for Christ.  No one had to tell her these things - she learned them on her own by listening in church, and now by reading the Bible.  Her simple acceptance of the truth reflects the child-like faith that the Bible says we should have.  I plan on meeting with her sometime this week to talk about the Gospel.  Please pray that God would give me the words to say, and that He would continue to give her a soft heart that is receptive to His salvation.

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