Feature

The Sword of the Spirit

Not a dream but an act of God

By Anonymous

“She slammed her fist on the table and shouted, “Don’t ever mention the Name of Jesus in my classroom again!”

Those were the words that greeted us in our first months of language study in a creative-access country.

It was October and we were using the upcoming Christmas season as a source of conversation with our instructor, Alana*. We had hoped she would ask about the reasons we celebrate Christmas. She asked, and we shared.

We were struck with the fresh reality that if anything were to happen in this country, we would need the divine intervention of God Himself. Human effort would never penetrate the years of Satan’s stronghold on this land. God would have to work a miracle. Little did we know, He already had.

We attended class daily. Gradually the walls of distrust crumbled as we shared stories of our families, lives and love. We learned that Alana is married to the owner of the language school. We laughed hysterically with her over our feeble language attempts. We cried as we shared stories of loss and hurt. A deep bond of love and trust was born as we spent time together in social settings and with our families.

The next Christmas approached. We invited Alana and her husband, along with five other instructors and their families, to our home to experience a traditional American Christmas. We played games, sang “The Twelve days of Christmas,” tasted American holiday food and then shared “the rest of the story.”

After asking for our guests’ permission, we joined hands, concluding our evening in prayer. There we were—Muslims and Christians—hand in hand, bowing before the King of Kings. This same woman who had told us never to mention the Name of Jesus even said “Amen.”

An Intruder

In April our language-learning experience was coming to an end. During one class my wife and I were alone with Alana. She began teaching us, then she closed her book, looked us in the eyes and said, “I have something I want to tell you. I have been afraid, because I do not know what it means, but I need to tell you a story.”

She continued, “About four months before you came to our country, I was sitting in my house in the middle of the afternoon. All of a sudden, a man appeared in my room. He was holding a sword. It was bright and shiny, blinding me. I was so afraid.

“When he offered the sword to me, I jumped back. He handed me the sword again, and again I jumped back. A third time he offered the sword, and then he disappeared.

“I was so shaken by this, so I called my husband and asked him to come home to search for the man. My husband assured me that I had probably been dreaming, and we talked until I was calm again.

“I tried to forget the incident, but then you came to our school. I looked at you every day, knowing I had seen you before—but where? I asked my husband if we had met you. He just laughed and said, ‘Oh, you know those foreigners; they all look alike.’ But I knew I had seen you before. And then it hit me; you were the man in my house who offered me the sword.

“I have been so afraid to tell you. I wondered, what can this mean? The only thing I can think of is that you have come to offer us a better way of life, materially. I have no other explanation.”

I looked at Alana and said, “I have an explanation. Could I bring something to you this afternoon?”

Pierced

I went home to get a national-language Bible. Later that day my wife and I visited Alana. I opened the Bible to Hebrews 4:12 and asked her to read, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

She began to cry, and we cried with her, as I turned to Ephesians 6:17–18a. Through her tears she continued, “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” She nodded her head and agreed, “Yes, yes—this must be the meaning.”

I asked if she would continue reading the Word of God because this was the sword that I had been offering her in her vision. To this day Alana reads the Bible and compares it to the Koran. We maintain contact with her, answering her questions as they arise.

When I wonder how we will ever make an impact in this hard soil, I am reminded that God is doing the miraculous in this land. All we have to do is obey His leading and watch as He surprises us with His methods.

I heard someone ask the questions, “Is true spirituality all about us being good enough to go up to heaven? Or is true spirituality about us being willing to let God come down to earth and live among us?”

I believe that God wants to do the miraculous among us each day. But the real question lies in the core truth of our willingness to allow Him to meet us and live among us. I am blessed and excited to stand back, watch Him work and hang on for the ride of my life!

*Name changed to protect identity.

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