A Modern Day Paul in Iran


A Modern Day Paul in Iran

Before he became a believer, the Apostle Paul dragged Christians out of their houses to imprison or kill them. A modern day Iranian named Taher was no better; he even threatened to kill his own family because they became Christians. Like Paul, he received a vision of the Lord that turned his life upside down.

Taher was the last one anyone expected to convert to Christianity. He was well respected as a Haji, a pilgrim who had made the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. His wife was a Haji-eh; she had also made the pilgrimage. So when his daughter came to Christ, Taher was very angry. When his wife became a believer in Christ, he grew even angrier. When even his son turned his back on Islam and accepted Christ, his anger turned to rage.

He tried to force his family back into Islam in every way he could. He quoted the Koran; he forbade them to visit the church; he beat them; and he threatened to inform the secret police. At one point he even threatened to kill them with his bare hands. His efforts were to no avail. His family didn’t leave Christ; instead they left him and fled abroad.

After the initial anger over his family’s flight subsided, Taher began to feel lonely. In his growing despair, he memorized Koran verses and focused on Allah, whom he served so passionately. “Please show me your face,” he begged. The resounding silence made him doubt. What if this god he was serving didn’t exist after all and his family was right? He didn’t know if he should believe Allah or Jesus, the Bible or the Koran. In desperation he cried out, “I will believe in the God who reveals Himself to me.”

The living God answered his prayers through a dream. In his dream, a man riding a donkey came toward him. He had never seen the man before, but the man hugged him and said, “I will clean you from all your sins; you are free. I will give you rest. Believe in me.” Taher asked, “But what will happen if I sin again?” The man on the donkey replied with the same words, “I will clean all your sins.” Then the man on the donkey left, leaving Taher dumbfounded. Another man approached him in his dream. “Do you know the man on the donkey?” the man asked. “No, I don’t, Taher replied. “He is Jesus Christ,” the man said. “He cleans your sins.”

Taher woke up and mulled over the dream. When he went back to sleep, the same dream played before him. Waking up a second time, he became afraid. He had served Allah for 45 years. He was a Haji. How could he leave Islam? But when he finally fell asleep again, he had the same dream a third time. Waking up from this third dream, he could not escape the conviction that Jesus Christ was the only true God.

Taher was now convinced that Jesus is the true God, but he was unsure what he should do next. Everyone in the church knew what he had done to his family, but he realized that he had to visit the church he had forbidden his family to attend, the only place he knew that could tell him more about this man on the donkey. He cautiously entered the church. The Christians present were astonished and at the same time afraid. Wasn’t he the man that threatened to kill his own wife, son and daughter because they accepted Christ? One of the church leaders stepped forward. “How can I help you?” he asked. The answer was unexpected. “I want to pray, go to church and give my life to Christ,” Taher said, “but I don’t know how.” The leader was amazed and unsure if he should trust Taher; he could be a government spy. “I saw Jesus in a dream, I saw his face!” Taher explained.

As time went by, the church leaders started trusting him. Taher was like a baby: eager to learn more and more about Christ. After a discipleship period, he quickly became involved in ministry work, risking his life for Jesus. When his family, who had been praying for him ever since they left, heard of the transformation in Taher’s life, they praised God for answering their prayers and happily welcomed Taher back into the family. Taher now lives abroad with his family, rejoicing that they can worship together without fear.

Father, we stand in awe at how You drew Taher to Yourself out of the darkness of sin and false religion, out of persecution of Your church. We praise You that You have raised him up to know You, to have a new heart, to be strengthened through Your Word and to be reunited with the family he almost destroyed. Thank You that they are living in religious freedom now, gathering as a family with the saints to worship You freely in Spirit and in truth. We pray for those left behind to nurture and disciple others in Iran who come to faith in Christ. We pray Your protection over them as You grow Your church there. And we pray for the day when all Christians in Iran can gather freely to worship You. In the name of Jesus who brings spiritual freedom to the captives. Amen.

Source: https://www.opendoorsusa.org/pray/prayer-updates/2014/May/a-modern-day-paul-in-iran.

God – You Did!


pillar-of-light

Hi Everybody!

Honor-HimWooohoooooooo it’s the final day of the Fast for me! The whole journey has been rather surreal for me. I remember going to church last night because we were praying throughout the 21 Day Daniel Fast so it was holding a prayer service, and as people were praying for their needs, I literally saw a cloud of smoke hovering the entire congregation and it filled the entire room and I knew it was the presence of God because this wasn’t the first time I’d seen this happen.

Exodus 33:10

All the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the tabernacle door, and all the people rose and worshiped, each man in his tent door.

People of God, the presence of God is tangible from my experience. It was a fearful sight for me, because that is when you realize that you’ve entered into a place that is considered the Holy of Holies. I remember feeling like I was just trembling throughout the prayer session and what I can say is that when you enter into that Holy place, you can’t joke around in that presence. I believe that the same God who walked with the Isralites like a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night is able to make His presence known to those who reverentially fear Him. As I meditate today, I feel in my spirit that the Lord wants people to know that the Lord will lead you in the night time and in the day time with knowledge, instruction, direction from the Light that comes from His Word. All you have to do is watch Him lead and you follow as you walk by faith and not by sight.

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Exodus 13:21

And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.

 

I’m expecting a new move of God this year. What took years to be established will take days if not hours to be fulfilled. There is indeed a quickening in the spirit so don’t give up on what you are praying for is my encouragement today. God will show you the road in which you should travel if you just put your trust in Him today.

Nehemiah 9:12

Moreover You led them by day with a cloudy pillar, And by night with a pillar of fire, To give them light on the road Which they should travel.

Nehemiah 9:19

Yet in Your manifold mercies You did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day, To lead them on the road; Nor the pillar of fire by night, To show them light, And the way they should go.
God will not leave you in the wilderness if you just allow Him to take you by the Hand and allow Him to lead you in the right direction, is what I’m hearing in my spirit right now as I’m typing this.
if-god-is-with-us
This word that is in my spirit right now is to encourage you as it is also an encouragement to myself. There are moments I wonder whether I am heading in the right direction as I sometimes am filled with anxiety wondering if I’m still following Him. There are moments where the road seems a bit blurry and you need that reassurance that you are walking in the right direction. Throughout the fast God has been telling me to not lean on my own understanding and to follow Him as He directs my path (Proverbs 3:5-7). Sometimes we operate by presumption, assuming we know where we ought to go…but that level of presumption can lead you astray if you are not careful. We can’t rely on our own understanding to get to where God wants us to be so we have to humble ourselves and allow Him to direct the path and He will make it clear for you. I pray that the journey ahead of all of us will be made clear and that in whatever we do, we must do it for the glory of God to be revealed to His lost sheep.
May the peace of God follow you throughout the year everybody!

I feel like celebrating the end of this fast with a song by J.Moss (feat. James Fortune) called You Did. May this Song bless your spirit today Everybody!