There are two main principles I’ve picked up over the years as they pertain to cultivating the type of faith that moves mountains. The first is this: Faith comes by looking at God, not at the mountain.
Some years ago a member of our church’s vocal team and I were invited by a Christian leader to go to southern India. There we would join a ministry team of people from various parts of the United States. We were told that God would use us to reach Muslims and Hindus and nonreligious people for Christ, and although we had no idea what to expect, we all felt called by God to go and consequently jumped at the opportunity.
When we arrived, the Indian leader met us and invited us to his home. Over the next few days, he explained that his father, a dynamic leader and speaker, had started the mission in a Hindu-dominated area. One day a Hindu leader came to his father and asked for prayer. Eager to pray with him, and hoping he would lead him to Christ, he took his Hindu guest into a private room, knelt down with him, closed his eyes and began to pray. While he was praying, the Hindu man reached into his robe, pulled out a knife and stabbed the man repeatedly.
My new friend, hearing his father’s screams, rushed inside to help him. He held him in his arms as blood poured onto the floor of the hut. Three days later his father died. On his deathbed the father said to his son, “Please tell that man that he is forgiven. Care for your mother, son, and carry on this ministry. Do whatever it takes to point people toward faith in Christ.”
With more courage and faith than most people could dream of mustering, this man complied with his father’s wishes. For over twenty years, he has been working with unwavering passion and intensity, starting more than one hundred churches and a medical clinic, along with many other kinds of ministries.
Every spring he rents a huge park, sets up a stage and a makeshift sound system, puts together some lights with bare wire and holds evangelistic meetings for a week. He advertises with posters and through loudspeaker announcements all around town, and as a result people come by the thousands and sit on the ground in front of the stage, men on one side and women and children on the other.
The evening meetings start at six o’clock. For about half an hour, they listen to recorded instrumental music, followed by a couple of special musical numbers. Then comes the warm-up sermon. Instructional, practical and relevant to everyday life, its simple objective is to show the listeners that Christianity makes sense.
At eight o’clock there are two more musical numbers, followed by the main message. It is always centered on the person of Jesus Christ – who he was, what he did, how he died, how his death pays the price for sin and how his resurrection gives power to people who put their trust in him.
From nine until nine-thirty, listeners – whether Hindu, Muslim or nonreligious – are invited to put their faith in Christ. They are asked to come forward to receive forgiveness, cleansing and eternal life and then are challenged to abandon whatever other god or religious system they brought with them to the meeting and to put their faith solely in Jesus.
–Bill Hybels, from Too Busy Not to Pray