Marco! (Polo?) Okay, how do I really get faith?  

Posted by Mike Sharrow

I was in Mexico last month relaxing after wrapping up some intense months with my former company. While there, my wife and I had the opportunity to share the Gospel with a sales manager for the resort, Marco. Marco was well-educated, had read the Bible multiple times and was a self-declared "seeker." He wrestled with apologetic issues like how we know Jesus really did raise from the grave, is the Bible really reliable, is God really active in our lives and such. He was passionate, hyper (talked super fast), pointed (no easy questions), but sincerely looking. He said numerous times, "I want to have this faith...I just don't. I have questions that I can't ignore. I wish it were easy to just close my eyes and be like you - show me how to do this without ignoring my head! Please, help me understand how to have faith like you!"

Frankly, we were stunned. You don't expect such open discussions. We certainly weren't seeking them on the beach! He wrestled with some addictions and "bad things" as he said. He had tried the "pretending to be good" route, but confessed, "You can only act like you don't really want the bad stuff for so long before you fall back into it - drinking, women, and all that other stuff." He had tried to mimic "fruit" with the hope it would make him into a healthy "tree" spiritually.

Over the course of the week we spent hours having great discussion. Hard talks. He knew as many passages as I did - but they were a burden to him whereas they were a light and hope to me. He saw that and wanted to cross over into the life I had.

As I tried to help him tackle his intellectual issues, I quickly saw that this was not a battle of the mind as much as the heart. "Marco, these are fair questions and I'll stick with you nailing them down - but, you cannot avoid the step of faith. You're going to have to eventually make a heart decision to step out in faith while you iron out the wrinkles."

Long story short, here's what I'd like your input on. Hours later Marco decided to take that leap. We prayed together, hugged, shared passages and began his journey in Christ. On our last day he comes to me with a pad of paper and a pen, "Mike, I need a plan. What are the things I should do to get this faith working and really grow? Write me the steps and I'll do them!"

What would you say to Marco? What would you give as ABCs for discipleship...particularly for someone who is long distance.

This entry was posted at Monday, February 18, 2008 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

3 thoughts and responses

Think about it! Think about the uniqueness of God orchestrating all the events required to get you in front of Marco. Not just once, but many times, for many hours. When God tweaked your heart and I'm sure He did, you had a chance to say,'Yes or No'. Will you chat or won't you? Will you invest in Marco or won't you?

I was chatting with a couple pastors last night. I had the question on my mind if God gambled when He sent Jesus to save mankind? Maybe Jesus could have said, 'No. I'd rather not do that.'

It makes me wonder if God gambled when He sent you to tell Marco about His Son Jesus? Did He have 4 aces in pastor Mike?

I wonder how many times God will lose His bet on me? Father, forgive me.

February 18, 2008 at 6:43 PM

If you are going to stay in email?
I would tell him to
A)spend time daily reading, praying, listening,and journaling
B)find community ASAP
C)send him some books that you can read along with him or have read and that you can share conversations about.

February 19, 2008 at 9:21 AM

Yes, email.

Good steps.

Marco then asked - "What do I read? Where? What do I pray for? How often? How should I pray? What do I do about all the bad things I still want to do?"

He's in Mexico in a town where there is only a small Catholic and a small pentacostal church that is "health/wealth/sensational" oriented. Community is the hardest thing for me to help him find.

What book(s) would you recommend starting with?

February 19, 2008 at 9:28 AM

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