Saturday, November 22, 2014

The River That Can't Be Stopped

"...Wherever this water flows, everything will live." Ezekiel 47:9b

One of our favorite holiday spots is in Jasper, Alberta where we have rented a cabin beside the ever flowing Athabasca river. I can sit mesmerized  beside that river for a long time and wonder where the river is coming from and where it is going. Its journey seems mysterious to me. I also see another River in the supernatural realm. It is flowing all over the Muslim world! Can you see it? Perhaps you are actually in the River going along with the flow. Or maybe you are still waiting to see the River.  In some places the River is moving swiftly but most of the time it is gently moving and if you look close the waters are sparkling with the glory of the Spirit of God. Occasionally the River looks muddy but it is moving nonetheless. And sometimes it appears the River is frozen and we have to wait for Spring to come in order to see the water melt. Surely it will flow again.

 Terrifying things are happening nowadays in the Middle East.  We need some signs of hope and encouragement!  Well, the Holy Spirit is making waves these days. Technology has opened the cyber waves to send the Good News of Jesus Christ to all the nations in the world where the presence of outside Christians is not allowed. Even cyber church is going on in the privacy of homes of Muslim seekers and believers of Muslim background. Muslims can download reading or listening to the Bible in their languages. If they have questions they can ask an expert on Answering Islam (click) or they can chat on-line. Check out the evangelistic websites listed on the left side bar of this blog. There has been a surge of Somalis visiting The Voice of New Life (click). Large numbers of Muslim adults, youth and children are accessing the excellent programs produced by Arab World Media (click). I am so impressed what Arab World Media is doing!  You will really be encouraged. And if that is not amazing enough then discover how the Spirit is stirring and speaking to Muslims in dreams while they are asleep. The book, “I Dared To Call Him Father” documents the phenomenon of God revealing Jesus to a Muslim woman through dreams. I once met a renown Muslim woman at an airport. After introducing myself she asked what brought me to visit that city. I replied, “I will be speaking at a conference.” “What about?” she asked inquisitively. “About how Muslims are seeing Jesus Christ in their dreams.” There was no argument or debate. What can one say to such mysterious working of God? Internet, satellite television, dreams, and books are all very exciting means of getting the River of God to move across the globe.

But wait, there’s more. There’s YOU ministering to a Muslim woman in Chicago, Toronto, or London. Perhaps no one sees you except God. You love Fatima and prayed for her and patiently tried to explain new truths to her. One day the light bulb turned on in Fatima’s awakened soul. She understood and gave her life to Jesus. A new mysterious River started moving through her and flowed on to Zahra…then to Maryam….and on to Ayesha. We Christian women are becoming aware of the opportunity to reach Muslim women with the Gospel. Now we are starting to run with the vision. It’s a marathon for sure but with perseverance and anointing from the Holy Spirit we will run the race right to the finish line. We will take precious Muslim women into the River with us.

There is no limit to what God is doing. We have the privilege to live in the midst of this kairos time in history. No one can stop the River which gives Life wherever it goes. Some try to stop it but it’s impossible. No one can control the Holy Spirit. He is untameable. Yes!

Dear heavenly Father, I am no longer content to hear of or watch your River. Take me into your rushing River. And I want more of my Muslim friends to join me in the River of Life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thank God, I'm a Woman

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."  Proverbs 31:30

“When do you become old?” I asked our missionary colleagues in Pakistan. I was about thirty years old at the time and social and spiritual restrictions of being a female in ministry were not overly welcomed by me. Obviously a female needed to be “old” before those restrictions were lifted. My question was serious because it was clear culturally speaking that men and women needed to socialize separately; especially if living outside of modern cities. I was afraid I would become somebody I was not or that my evangelistic giftings would lie dormant. Nevertheless, I humbled myself entering into the cultural mindset which kept me separated from males. When we were invited to a home for a meal Ed and I would eat in separate rooms. Preaching on the hospital wards was relegated to the women’s wards. Praying with a man would be off limits. When walking outside with Ed I would take a few steps behind him but certainly never in front of him. It seemed humiliating for me as a woman. In the Pakistani church we sat on opposites sides of each other. It would have been inappropriate to shake a Muslim man’s hands. To give him a hug would be unthinkable. To look him too directly in the eye would be too forward. To laugh and enjoy a conversation with him most inappropriate. To run off to the bazaar by myself would raise a few eyebrows for sure. It was not easy being a Christian missionary woman in a Muslim country. But I did pick it up that it got easier when you got old. That is why I wanted to know what that perfect number was! It seemed elusive and way down the line. Obviously I could not speed up that perfect age. So….I waited…

Well, it is true, believe it or not that ministry gets better and easier for a woman the older she gets as far as being able to mix freer with the opposite sex. I have come to believe that ministry among Muslims flourishes for the older woman more than for the man in many cases. Suddenly the doors swing wide open for an older woman to speak spiritually into men’s lives which in turn often means into the whole family’s life. What is that perfect age? It is not clearly defined. For me it came around late forties when I became a grandma. My hair had not yet turned gray but our kids were married and we became grandparents. Becoming a grandma in Muslim culture is a big thing and sets her apart as a honorable matriarch of sorts. Today I thank God I am a woman. It is so much in my favor when it comes to Muslim outreach.  It never fails to amaze me how Muslim men, in front of their wives, desire to hear words of truth from God’s Word and to be prayed for. Today they see me more as a spiritual mother figure. Many Muslim men feel safer with the mother figure than a father figure. It is a mystery worth waiting for!

Dear heavenly Father, help me to learn how to wait and grow in the restrictive seasons of ministry.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.