Saturday, June 24, 2017

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 across the globe.  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 from Muslim background. Muslims can download the Bible to read or listen to 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). 

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 is more. There’s YOU ministering to a Muslim woman in Minneapolis,Toronto, London, Sydney, or Paris. Perhaps no one sees what you are doing except God. You love Fatima and prayed for her and patiently tried to explain new truths about Jesus 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. 

Christian women are becoming increasingly more aware of the opportunity to reach Muslim women with the Gospel. Now we are starting to run with the vision. It is certainly a marathon of long term investment and friendship...even for decades.... 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 is 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.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Rest

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

I'm told a jihad can be one of the heart, mouth, hand, or sword. The basic root meaning is to strive or to struggle which infers work and fatigue. It is a Muslim's religious duty to work for the cause of Allah, for self-refinement or towards a just moral-social order. The word jihad is mentioned 41 times in the Qur'an.

Fadwa has been on a personal spiritual jihad for years. Like many Muslims do in the West, she tries to convince non-Muslims that a jihad is merely a personal struggle and not how we perceive violent jihad in the media. I asked her what she was struggling about in particular but she couldn’t answer me. At what point would she finally be satisfied and at peace? I questioned if a Muslim could ever stop his or her spiritual jihad and just enjoy resting. Was she able to rest in Allah or did she have to always work for him or be in a state of perpetual struggle? When a person is engaged in a jihad I seldom see a picture of rest.

Sadia was a Muslim but today is a follower of Jesus. However, she still has a remnant psyche of engaging in a personal spiritual jihad - or struggle. This needs to be addressed as a new believer in order for her to enter into the enjoyment and freedom of her faith in Christ. She will fast for long periods of time but her friend, Kristina, seldom gets the impression Sadia is at rest. She wonders what Sadia is hoping to accomplish by her long periods of fasting and removing herself from interaction with people. Approval and acceptance from God, through Christ’s death on the cross, have already been accomplished for Sadia. She doesn't need to struggle any more for earning God's love.

Karima looked so worn out. She said to me, "I just need rest for my mind." I am so thankful that God allows us, and yes, even invites us to enter His rest. God is our caring Shepherd. Many Muslims are drawn to the beauty of Jesus' invitation to find rest for our bodies, souls, and minds. While Muslims glorify and exhort being engaged in a struggle(jihad)the Bible declares there is rest from our striving. The Holy Spirit is a precious gift to us. It is He who is at work in us and through us.

Dear heavenly Father, thank You that I find blessed rest in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.