Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Protective Shoes

“Put on all of God’s armor so that you may be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the devil.” Ephesians 6: 11

We were enjoying a game of bocce ball when suddenly I buckled under pain. I had removed my sandals wanting to enjoy the feel of the cool lush grass. At one point I moved backwards quickly and my bare foot smashed into a hard bocce ball. Ouch! Injury could have been prevented. The Holy Spirit whispered to me, Joy, just like you need to be clothed and prepared in the physical realm for possible injury you need to be so in the spiritual realm, too. My mind immediately went to Ephesians 6 about God's provision for the spiritual battle which we will surely encounter in Muslim evangelism.

Nancy regularly reads the Injil with Zarina and Amal.  Zarina is moving towards putting her faith in Jesus Christ as her Savior. At the same time a Muslim family in her building is putting pressure on Zarina to stay true to Islam by giving her tapes to listen to by an imam. The tapes are very compelling to Zarina and are causing her to doubt what she is reading in the Injil. Amal is gradually coming to an understanding, too. A Muslim lady has started coming to her apartment weekly to teach her children about Islam. Muslim men are pushing Amal's husband to play volleyball at the mosque. Will she be pulled away from her search? Nancy feels the stress of the spiritual battle closing in. She does not know if she is up to this battle.

Recently Iman disclosed her struggle to Nancy about the unrelenting pressure being put on her to wear the hand of Fatima(hamsa) pendant or a pin with beads(charm) to protect her fetus from the evil eye. She went through family pressures in the past to go to a local "healer" to find healing for an ailment. She was given an object to hide in her clothes to heal her. Nancy is trying to help Iman to understand the strong love of Jesus for her and her fetus. Iman’s interest in hearing about the protective love of God is captivating but a strong pressure that she must do something tangible to protect herself and her baby from the dreaded evil eye powers keeps her from trusting wholly in God.  Nancy feels frustrated with the battle going on.

Sooner or later in our friendships with Muslim women we will encounter spiritual battles like these composite stories reveal. Satan has strategies and tricks how to hinder, block, distract or divert our Muslim friend’s attention or progress away from hearing words of Truth and Life. He also has strategies and tricks how to drain or frustrate us and make us want to quit. We must be prepared and clothed in spiritual armor, ready for whatever may unfold so that we may be able to stand firm on the day of battle. Satan is a defeated foe. Jesus Christ has the power and victory over all of Satan's strategies and tricks. Jesus has risen from the dead!

Dear heavenly Father, I pray for my sisters in Christ to understand the spiritual battle they are involved in and experience victory to stand firm.  In Jesus' name, Amen.