Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Listening to the Spirit

“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit, and understand what he is saying to the churches.” Rev. 3:6

The printer at Staples told me he’d call my name over the intercom when the print job would be finished. After a long wait walking around the store I went to check. "I have been paging you numerous times but you did not come", he explained. Hmm… I usually hear clearly. How could it be that I never heard my name being paged over a loud intercom? It bothered me that I had not heard. If I could not hear an audible voice maybe I would miss hearing the Holy Spirit’s inaudible voice. I don’t want to miss hearing what the Spirit might be saying to the churches – or to me; especially in regards to Muslim women receiving opportunity to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. His thoughts and ways are not like our thoughts and ways. To get this accomplished He might use an unusual way of speaking. It appears that God is using some Muslim women to bring attention to the whole world about their hurts and needs! It is coming from their mouths.

We are living in unprecedented times when certain Muslim women, particularly in western nations, are speaking, writing and sharing their hearts. Just take a walk through a secular book store and you will see numerous books authored by Muslim women. They are the voices of Muslim women feminists, reformers, and human rights activists. Some books are accounts of women relaying their stories of abuse and suffering.  They don’t represent the experiences of all Muslim women but for those they do, I believe the Holy Spirit is stirring them up and using them to expose harmful and hurtful treatment or traditions via the medium of books, blogs, documentaries and You Tube viewings. It is better the exposure comes from these Muslim women than from us. They carry heavy burdens of concern or scars of physical injuries and won’t be silenced. Some walk a dangerous path. They might not have the answers but they are instruments through which exposure is taking place. I believe the Church needs to be aware of these voices, but even more what is the Holy Spirit trying to tell the Church? How we respond to their voices is really important. After you have read one of those books or viewed a certain link or documentary how did you find yourself responding? Angry? Helpless?

I dare not let anger or oppression overtake me as I get exposed through books and documentaries and then scurry into a self-protective parking mode. Today a lady sent me fifteen links of dreadful information. She is immobilized with fear, anger and helplessness and parked there. I believe the Spirit is saying to the Church: Don’t park there. Rise above anger and fear.  No eternal redemptive good will come from just being angry and spreading alarm. Personally, I primarily want to understand better how to take Muslim women to the cross where redemptive healing fully takes place. I want to be actively involved in such a ministry – not just read books and links. The ultimate answers are not found in courtrooms, vindictive diatribes or religious systems, but in our living Savior, Jesus Christ. He is our only certain hope. He is gentle and will never disappoint anyone. He brings healing. Yes, I want to be aware of all the issues which are being exposed and listen to their voices but most of all I am listening for the Spirit’s voice.

Dear heavenly Father, I don’t want to miss hearing Your messages. Please keep my ears open. In Jesus’ name, Amen.