Thursday, November 19, 2015

Victory - Part Two

“And they defeated him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of their testimony. And they were not afraid to die.” Revelation 12:11

We can be victors in our ministry among Muslims. Yes, victors! We are engaged in a spiritual battle over truth and we have an enemy. The Muslim is not our enemy but rather Satan and his wicked spirits who takes deceived people captive to do his evil work. He can be defeated as Revelation 12:11 states triumphantly. It is also written that the believers in Jesus Christ were not afraid to die. That banner is not flying over our churches in western nations yet. Presently we do not experience interrogations, jail, floggings, torture, or death  for proclaiming the Good News but we still experience fears. An Afghan follower of Jesus once said to me, “Joy, if all the things that we went through fleeing Afghanistan would happen to people here in Canada they would not make it.” There’s probably some truth to his words. Why? Because we have many fears.

What are we afraid of?  There are many Christians who really desire to share the Good News with Muslims but are afraid to do so. It may be helpful to actually identify our fears. We fear being inadequate and not having enough experience. We do not know where to start. We are afraid of not knowing the Bible well enough, or the Qur’an and Islam. We are afraid we might not have the answers to their objections, misconceptions, and arguments.  Some fear they do not understand the culture enough or speak the language. Probably the biggest fear we western Christians have is of offending Muslims or that our friendships with them will be closed down. We want to be nice and to be liked. Somehow we reason that if we are nice to them they will like us and if they like us then they will listen to our words and accept Christ. Some Christians greatly fear they will sound intolerant so the proclamation of truth is withheld.  My biggest fear is  knowing that opposition and resistance will arise at some point and I will feel the stressful effects of the spiritual battle. I fear conflict and dislike stress.  I crave peace.

I often wonder how it could be that early believers were not afraid to die in declaring their allegiance to Christ and making Him known. Were they made of different stuff than us? Some of our fears are so insignificant really in comparison to what they had to face. A believer visited our home once who later laid his life down in martyrdom for Christ. He seemed fearless. An Iranian lady who visited Canada for six months found herself being drawn irresistibly to Christ. Before  returning to Iran she asked me, “Joy, have you ever been questioned by authorities? Do you really know what that is like?” Hmm….I have not been in that kind of hot seat; although my husband has. Nevertheless, I have faced some of my fears in witnessing to Muslims. Every time I do I find that I enter a new level of victory and joy. So, I press on in rising above my fears.  If we are trying to encourage a Muslim to “count the cost” and follow Christ we can only take them as far as we have gone.

Dear heavenly Father, please help me to find victory over my fears. In Jesus’ name, Amen.