Jun 07 2017
God named Ishmael ‘God hears’ before he was born. Years later, God heard Ishmael’s cry when he was perishing in the wilderness and opened his mother’s eyes to see a spring of water from which she gave him drink – and he lived!
Islam claims Ishmael as a spiritual forefather. Today’s Muslims are in the wilderness perishing and crying out for living water. Let the Church pray to the Father to reveal the well of living water, Jesus, so they might live!
He knows his time is short – so let’s go fishing!
ISIS teaches that terrorist acts committed during Ramadan reap greater rewards from Allah than at other times (Al Baghdadi voice recording, Jul 1/14). ISIS attacked a busload of Coptic (Egyptian Christian) pilgrims on the first day of Ramadan (evening of May 26). We who worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob know that the greatest reward goes to the Christians who, when asked by their killers to renounce Jesus and become Muslims, refused – and died.
And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” (Rev 12:10-12)
The devil knows his time is short, so he’s doing as much damage as possible. ISIS is being contained on the ground in the Middle East, but has a global reach. Recruiters are fishing with two nets, the Internet and social networks, for young men (and increasingly, women) who will offer their lives to destruction and take many out with them. The bait is an assured place in paradise, revenge for perceived insults to Islam, belonging to a committed community with a “great” cause – to make Islam great again.
Do you recall the bait Jesus used to invite Peter and Andrew to follow Him? “He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men’” (Mt. 4:19). Matthew reports they left their boats immediately and followed Him. Then there’s the promise that “those who turn many to righteousness [will shine] like the stars forever and ever” (Da 12:3b). And can we forget the call to “win for the Lamb the rewards of His suffering, to win for the Lamb, the lost” (Darrell Evans’ song, “Lay My Life Down”)?
Let’s pray. Lord…
- Remove the veil that keeps us from seeing the reality of Islam’s threat. (In the name of diversity and tolerance, a church in Holland has proposed celebrating Pentecost on the first day of the official holiday weekend and Eid-al-Fitr, the day marking the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan, on the second.)
- Awaken the church to understand that our time to reach Muslims is short. (Let’s go fishing for those who are searching for love and acceptance in the Father, for rest, for an honorable identity and inheritance. If we offer this “bait”, they will take it!)
- Extend our love even to the terrorists!
(One of the Coptic pilgrims publicly forgave the men who killed her husband and sons and shot her in the legs. Once again, the Egyptian church has demonstrated that the message of the cross has power for our times.)
- Amplify the use of the Internet and social networks for God’s good Kingdom. Stretch the reach of Christian media ministries that target Muslims, and show them how to capture restless hearts for Jesus. (A well known media minister reports that twice, assassins attended his speaking events to kill him, but received Christ instead!)
- Cause social media giants to revise their policies to reflect truth and righteousness. (According to the Gatestone Institute, Facebook and Twitter censor and ban some users who express "politically incorrect" opinions but allow many jihadists to recruit for their causes.)
- Alert our governments, police and security forces, media, community groups and citizens to potential terrorism attacks in our nation, and enable them to act effectively to prevent them. (Sometimes human rights laws result in “catch and release” of actual terrorists.)
“Behold, now is the favorable time [for fishing];
now is the day of salvation” (2 Co 6:2b).
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