Aug 02 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!
Overcoming resistance to Jesus
I’ve seen some arresting photographic images recently that have caused pain in my heart:
- A roomful of little Palestinian boys in camo pants with baby-sized weapons joyfully training to kill
- Veiled women weeping over loved ones killed in continuing Muslim-on-Muslim violence
- Hundreds of Muslim men bowing in regimented prayer outside the wall of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount in protest against metal detectors being installed at their entrances to the Mount after terrorists collected weapons on the Mount and killed two Israeli guards.
Here are corresponding word images that impart hope:
- But Jesus called the children to Him and said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’” (Lk 18:15-17)
- Jesus weeping over Jerusalem saying, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see Me again until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.’” (Mt 23:37-39, see also Ps 36:7)
Jesus explaining true worship: “’Believe Me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.’ The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ). When He comes, He will tell us all things.’Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He.’” (Jn 4:21-26)
My choice of each of the second set of images was inspired by each from the first set, because Jesus came to show us the Father and we have written evidence of how He would respond to each of these situations of manipulation, violence and false worship. But what’s wrong with this picture?
What’s wrong is that Islam, “one of the devil’s most successful projects” (E Bassem), has crafted a fortress against the knowledge of God through denying Jesus’ deity and power to save. There is such strong resistance in Muslims to seeing Jesus as He is that they can’t perceive His love for them or His longing to comfort, heal, deliver and save them.
This resistance will not last forever! The fortress of Islam is crumbling, rotten and ready to fall as its true nature is being revealed in terrorism, turmoil and suffering. In the last 17 years, more Muslims have run into Jesus’ sheltering arms than in the previous 14 centuries combined (David Garrison, A Wind in the House of Islam)! But a growing number of Muslims are also choosing atheism. For a fascinating discussion on the atheist Muslim, click here:
No matter what political manifestations may accompany Islam, resistance to “seeing the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Co 4:4, 6) is a spiritual issue and must be addressed spiritually. “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (Ja. 5:16b)
With faith and compassion, fervently ask the Spirit to unveil blind eyes, open deaf ears, soften hardened hearts, convict of sin and reveal Jesus to Muslims as the Son of God who loves, saves, comforts and reigns as Lord.
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