Jan 17 2018
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!
Mission clarity #2
I was asking the Lord again today what He wanted me to write to encourage prayer. Instantly, I sensed a correction: what should I write to encourage people to pray? Once again (see the Jan 3 GHPL), He had drawn my attention from a concept to the object of His heart’s desire - people.
Then an issue came to mind: the “hijab hoax” that has been in the news over the past week. Last Friday morning, an 11-year old Muslim girl in Toronto claimed a man tried to cut off her hijab with scissors while she was on her way to school. Within hours her school held a press conference in which she and her mother were interviewed. By the afternoon, PM Trudeau, Premier Wynne and Mayor Tory had all made public statements of care and concern. On Monday police announced the girl’s story was a hoax, and the media was now flooded with statements attempting to stem “Islamophobic” responses. I received some enraged emails, even one crying treason against Canada, and also read reports of Muslims fearing further “victimization and misunderstanding”.
GOD HEARS not just prayers, He hears people praying. His people are to become like Him. We, “who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Co 3:18). Picture a string on a musical instrument being tuned to a tuning fork. The string is tuned to vibrate in the same frequency as the fork. Picture God’s heart as a tuning fork, vibrating in a specific frequency. Now picture us intercessors tuning the strings of our hearts. No doubt, effectual prayer involves tuning to His frequency.
Does God’s “frequency” originate in rage? Whenever I have found myself trying to pray while angry, I’ve discovered my prayers are warped. Could God’s heart ever be warped by rage? Psalm 2 (among others) makes it clear that the LORD Himself expresses wrath and fury against evil rulers. But I don’t see anywhere we are given permission to do so. We are told, “Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil” (Ps 37:8) and “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires” (Ja 1:19-20). Will He answer our prayers if they don’t resonate with (re-sound) His frequency?
Increasingly, our politics are polarized, our media contributes to confusion rather than clarity and our culture seems to value compassion over good sense. Ryan Bird of Toronto District School Board justified the poor judgment of the hasty press conference writing, "Our motivation for commenting on the issue at the time was only out of compassion, care, concern and support — as did many elected leaders nationally, provincially and locally via interviews or social media."
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/hijab-story-hoax-how-did-it-happen-1.4490323. But we are to rise above this.
“God…through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation” (2 Co 5:18-19).
He has a high calling for His people – to be like Him. Jesus took His mission statement from Isaiah 61. Immediately after reading it to His home crowd (Lk 4:17-21), He was opposed (vs 28-30). Spiritual forces will also oppose us by trying to distract us from what is also our mission. Let’s tune our heart to His, see the world He is intent on reconciling to Himself through His eyes, and pray to fulfill His mission:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because He has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour.”
And may everything the devil intended for evil be turned to good!
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