January 13, 2016

Isaiah 51:7 “Hear me, you who know what is right,
you people who have my law in your hearts:
Do not fear the reproach of men
or be terrified by their insults.”

Time and time again the Bible speaks of having God’s Word in our hearts. I’d say that indicates it’s pretty important! There is a world of difference between knowing something as abstract information and really making it part of your world view. Right now the world is in a clash of civilizations that comes from a difference in world view. Fundamental Islamists see everything from a different perspective than those with a secular world view, not to mention those who have a genuinely Biblical world view. Secular and religious world views are different on the face of it, but the difference between the Islamist world view and the Christian, or even Judaeo/Christian, world view is the concept of who God is. Internalizing the Quran and internalizing the Bible produce drastically different lifestyles! Here, God is saying that those who internalize His Word don’t need to be afraid of those who follow other gods. In the short term there can be a lot of mayhem, as is very evident right now, but there can be no question as to the outcome. Christians aren’t told to “roll over and play dead,” but they are told not to be anxious or afraid. It takes an eternal perspective to accomplish that, because in the short term we may be killed! We are called to trust God and act as Christ’s representatives, communicating His love and grace in word and deed for His glory.

Like the vast majority of Christians in the West, I had thought very little about Islam and what it meant until this century, when events have made it inescapable. Frankly, I couldn’t conceive of a religion that actively taught mayhem and oppression. That ignorance is sadly dispelled. I am not to hate those who are deceived by the teachings of Islam, but pray for them and let God use me to express His love to them. At the same time, I must remember the fundamental difference in world view, and stand guard with the whole armor of God. (Ephesians 6) I personally know only one Muslim here in Omura, and he is what many Islamists would consider an apostate. I am to express God’s love to him as He gives me opportunity, because even Islam cannot negate God’s love.

Father, I do pray for Your Spirit to move among those who have been deceived by Islam. I pray particularly for Your children in Islamic countries and areas who are sharing Christ, often at great personal risk. I pray for those who are imprisoned, and for the families of martyrs, that they would be comforted and have Your peace, knowing that their reward in heaven far outweighs anything they could go through here. (2 Corinthians 4:17) May Your Name be acknowledged as holy and Your kingdom come as Your will is done, as perfectly on earth as it is in heaven, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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