"And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment"
Things are happening.
We are all aware of it. The overthrow of the Afghan government. War in Ukraine. Chinese posturing against Taiwan. The seeming collapse of world order. Not to mention a global pandemic that still rages. There is pretty much a general understanding that the world is in turmoil. While all of these things are certainly cause for concern, its important for us as believers to recognize that there is a bigger picture and a broader (and more eternal) reality, however. The Truth is that, to borrow a phrase, "Aslan is on the move!"
Creation is groaning in anticipation as the world is being prepared for the arrival of the great King. He is already on the move, drawing people to Himself. He is raising up laborers for the great end-times harvest. Though this may surprise some, the Muslim world is one area that His activity is especially evident. Though bound to a religion of legality and death, they are His beloved, and He is still actively engaged in His mission to "seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). In short, the Holy Spirit is actively drawing Muslims to Jesus.
One way that God is using to reach Muslims is through processes of migration. Economic opportunities, instability, and conflict are causing massive movements of people around the globe, a process which is only increasing. Due to these movements of people, it is increasingly likely that you have Muslim neighbors or co-workers. It is likely that your children have Muslim friends. For those who want to fulfill our call to "proclaim the Gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15) and to "make disciples of all the nations," (Matt 28:19) this creates some amazing opportunities to reach the lost who may never have otherwise had the opportunity to encounter the Gospel.
Prayer is perhaps the most effective tool that we have.
There are unique difficulties though. There are significant cultural and philosophical differences between the Western world and most of the Islamic world. These differences often render traditional methods of "sharing the Gospel" as entirely ineffective. For this reason, it becomes necessary to learn the culture and values of our new friends so that we may communicate the love of Jesus in ways that our new friends can understand and receive. This is part 2 in our series "Reaching Muslims: an open Door," where we will provide tools to help encourage and equip you to be an effective ambassador of Jesus to your Muslim neighbors.
The first and foremost thing we can do to begin to reach Muslims is simply to pray. This may seem too simple, but the reality is that prayer is perhaps the most effective tool, technique, and tactic that is at our disposal. We serve a God who moves and acts in response to the prayers of His people, and our effective fervent prayers availeth much! (James 5:16)!
Now, to be clear, this in no way implies that this in the only thing. In following installments, we will discuss some very practical steps that can (and should) be taken. We will even share some specific approaches on how to actually proclaim the Gospel. Rather, this is simply an acknowledgement from much experience that "unless the Lord builds the house, its laborers labor in vain" (Psalm 127:1)
Prayer is perhaps the most effective tool that we have. One surprising mechanism that the Holy Spirit has used is by sending dreams and visions of Jesus to Muslims who are open to the Truth. First hand accounts have described visions of a Man in white whose face is obscured by light. In some cases, they instinctively know that it is Jesus. In other examples, they later encounter someone who helps them process the dream and understand that the King of kings is drawing them. These dreams and visions appear to coincide with and be a result of the mobilization of prayer around the world! Our prayers have consequence, as do our lack of prayer. Please pray for God to continue to send dreams and visions of Jesus, and that He continues to raise up and send people to help interpret those dreams.
Please pray for Muslims in your community. God has brought them to you for a reason. It is no accident. It is no mistake. You are likely reading this post today because the Holy Spirit has given you a role in this great end-times harvest. Your first work is to begin to pray for those around you. Please pray for the Church to fulfill its role as the hands and feet of Jesus and to be a witness through through real and practical demonstrations of Christ's love. Please pray for God to give you opportunities to meet your Muslim neighbors, co-workers, and colleagues. Pray for opportunities to demonstrate love through hospitality. Be willing to take those opportunities that God provides to meet them, to learn about the families and their lives, and to welcome them into yours.
Please pray for the Holy Spirit to prepare the soil of their hearts. Pray for dreams and visions of Jesus. Pray that, at the appropriate time, God would give you the opportunity to proclaim the Gospel to your new friend. When you do have opportunities to sow seeds, do so with an awareness that though one plants, and another waters, it is God who gives the increase. Pray for increase!