A spiritual battle is raging in unlikely places around the world due to the spread of Islam. Keep in mind that Islam will not be defeated through politics, military power, or even persuasion. Only Spirit-empowered prayer and proclamation will conquer the darkness of Islam!
Will the Church awaken to this reality or will we allow spiritual apathy to keep us from obeying the Great Commission? Will anger toward Muslims hold us back from sharing the gospel?
During a Jonah Initiative training in Papua New Guinea, we witnessed the Holy Spirit awakening the church to reach out to Muslims. As we began the training, one of the pastors, Theo,* was visibly angry toward all the Muslims coming to his country. He even expressed a strong desire to see all Muslims leave Papua New Guinea. To conclude the course, the class visited the local mosque. While visiting with the imam, Pastor Theo was argumentative and ready to challenge him on every point.
A few weeks after the Jonah Initiative training, we received a letter from Pastor Theo. In broken English, he shared how the Holy Spirit transformed his heart:
I am more than happy to remember you for taking this course at our Bible College (Islamic Studies). I have reached three Muslims telling them about Jesus. They are now my personal friends and are looking forward to having Bible studies today. Please help me in your prayers.
While Pastor Theo seemed like the most unlikely candidate for transformation, the Holy Spirit has a marvelous way of powerfully changing our hearts and perspective. When the Holy Spirit gets a hold of a person who vehemently opposed Muslims, he or she often becomes equality as passionate about reaching them for Christ.
Here are some other responses from pastors and lay leaders to whom the Holy Spirit clearly spoke during the Jonah Initiative training:
“After this course I now feel I can talk to a Muslim without fear and anger. I will now look to seek them out and share the Gospel with them.”
“Previously I had bitterness and anger towards Muslims, but now I am filled with love to reach out to them. Now I am praying the Holy Spirit will lead me to Muslims. … Satan has had these Muslims for too long and now I see I must reach them for Christ.”
“Wow, after this course my mind and heart is completely changed. Before I wanted to hate them and not even talk to them. Now I want them to know the Christ that I know. Thank you for helping me to learn to see them through the eyes of Christ.”