Not too long ago, I read a ministry report of an outreach to a Muslim majority nation in West Africa. I was struck by the words of one of the participants who said, “I was deeply moved by the spiritual famine of these people!” Those two words—spiritual and famine—aren’t usually used together, but it seems like a fitting description for what people in Muslim nations experience.
Famine, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, is “severe and prolonged hunger in a substantial proportion of the population of a region or country.” The article continues by noting that famines occur primarily due to natural causes (such as droughts, flooding, insect infestations, extreme temperatures, and typhoons) or warfare, which interferes with transportation of food supplies or indiscriminately destroys crops as a war tactic.
Muslim people have lived with “severe and prolonged hunger” for the gospel of Jesus Christ for 1600 years. For centuries, Islam has confined Muslims to living in a perpetual famine of biblical truths. Muslim people around the world are dying and going into a Christless eternity because of the spiritual famine in which they live. Most Muslims have never heard about the salvation offered through the death of Jesus on the cross. Most Muslims have never held a Bible in their hands, let alone read a Bible in their own language. Most Muslims have never attended a Christian church service where they could hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. Most Muslims, even in America, have never met a genuine Christian who could share the gospel message with them. Most Muslims live with perpetual insecurity regarding their eternal destiny because they live in a works-based religion that keeps them focused on what they must do rather than relying on what Jesus has already done for them on the cross.
Many Muslims are hungry for the message of salvation through Jesus Christ! They recognize the inadequacy of Islam to satisfy the deep longings of the heart and to permanently address the sin issue with which they contend on a daily, even moment by moment, basis. The Islamic context has created a spiritual drought! They are prohibited from gaining access to the life-giving message of Jesus Christ. They dare not ask questions about the inconsistencies of their religion or seek for truth, as this would disgrace the community and family. Islam has also created a flood of rules by which each person must live. Despite adhering to the rules, a Muslim never has the assurance of entry into Paradise.
Ultimately, the spiritual famine is due to a spiritual war for the souls of men, women, boys, and girls across the Muslim world. John 10:10 reveals Satan's purpose: "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy." Satan has deceived 1.9 billion people into believing the lie of Islam so he can fulfill his mission of stealing, killing, and destroying lives! We are not in a war with Muslim people; we are in a war against the principalities and powers of darkness:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Eph. 6:12)
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Cor. 10:4-6)
This spiritual war is waged in the spiritual realm by implementing the spiritual weapons of the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and prayer (Eph. 6:17-18). We wage this war knowing that God has the purpose of giving people abundant life (John 10:10b).
As Christ-followers, we must not be complacent while billions of Muslims are deceived by the Enemy. We must take action!
We must intercede for Muslim people. Pray for them to have dreams and visions of Jesus that will lead them to a Christ-follower who can share the Good News of salvation with them. Pray for spiritual strongholds in the heavenly realms to be broken by the power of Jesus Christ! Pray for political leaders to come to faith in Jesus Christ so the gospel message can be shared freely in their nations. Pray for radical Islamic leaders to have a Saul to Paul conversion!
Second Corinthians 4:4 declares, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” Satan has blinded the eyes of Muslim people to the awesome goodness and glory of God! Pray that the scales that blind Muslims to the love, forgiveness, and grace of Christ would be removed so they can see the truth and respond to God’s gracious invitation to eternal life. Also, pray for Christ-followers in Muslim majority nations to have supernatural boldness to proclaim Jesus, even in the context of persecution.
God is calling you to boldly share Jesus with your Muslim neighbor, co-worker, friend, college roommate, or the Muslim person you meet on the street. In America, the doors are wide open! Sharing Jesus with a Muslim is not illegal. You can invite your Muslim friend to attend church with you. You can freely give your Muslim friend a Bible in his or her heart language. If you are unsure about how to share Jesus with Muslim people, check out our free downloadable resources so you can be prepared to effectively share Jesus with the Muslim people God brings into your life.
You can help end this spiritual famine by engaging in spiritual warfare through prayer and by actively sharing the Good News of Jesus! Let’s eradicate this spiritual famine together!