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Clash of Culture and Faith
October 2021
By a member of SEND’s Diaspora | North America team — If someone told you everything you had learned or known about God was wrong, how would you react? I suspect that it would come as a shock to you, and you would automatically reject such a claim.

This is the dilemma we face in sharing about Jesus Christ with Muslims. But if what we are sharing with them is true, and we believe it is, then it means that what they believe is false (and no one wants to hear that their position on anything is wrong, let alone in matters of faith).

This is why it is so important for us to remember that Jesus worked with his disciples for three years, teaching them and demonstrating his relationship with the Father. Many disciples, if not most, did not get his message at first. Some didn’t ever get it and gave up when it became too hard to follow. Early on, Jesus called 12 disciples to be in his inner circle to spend additional time with them. I think he did this because he knew they were each on a spiritual journey on the way to understanding who he was. He called them to, "Come and see.” He called them into a relationship, an intense relationship. Even after all of that, some of his closest companions still missed the point of his time on earth (before he ascended into heaven, they were asking if he was going to restore the political kingdom of Israel at that time!) 

Shifting someone’s way of thinking and belief takes time. Of course, God can and does change hearts in a moment, but sometimes he chooses to reveal himself over time through a long journey. Some questions we need to ask ourselves are, "Are we partners with him in that journey for others? Are we willing to commit to the time and energy to be a friend to someone over the long haul as God opens their eyes and heart to him? Or, are we too busy with our activities and hurried lifestyle for him to use us to draw others to himself?”

Most Muslims don’t come to Jesus in a single encounter. While it is certainly possible, it doesn’t seem to be the norm. Muslims often come to Christ over several years (or even longer). They have to think about the claims of Christ and process letting go of all they have believed and known. They have to process how to continue to relate to family members they still love dearly. They have to process the inconsistencies they see in the West among those who profess faith in Christ, yet are silent on so many issues. Are we willing to engage with them and be their friend, not just once they have come to faith, but all along their journey? Are we willing to walk with them through the good days and the bad?

A very helpful book on understanding this spiritual journey is Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi. It took Nabeel many years of hearing the gospel and seeing it lived out in the lives of several people before he finally yielded his life to Christ. Are we being that witness for someone? Are we allowing God to use us in the lives of Muslims in our community? It is easy to sit on the sidelines and watch. It is something altogether different to jump into the fray and say, “Here I am, God. Use me to shine your light into these peoples’ hearts and lives.” 

Today, Afghan refugees coming to our cities present an opportunity to engage Muslims for Christ, but there are already many Muslims here who also need to hear and see the gospel lived out. May I challenge you to pray and ask for God to lead you to step out in faith, relying on the Holy Spirit for strength and courage to be the light of Christ to Muslims in your town? 
 
 

10/10 Prayer Initiative

  • People around the world have joined together in praying for 10% of the Muslim world to come to Christ in 10 years. This movement began in 2018 and has been ongoing for almost four years! Visit the 10/10 Prayer website to find prayer themes and ideas for groups and individuals. Please feel free to ask others to join you in interceding for the Muslim world as we call for God to perform a miracle, drawing many to himself.
  • Afghan refugees have poured out of Afghanistan to the rest of the world and, in particular, to the USA. Please pray for churches to set up Welcome Teams to receive a family and prayerfully help them adjust to life here. God is bringing the nations to us! Has your church set up a Welcome Team yet? Maybe you need to step up and call others to join you.
  • Afghanistan continues to reel under the boot of the Taliban. While many local Christians left, there are still some who have remained. We pray for God’s grace to daily sustain those remaining, that they may shine light and truth in a dark and difficult place.
  • Pray for missionaries continuing to seek ways to share Jesus in a Covid world. Pray for stamina as everything is harder, especially for those confined to homes and apartments month after month in hard-hit countries.




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