There is growing hysteria over the activities of extremist Muslims and the accelerated advance of Islam throughout the world. Christians, Jews and Secularists discuss strategies as to how to contain those who are bent on converting the world by force to their beliefs and the application of Sharia law. Muslims who insist on forcefully disseminating their ideology are labeled as the enemy. As news outlets report the growing war with these practitioners often my mind is filled with critical thoughts about Muslims and I so quickly cheer when they are defeated or destroyed. But God’s Word rebukes me.
Isaiah 26:12,13—LORD, You will establish peace for us, for You have also done all our work for us. Yahweh our God, lords other than You have ruled over us, but we remember Your name alone.
A corrupt Christianity is evidenced in society by two distinguishing marks—apathy or misguided zeal. Those who don’t care are doomed to languish. Those who worship their own might be it with guns or with government are doomed to despair.
R.A. Torrey in The Power of Prayer wrote:
God never gave us the wonderful privilege of prayer as a makeshift to cover up our laziness and neglect of duty. But, if we are willing that God should use us in answering our own prayers, willing to do anything that God may guide us to do to secure the salvation of those for whom we are praying, willing to do anything in our power to bring about the salvation of those for whom we pray, then we can accomplish far more for their salvation by praying for them than in any other way.
As followers of Jesus, should not our strategy for containing anyand every threat be the strategy of peace? And is not the application of this strategy accomplished through prayer? Rather than rejoice when our enemy perishes we ought to be filled with remorse. Our duty, according to Jesus, is to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44). We do this in confidence because as Isaiah teaches, it is the Lord who establishes peace for us. He is not intimidated by the screams of those who are badly misguided or by the bombs of those who march under the incessant drumbeat of conquest. Whom the Koran teaches as Allah cannot be the father of Jesus. The prophet Muhammad’s words are incongruent with those of the Son of God. Therefore, as Isaiah noted, other lords may rule over us (a consequence of disobedience) but we remember Yahweh’s name alone.
My point is not that we may not use force to defend our liberty—Scripture clearly affords us this right. What we must beware of is reliance upon our own strategies. Prayer should always be our first place of business to determine God’s marching orders. Pick the name of a terrorist and pray for him or her. Learn who your neighbors and coworkers are who practice Islam and pray for their salvation while applying love in daily action. Lasting peace is never sealed through human force; it is obtained through divine authority. When we worship that Power and live in His strength, we will find victorious peace.
©2015 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)