Inspired by a Dream
The ISIS attacks in Paris were a wakeup call for the western world. ISIS has given its followers a dream that the Caliphate they have established in Iraq and Syria can spread throughout the world. They are prepared to murder and terrorize anyone who opposes their diabolical agenda. Jihadists in Afghanistan and Africa are switching their allegiance from the Taliban and Al Qaeda and joining ISIS. Soon others in Pakistan may take up their banner. The longer the world waits to remove them from the territory they hold, the more jihadists will join their cause.
I don’t believe it is wise or righteous to intervene in the affairs of other nations simply because we don’t like their governments or national policies. However, when a nation declares war, their neighbors must either take action or suffer serious consequences. We have had war declared on us by ISIS. We will either take decisive action soon, or we will face terrorist acts which will force us to take action. The longer we wait, the more difficult the task will be when we finally fight.
How can a Christian who loves Jesus say the things I am saying? Doesn’t Jesus say, “If someone strikes you on the cheek, turn the other cheek to him?” Yes, Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek. A strike on the cheek is an insult; it is not a life and death matter. Jesus doesn’t want us reacting with vengeance when our pride is hurt. Neither does he expect his disciples to passively accept death at the hands of evildoers.
In Luke 22:35-37 Jesus asked His disciples, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”
“Nothing,” they answered.
He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one."
As Jesus prepared to go to the cross, He gave new instructions to his disciples. He told them to buy swords for self-defense. They were not supposed to be lambs led to the slaughter. Jesus was the sacrifice for our sins. He does not redeem us so we can be abused by the world. He redeems us so we can show the world His glory by loving one another and doing good deeds. Rescuing those who are held captive by evildoers is a good deed. Protecting innocent civilians is a good deed. Helping refugees is a good deed.
America has been given great power and wealth. We must use our influence for righteousness if our nation is going to continue to flourish. Millions of people have come under the control of ISIS. They have no freedom of religion or speech. ISIS is not content to put Iraq and Syria under Shari law. Their agenda is to dominate the world. We must use our resources to provide leadership with courage and resolve. We have been given these resources for such a time as this. God wants to pour out His Spirit on all flesh, including Muslims. I hope ISIS will help Muslims realize the Koran gives them all a distorted view of God.
Followers of Christ are called to be the light of the world. If we love God and one another with our whole hearts, we can give people more than a dream of a better life when they die. A healthy church gives people a taste of God’s Kingdom on earth. Our government has a job to do to bear the sword against those who do evil. Believers are called to declare God’s Word and share the love of Christ. It is as inexcusable for us to keep quiet when sin abounds as it is for our government to do nothing in the face of evil.
This is not a time to close our hearts in fear. We don’t overcome the enemy by building bigger fences or hiding in fortresses. We overcome the enemy by the blood of the lamb, the word of our testimony and not being intimidated by the fear of death (Revelation 12:11). This is a time for believers to be bold in sharing our faith and our love. We often feel vulnerable when we do ministry, but God’s power is revealed in our weakness. The world has deep darkness, and great needs. In Christ we have great light and resources.
I have a dream of churches united in love and truth around the world. I dream of believers filled with the Holy Spirit, sharing their faith boldly and their resources freely. I dream of the glory of God present and the gifts of the Spirit flowing in our worship services. I have experienced some of this reality. It is a reality worth living and dying for, and it is destined to come to pass.