My Facebook feed, and media in general have flooded us with messages about Muslims, messages about refugees, and messages of Sharia Law. For the most part, I feel they have all been fairly persuasive in creating a spirit of fear generated around the current situation of our changing political landscapes. I’ve been quiet on forming an opinion on everything until I came to a place of peace. After A LOT of prayer and seeking God’s Will I have come to a place of peace in my heart regarding Muslims and refugees. My final opinion, formed with God’s help and biblical truth, is this:
I am going to defend Muslims. I am going to defend refugees. I am going to invite Muslims AND refugees into my life as God brings them to me, and furthermore, I will pray that he does bring them to me! What an honour! I am going to choose to not give in to the posts/ reports that feed the spirit of fear or anger. I am going to trust God has a big fat plan.
I fully understand that this seems countercultural not only in the secular world, but also within Christian circles. Before you egg my home, let me explain…
God’s Ultimate Will vs God’s Provisional Will
In order to see where I’m coming from we first have to take off our narrow-minded human perspectives to see a bigger picture. A lesson I learned awhile back taught me that God has an ultimate will, and a provisional will. The ultimate will never changes, the provisional will can. God’s ultimate will is THAT all nations will hear the Gospel message before he sends Jesus to return to earth. God’s provisional will is the WAY that message goes out to reach those nations. God, since he is not limited by borders, can move and shift our landscape to keep his ultimate will on track. When we fail to obey a calling, he lifts up another person/ nation/ group to see that his ultimate will is completed.
What we see right now is a change in political landscape, but what God is doing is shifting a spiritual landscape that for the most part we have missed by feeding into the deception of the enemy. The enemy will win if all we see is politics. The enemy will lose if we can see him for what he is and call him out! We aren’t waging war on people, or borders and boundaries, we are waging war on the crafty work of the Devil, who will keep God’s message from being spread by whatever means he can!!
What if (and there’s no way I can prove it, but hear me out a minute) there are an abundance of restless hearts from these foreign countries in desperate need to hear God’s message in a timely matter. And what if, to see his Ultimate Will of getting his message into all nations he needed to disperse these people to lands where people can still speak freely about him? What if, the way we behave as believers needs to be witnessed to soften the hard hearts that have grown in these spiritually deprived countries? We have seen in history the way God can change landscapes and move nations to fulfill his ultimate will, and he can use these events around us to change it again.
Here’s the point:
Right now whether or not you like it, our borders are being opened to new neighbours. They have come from war-torn, uninhabitable countries. There are children, mothers, fathers- who desire like any father to protect their family, young men and women, and elderly whose days on earth are limited. Will the enemy sneak in with them? Undoubtably so, but to be fair, he was already here. The people group his army enters in with makes no difference, because he was already weaving an unseen web in our country. A web that has been buried below politics, popular opinion, and whatever other way he can cover up his plan to destroy and deceive.
In Matthew 10 Jesus warns his disciples that they will be persecuted if they follow Jesus. He doesn’t leave it in the fine print, he puts it right out there!
16 “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17 Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, 18 and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. 19 When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. 20 For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
In his finals words to the disciples before he ascends to His Father’s right hand, and in spite of the clear warning of persecution in a few chapters earlier, he says this as his parting words:
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt 28- emphasis mine)
I emphasized the word observe for a reason. Observe means they aren’t just hearing all God has commanded, but they are witnessing it. This means the disciples weren’t just to tell people how to obey God, but to show people how to observe God. This means, they opened doors to their very personal life to allow non-believers the chance to witness how a loving God looks publicly AND privately. And for the record, you can Google the Jewish War of AD 66, or equally the Jewish revolt of AD 132 to see the political landscape of their day wasn’t easy. To preach Jesus’ name meant risking your life, and yet it didn’t stop Jesus from giving his Great Commission. He saved us from death so we wouldn’t fear walking in accordance to his commands (but that’s a post for another day…).
It is our responsibility to not overlook the opportunity we have in our own backyard to preach to all nations, and allow them to observe through us all that God has commanded. This means we let them in close enough to our lives to walk beside them. If we choose to dig in our heels and look away, rest assured the world will come to their rescue (as they already have), and show compassion. If we declare our God is the Greatest Lover of the all, and yet turn our backs in fear, our actions have not matched our message. We will forfeit our opportunity to be able to be God’s provisional will as witnesses in the lives of these creations of God to teach them how to walk in God’s commands.
Finally, since we answer to God’s Law before political laws, and any other laws that may or may not be creeping their way into our country, then we must follow what those laws are first:
25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:25-28)
Jesus goes on to explain who our neighbours are, and that the Samaritan (whom the Jews loathed with every ounce of their being) became the good neighbour because he had compassion. Compassion wins every time!
I am going to choose to defend Muslims, and refugees. I am going to take darts and arrows for them as they are coming from a physically hostile environment to an emotionally hostile environment full of fearful North Americans who want them out for so many reasons. I will stand against those who stand against them in hopes that they see a new kind of love that defends the innocent. I am going to have compassion on my neighbour and yes, I will open my very own personal door to my home (not just the perverbial door) for them as God brings them to me. I am going to do this because they need time. Time for their hearts to soften to see God’s message. Time for them to make decisions about their eternity that they perhaps haven’t the chance to do. If you want to read my article on God’s “stolen” kids you can do so here, but these are his stolen kids, and I intend to do whatever I can to reveal the deception they’ve been fed in their lives and see their deceiver for who he is. And do it from a place of compassion that is a kind of compassion set apart from the world’s version of compassion.
And in response to allowing potential radicals in with them? I am going to pray, pray, pray, pray, and pray some more that God’s ultimate will be done in spite of the Devil’s crafty plan. I am going to pray that he doesn’t gain ground, but the voice of God’s body, and the ACTIONS of God’s body win more ground than he does! I also acknowledge again and again that the enemy we are trying to keep out, was already at work here.
This is why I am going to defend Muslims and refugees. I do see that God is shifting a spiritual world around us right now. I, for one, am excited about what he has in store!
Father, give us eyes, ears, hands, and feet to defend truth. Keep our eyes on you that we may not become deceived by the ways of the world, and our culture. Keep our hearts soft for your lost children. Bring your lost kids to our very doorsteps and give us the means by which to reach out and show them your love in a compassionate way that speaks in the way they need to hear it. In Jesus name, Amen.