By Abdul Asad
Abdul Asad means “servant of the Lion.” As a follower of Isa al-Masih (Jesus Christ), Abdul’s passion is to see people and nations blessed and transformed by the power of His gospel.
Willingness to Minister in the Power of the Spirit
I don’t care what your church background is, when you work with Muslims on a regular basis, you need to be open to ministering in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Most of the Muslim world is built upon a foundation of animism. In fact, Islam actually breeds an animistic worldview – even in places where Islam is supposed to be “pure” like Saudi Arabia.Muslims are very in tune with the spirit world, and the majority of them are terrified of it.
As Christians, we have something to offer. We do not need to be terrified of the unseen world. In fact, Christ has given us authority over it (Luke 10:19). This is why Jesus told the disciples to “wait until they had been clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49) before commencing with the Great Commission.
Sharing the Gospel is hard work because we have an unseen enemy who wants to stop us – and nowhere is this more evident than in the Muslim world, where Satan has freely pranced about for a millennium and a half.
We need the Holy Spirit to guide us and protect us, but also to empower our witness (John 14:11).
There have been times where I have had the best apologetic answers you can imagine in debates with Muslims. But usually this just leaves them even more closed. But when I pray and something happens it gets their attention!
Just one quick example – one day I was walking down the street and I saw a father sitting holding his handicapped and mute son. I felt the Spirit urge me to turn around and pray for him. So I turned back and asked the man if I could pray for his son.
As soon as I told him I was a Christian, the boy began screaming and convulsing violently. He was foaming at the mouth and shouting curses in slurred speech. The father was very scared. The people on the street were scared.
I was scared too – until I realized that a demon was manifesting itself in this little boy. So I began to pray in the name of Jesus, loudly and forcefully, that the demon would leave him alone. And then, after about ten seconds of prayer, the boy immediately relaxed and began to smile.
The father was really shocked now. The onlookers were shocked. I was not. I knew what had happened, so I told the father that his son had been tormented by a demon, but in the name of Jesus it had just been cast out of him.
He was stunned. But when I asked the previously mute and unresponsive boy if he knew that Jesus loved him, he smiled and said. “Yes!” as clear as day, while taking my hand.
If Muslims are to receive Jesus, they need to see that His power is greater than the fear they live in. They need to know that Christianity is not just words on a page, a good argument, or good doctrine. Rather, they must experience the power of God firsthand (1 Cor. 2:4).
Willingness to Walk by Faith in God’s Promises
I won’t lie to you; a lot of what you may have heard about sharing the Gospel with Muslims is true. It does seem like impossible work sometimes.
But our job is to do the possible and let God do the impossible. It’s not up to us to change hearts, that’s God’s job. Our job is to boldly, and faithfully, proclaim the Gospel to everyone, and let the cards fall where they may.
Sometimes when you live surrounded by such darkness and unresponsiveness, you begin to believe the lies of the enemy that no one wants Jesus, and you should just keep quiet, or at least not try to “go for it” with your Muslim friends.
There’s only so many times you can hear career missionaries tell you that they’ve only seen one person come to Christ in twenty years before you start to lose faith that this will change. Recently a colleague of mine challenged me not to let the negative talk of other missionaries get to me.
He said that he had decided to just walk by faith in God’s guarantee that many are to be saved from this nation, and had started to really “go for it” with the Muslims that he knew. He told me that three men had personally received Christ in only a few weeks of this newfound bold approach.
I figured he was right, why was I listening to negative human talk over the promises in the word of God?
So that week I set out to take every conversation with Muslims as far as possible – perhaps all the way to salvation. Sure enough, in just one week of walking by faith in God’s promises over against a long history of failures in this part of the world, three men came to faith!
Now I don’t mean to imply that this happens all the time, because it doesn’t. The fact remains that most people in this world don’t want Jesus or the holy life he demands (Mt. 7:14), and that goes equally for people in your home country as well.
But if just one week of faith-filled boldness in sharing the Gospel with Muslims can yield three lives turned to Christ, just think what a year or two, or a whole lifetime lived with this kind of faith can do?!
This article is by no means an exhaustive list of all that it takes to reach Muslims with the Gospel. Rather, as I tried to put myself in your shoes – as if I was 21 and zealous to bear the name of Christ in a foreign land among Muslims, – I have tried to give you just a few other things to think about.
As I said, I have learned these things by trial and error, by victory, and certainly by failure. And now, “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen (Heb. 13:20-21).
For more information about Muslim ministry from this author, go to his blog.