My team is seeking to start a movement to Christ among a people group in Southwest Asia.
But engaging in meaningful contact with local Muslim men and women is not easy. Some are suspicious of us. They imagine we work for the government or that we’re associated with some sort of spy network.
Others aren’t suspicious as much as they are wary of being associated with foreigners. They’re afraid of becoming fodder for the local gossip mill.
Still others in our city are so devoted to a fundamental version of Islam that it’s difficult to meet and befriend them. They’ve entrenched themselves in a conservative world to avoid engaging with others.
Visas are another problem. The application process is time-consuming and exhausting, and the government issues them reluctantly.
These are some of the challenges we face.
But our greatest challenge is to remain rooted in the love of God.
But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. (Jude 20-21)
Devotion to God should fuel my calling. But I have often kept my devotional life on one hand and my calling on the other, with the two never meeting in a naturally connected way. Ministry that fails to grow out of devotional delight in the Lord remains stunted.
We keep ourselves in the love of God by remembering His immeasurably great and free love. The clearest and deepest expression of that love is the cross of Jesus Christ. We must fix our thoughts and feelings on the great truth that God loves undeserving sinners like us.
Of course, God Himself is the one who keeps us.
… for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)
Praise Him who keeps our hearts focused on His great love as we trust and wait on Him to work in us and through us.