By Jay Bruner, Senior Pastor
As we’ve all been shocked by the tragedy unfolding in Afghanistan, a question that has plagued many is, “What can I do?”. The answer is twofold; First, Understand what is truly happening, and Second, choose to intentionally war against it.
First, the truth behind what is truly occurring is found in Ephesians 6:12.
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12, NLT
Although we see physical violence being acted out, it is not merely a flesh and blood battle. It is deeper, it is the darkness bound up within the heart and minds of those who live separated from the “light and life” that is Jesus. In the darkness of self-centered, self-focused isolation, the powers of darkness work. This is not the way of God, rather Satan himself.
Second, what is our response? Look to the example of Paul (once a killer of Christians, then a messenger of Christ ) as found in Romans 10:1-4.
Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved (Jews who once hated Christians). I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God. Romans 10:1-4 NLT
Once a staunch Jew, Paul was religiously trying to be right with God by being a religious fanatic regarding religious law. Yet after encountering Jesus Christ realized that he was wrong.
He realized becoming right with God was a matter of the loving grace exhibited by Christ. Once he saw Jesus, he knew the truth of loving God and loving his fellow man. He then would pray that all those who would persecute Christians and others would then come to see and understand what he had seen and come to understand the loving Savior of the world.
First, we should follow his lead by praying passionately for all the Christ-followers in Afghanistan to be protected from harm. Second, pray for all the Taliban leaders and followers to meet Jesus in visions and dreams, a miraculous phenomenon happening in Muslim communities worldwide. God is big enough. When His people pray, He moves.
If you question whether God can answer such a prayer, consider the man who first prayed it. If Saul the persecutor could become Paul the apostle, this fact is clear: it is always too soon to give up on God.
I am asking for all followers of Christ reading this to join me in a simple prayer:
Jesus, I come to you now and ask, on behalf of any Christ-follower in Afghanistan, that you please protect them. Help them right now to know you are with them. Keep them from death, deliver them from the evil that is moving in and around them. Place your Angels around them. Jesus, I also ask that you show yourself in visions and dreams to the leaders of the Taliban movement. I pray that you speak right into their hearts and minds that they need you. You are true light and life. You are the one true God. What men and all their strength have attempted to do, I pray you would now do through your mighty power, change the hearts of those in power and save this country and these people. I place these people in your hands. Amen