|Wikisource:Islam|| A Fellowship of Faith for Moslems |
|January 1921 edition of The Moslem World Quarterly Review|
There is a force in the world today which brings us into touch with one Jehovah God and which makes all things possible to us. This force is faith. We are apt to regard faith as an intangible thing, but if we did but realize it, it is scarcely less tangible than electricity. As we understand the laws that govern the electric current, as we learn the lines upon which it will work, so do we have before our eyes certain proofs of its power and we are able to harness it to fulfill our behests. Faith too has its laws, faith too is an active, working force and it is possible to apply it to the crying needs of our own day and generation and to have occular demonstration of what it can do.
The Bible magnifies the value of the individual in God's sight and shows that the faith of one man can accomplish miracles, but it also shows that it is in a fel- lowship of faith that faith can be most productive, and it is to a fellowship of faith that many of the most exalted promises are made. "If ye (plural) have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain. Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you (Matt. 17:29)." This is a promise to faith, united, active and aggressive. It is in a living fellowship that mountain-removing- faith is to be found.
Again hear what the Master says: "Verily, I say unto you. Whatsoever ye (plural) shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Again I say unto you, "That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven" (Matt. i8: i8, 19). Unless prayer is the voice of faith it is but a meaningless repetition of words or a form of moral, spiritual or intellectual gymnastics, but prayer that arises from a living fellowship of faith, yea, when that fellowship consists of only two members, is, our Lord teaches us, a power in heaven and on earth. God the Father graciously undertakes to do for such a fellowship anything that they shall ask.
The Bible teems with illustrations of the actual working value of faith and fellowship combined. Was it not a fellowship of faith that overthrew Jericho! What was Gideon's little band of three hundred but a fellowship of faith? What was Jehoshaphat's army as it went out against Ammon, Moab and Seir but a fellowship of faith, with the words "Believe in the Lord your God" ringing in their ears and the song of praise upon their lips? Pass to the New Testament and' see that little group of intercessors pleading with God for the Apostle Peter. Prison, chains, four quaternions of soldiers, the wrath of Herod, certain death confronting him, "5m/ Prayer (Acts 12:5)! A fellowship of faith, humble believers whose faith was indeed but as a grain of mustard seed, pleading with God in the background and where now are the soldiers, the chains, the keepers, the prison doors? Heavenly forces have been put in motion, God has moved, and the miracle is accomplished fact.
It has been the writer's glad privilege to witness spiritual movement in more than one place in answer to the united persistent pleading with God of a company of His believing people. Nothing seems impossible to such a fellowship, they know that faith does but pave the way for the Almighty God to work, they rely upon His promises, they plead them before His throne, and they are confident that the answer to their petitions, though it tarry, will surely come. They abound in hope by the power of the Holy Ghost and there is no situation too dark and difficult for them to face because there is nothing too hard for their God.
That is the ideal we have set before us as we bind ourselves into a fellowship of faith for the Moslems. For its exercise faith must have an objective. It must be applied to specific casesâ€” it must be focused or its full value will never be appreciated, and as we stand face to face with the great Moslem world we have an objective worthy of our metal. Islam defies our King, denies His divinity, scoffs at His Cross and declares He did not die. It is a great system in more ways than one but it is a system of darkness and of error. Faith enables us to realize that there are forces behind all this in the invisible realm, "world-rulers of this darkness," that it is possible by united prayer to deal with these "world-rulers." If on earth by prayer we bind these invisible powers, in heaven God will bind them and we shall see the darkness lifting and the light of the glory of God in the face of the Crucified One dawning in many Moslem hearts.
Members of a fellowship of faith for the Moslems must believe implicitly in the ultimate, absolute triumph of the Cross over the Crescent. Christ is their Head â€” all power is His in heaven and on earth, and "He must reign till He hath put all enemies under His feet." Islam is Christ's enemy â€” Islam is destined to lick the dust before Him. When or how that final triumph will come who shall say, but as we go forth against this false system we have the assurance that we are on the winning side and so we can praise for victory "Before the vaunting foe is dead."
Each living member of a fellowship of faith for the Moslems may also rest assured of the fact that every effort to enlighten the darkness of Islam, every prayer offered, every sacrifice made is telling towards that glorious consummation. Hidden he may be, feeble he may seem, but his labor is not in vain in the Lord. So divers going down to lay mines beneath a dangerous rock toil day after day in loneliness and discomfort and see no result for their labours. The great rock seems as steadfast as ever, as menacing to life and property, but the day comes when the last diver has done his work, the last connecting link is made and by the slightest touch an infant can blow the mighty structure to pieces. So let us not despise the day of small things when no results are visible. The tiny prayer-meeting, two or three gathered to pray for the Moslems, the young missionary struggling to express in imperfect Arabic something of a heavenly Father's love to a group of indifferent or opposing people, all such efforts are in the plan, all are vital and important. May we realize it until the full glory of it dawns upon our souls. The very angels in heaven might well covet our seemingly humble opportunities of service. As we pray, as we give, as we go, may we be conscious that this is our Divinely appointed task and that we may claim and receive Divine equipment for it, and that it is leading up to the final overthrow of this false religion, and that in it all we are "labourers together with God."
May our fellowship be pulsating with life and hope- fulness, may our faith "grow exceedingly," and in our great task may we stand shoulder to shoulder, believing to see the glory of the Lord in all Moslem lands.
- JENNIE B. LOGAN.