As pictures of gruesome beheadings continue to make their way on to the Internet and in our television sets, one can’t help but wonder if there is any hope for modern civilization. Who would have dreamed that the world would see such barbarianism in the 21st century? The darkness seems to be growing exponentially. Once one terror network is dismantled, another one seems to pop up.
One thing is certain. The terrorists have their sights set on world domination. If Christians understood the purpose and goals of these terrorist groups, we would be driven to our knees to cry to God for a mighty outpouring of His Spirit. They have claimed to establish a “caliphate” (khilafa in Arabic which means succession) in Syria and Iraq. According to Wikipedia, a caliphate “is an Islamic state led by a supreme religious and political leader known as a caliph – i.e. “successor” – to Muhammad. The succession of Muslim empires that have existed in the Muslim world are usually described as “caliphates”. Conceptually, a caliphate represents a sovereignstate of the entire Muslim faithful, (the Ummah), ruled by a caliph under Islamic law (sharia).”
Most people don’t understand the historical significance of the Islamic caliphate. The first caliph, Mohammed’s father-in-law was selected as a successor to Mohammed in 632 A.D. The father-in-law of Mohammed was chosen as the first of many caliphs to follow. The Ottoman Empire stood as the last caliphate. It dissolved in 1924, a year after the birth of the Turkish Republic and shortly after the conclusion of World War I. Many historians see the beginning of the end of the last caliphate as September 11, 1683 when the Ottomans were defeated in the Battle of Vienna. Islam was rebuffed in a military struggle that kept Europe from possibly becoming an Islamic caliphate. One can only shudder to think what European history would have been had that battle been won by the Islamic caliphate.
This defeat remains a deep wound in the hearts of Muslim extremists. An objective observer cannot let the date of the defeat go unnoticed – September 11. The ultimate goal of the caliphate was/is a world under the control of Islam, and one in which Sharia law is the way of life.
How, then, do we confront this darkness? It concerns me that almost all of our discussion centers in political and military solutions. However, I’m convinced that the battle is not purely political or military. The battle is deeply spiritual. If we don’t come to grips with the spiritual aspect of this looming worldwide darkness, I’m concerned that our children and grandchildren in the Western world will face barbaric acts of persecution we never imagined possible.
Smart bombs, ideological debates, and political correctness can’t shatter the darkness dwelling in the human heart. Only a display of the glory of God has the ability to expose and enlighten such hearts. We need a supernatural visitation from heaven – a revival much like the ones that our forefathers built as the foundation for Western civilization.
We face those who march to the drumbeat of hate. However, hate surrenders to those who carry weapons full of love. Our weapons are not filled with bombs that wreak death and destruction. When we fire the spiritual weapons given us, love spreads so rapidly that it brings life to all in its path and transforms the course of history. Darkness is dispersed and the light of God’s glory rises. Heaven visits earth. Revival descends. The world is changed. Hate can never defeat love when that love is exercised in the power of the One whose nature is love. The light of God’s love will dispel the darkness.
But, revival has always descended on the wings of a small band of praying men and women. I issue a call to believers around the world to pray as we’ve never prayed. Seek God. Ask for a heaven sent revival that will disperse the darkness that’s rapidly approaching. Pray, brothers and sisters! Pray!