READ: Psalm 56, Ezekiel 1-3, Matthew 28, Romans 7
Rebellion begins with a disbelief of who God is. If we really believe God is good, that He is in complete control, that He does all things well, that mercy crowns all His works, that He knows what is best for us–if we really believed all these things–we would not resist or question Him. Non-Christian religions are rebellions against God because they disbelieve who God is according to how He is revealed in the Bible. Most rebellion is against who Jesus is, but rebellion against Father and Spirit are just as damaging. Islam, for example, is a direct rebellion against heaven for it denies the deity of Jesus, the Fatherhood of God, and indwelling fullness of the Holy Spirit. In interaction with those who disbelieve (and rebel) about who God is, argument and apologetics are necessarily limited. The best thing we can do in the face of rebellion and unbelief is not to defend, but to celebrate. God is most wondrously proclaimed when we exalt Him as God for us, God with us, and God in us.
God the Father Is for Me. Psalm 56:9 reminds us that enemies will be turned back “because God is for me.” Men and women were created for “sonship,” to be the sons and daughters of God. There is a vacuum in the human spirit that longs for the intimacy of a loving Father. The protestations of a Muslim against the Fatherhood of God are best overcome by holy jealousy. We should not diminish the Fatherhood of God in our texts, experience, or evangelism. We should celebrate and announce the glorious comfort there is in a heavenly Father. Our Muslim friends may academically object, but they cannot help but inwardly hunger to know God the Father, who is FOR them.
God the Son Is with Me. In Matthew 28:20 we are instructed to go into all the world to make disciples. As John York said so succinctly, however, “There is no ‘Go!’ without ‘Lo.’” There is no “go into all the world” without “Lo, I am with you always.” Immanuel, God is with us, and if God is for us, who can be against us (Rom. 8:31)? David Livingstone told a group of university students that it was this truth (Jesus is WITH us always) that sustained him through the dangers and loneliness of his “exiled life.” When he died, they found his corpse kneeling by his bed, his Bible open to Matthew 28:20. In the margin he had scrawled, “The word of a gentleman.”
God the Spirit Is in Me. Ezekiel in the midst of exile and astonishment speaks several times of the Spirit of God entering him (Eze. 2:2; 3:24). The Bible is replete with references of the indwelling Spirit. This is a marvel (God IN us) too wondrous for academic explanation. What is horrific to the Muslim should not cause embarrassment in the witness. Let us proclaim the mysterious wonders of God by celebrating what we are privileged to enjoy. The Trinity when celebrated causes holy jealousy.