Peace amidst Panic

Why do the nations conspire
   and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up
   and the rulers band together
   against the LORD and against his anointed, saying,
“Let us break their chains
   and throw off their shackles.”

Psalm 2:1–3

Peace is a person. Without Him, individuals and nations can only relate from self-interest—in self-preservation and self-promotion—resulting in conflict.

In 1988 the U.S. government was searching the world for an effective strategy to counter militant Islam. A New York city policeman came to their attention who had come to know Peace. By listening to and following Jesus in his role as a policeman, Jamie Winship had helped end gang violence, dismantle a Chinese gambling ring and catch a kidnapper for whom the police had no leads.

After hearing how Jamie achieved these results, the agent who interviewed him said,

I don’t like your process, but obviously you know what you are doing. Can you do this among militant Muslim groups overseas?

Jamie replied,

What’s the difference between militant Muslims, the gang leader and the Chinese lady? They are all human beings, aren’t they?

The agent concluded,

Here’s what we need, because we don’t know how to do this. Can you infiltrate a militant Muslim organization and pacify them without the use of force?

Jamie replied,

“Oh yeah. Absolutely!”

Jamie wasn’t the first person the U.S. government approached with this question, but he was the first to say “Yes.” (Jamie tells this story in this 5-minute audio clip from this 45-minute video.)

Learning to listen to Jesus among Muslims wasn’t as simple for Jamie and his wife as they had anticipated. As Jamie explains in his 2008 article in the International Journal of Frontier Missiology, it took five years of living among Muslims before God broke through Jamie and Donna’s own prejudices and initial, ineffective ministry approach:

Our (initial) missionary strategy was this:
get a group of Muslims together,
tell them that the Qur’an is from hell,
that their prophet is really a pedophile, and
that he’s deceived by Satan.
After that we would invite them to come to church with us.

After five years of such fruitless “ministry,” Jamie met someone who was highly effective at leading whole Muslim households and communities to Jesus. Jamie’s first response was to try to prove that such an approach must be flawed:

My motivation [was to show] that what he was doing was wrong, or syncretistic, or whatever, so I could go back to being content that we weren’t seeing anything happen.

Instead Jamie saw God work powerfully through this model (see details in the IJFM article mentioned above).

However Jamie found that simply trying to follow another person’s effective ministry model didn’t work for him. The friend who showed Jamie a more effective approach then told him:

The problem is you keep telling God what He can do and what He can’t do.
Ask Him what He wants to do and do whatever He says.

In his IJFM article, Jamie identifies this as the pivotal step for their fruitfulness among Muslims:

  • after abandoning ineffective ministry patterns
  • and embracing effective ministry principles
  • Jamie returned to his fruitful “formula” as a policeman—simply listen to Jesus and do what He says:

So we started to change, and in that year, my wife and I led more people to Christ than in all our previous years of ministry.

Jamie asked me to note that his approach to “pacifying” militant Muslims

is not promoted or endorsed by the any government agency.

Yet Jamie and Donna were bold in discipling other U.S. agents to become effective kingdom agents—to:

  • find their identity and peace in Jesus,
  • abandon ineffective methods,
  • embrace fruitful principles, and
  • listen to and follow Jesus.

With this foundation the teams supervised by the Winships became increasingly fruitful in leading militant Muslims to become unstoppable disciples—empowered to multiply with inner peace from the Prince of Peace.

These two 5-minute audio clips (taken from this full 45-minute video) show how this works in practice:

Although the Winships have turned their government work over to others, the teams they worked with have—as of 2019—started four movements among militant Muslims (defined in this context as 3,000 or more believers, in three or more generations). You may enjoy other parts of Jamie’s story in this hour-long video.

This is just one of the ways God is quietly countering terrorism: working through Kingdom agents—serving in some even cases as U.S. government agents—to bring militant Muslims, atheists, Hindus, etc. into their true identity as champions of the Prince of Peace.

You may not see evidence of the quiet spread of God’s kingdom in the news. Few foresaw how suddenly the Iron Curtain would fall. Perhaps we can learn from the collapse of Communism to trust God in what He is doing now. In just 25 years the number of Jesus movements has grown exponentially to more than 1,000, engaging roughly 1% of the world population in rapidly multiplying churches.

The Global Picture today

  • 20% of the world lives in one country that is aggressively employing cutting-edge technology to suppress and eliminate Christianity and Islam. Seventy ago this same country expelled all missionaries (including my own grandparents) and many thought the church there was finished, yet when the Bamboo Curtain fell we discovered that believers had multiplied perhaps 100-fold. Persecution and oppression had driven believers to rely on the Holy Spirit, and they had multiplied. More recently, several large Jesus movements were multiplying rapidly in this country before the current persecution and health issues broke out.
    May God demonstrate that His Spirit is more powerful than the technology currently employed against the spread of the gospel.
  • 20% of the world lives in another country which contains half the population and complexity of all Unreached and Frontier People Groups worldwide! In recent years this country has almost totally eliminated residency visas for foreign religious workers in an attempt to eliminate this perceived “Western influence.” Yet God has focused extraordinary prayer on these groups and raised up many movements, including some of the largest Jesus movements in the world:
    The Bhojpuri movement
    Luke 10 movements spreading from village to village
    – and other, similar movements.
    May God demonstrate the power of His Spirit over this nation’s effort to suppress the gospel.
  • An overlapping 25% of the world lives in Islamic communities that honor Jesus but view Christianity as a competing threat. Yet God is working through dreams, visions and Jesus movements.
    May God demonstrate the power of His Spirit over militant Islam.
  • An overlapping 7% of atheists claim that God doesn’t even exist. Yet over the past 30 years, the foundations of materialistic and atheistic worldviews have been severely undermined.
    May God demonstrate His glory among the fields we consider the hardest soil.

Today the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham—that all the families of earth will be blessed through his seed—is being advanced through:
• global prayer networks such as the International Prayer Council and
• collaborative learning networks of movement practitioners such as the 24:14 Coalition and No Place Left.

The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
   the Lord scoffs at them.
He rebukes them in his anger
   and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
“I have installed my king
   on Zion, my holy mountain.”

I will proclaim the LORD’s decree:
   He said to me, “You are my son;
        today I have become your father.
   Ask me,
        and I will make the nations your inheritance,
        the ends of the earth your possession.
   You will break them with a rod of iron;
        you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

Therefore, you kings, be wise;
   be warned, you rulers of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear
   and celebrate his rule with trembling.
Kiss his son, or he will be angry
   and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
   Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Psalm 2:4–12

Your Own Identity and Peace with Jesus

We may be experiencing the “birth pains” Jesus described that will come before the end of the age and His coming (Matthew 24:8, 14).

We have the privilege of stepping into all that Jesus and the Holy Spirit have empowered us for as His Witnesses who listen to His voice and follow Him into the greatest harvest in history!

These two additional 5-minute clips (also from one of the 45-minute videos of Jamie mentioned above) point the way for you also to become a Kingdom agent in your own context:

Jamie and Donna have distilled their experiences into two practical training series, both intended for individual and group use. My wife and I have been through both of these, and highly recommend them:

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