Muslims and Christians both fast and pray - do you know what you believe?

One of my best friends is a Muslim and she's heartsick over ISIS.  Isn't every sane person with a beating heart in their chest? But her beating heart is a bleeding heart, so she picked up the phone and called me after 21 People of the Cross had been killed.  From half a world away, in the desert heat of the middle east, she dialed my number. She can always dial my number.

When we said all we knew to say the line fell silent for a long few breaths, then she whispered, "This isn't Islam, how are they enlisting so many people? I don't understand." From the other end I could hear her shake her head. Then I reminded her of one of our first conversations, 22 years earlier.  We were sitting in our college dorm room, freshman, having only just met. A Muslim and a Christian, with Garth Brookes singing "I've got friends in low places" from the boombox between our beds. She watched me study my Bible, propped up by pillows, then said, "You know a lot more about your faith then I know about mine."

Casually I responded,  "Then you should figure out what it is you believe." She nodded and I suggested, "How about I tell you what I believe, and when you understand what you believe you can explain it to me?"


My 18-year-old self smiled and promised, "I'll be praying for you," and she said, "inshallah."

Over the next two decades we have done that very thing - sharing and listening over the phone, via social media, and even face to face.

Three years ago we met up in Las Vegas, specifically to see our old college friend Garth in concert.  Two days straight we walked and talked and sat and talked and ate and talked and sang and talked.  And all the while I prayed, always praying for my friend to know, deep down in her core, what she believes.

"I pray for you."


On the phone that fateful day I reminded her of our dorm room conversation, then said, "You didn't know very much about Islam when we met. Is it possible that most Muslims don't know what it is they believe?  But now there's someone telling them what they should do as Muslims and no one is stopping to think, because no one actually knows!"

More silence on the phone, and then she said, "Yes, maybe that's it."


Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. (Hebrews 13:9)


Ramadan is an entire month devoted to prayer and fasting for Muslims throughout the world. Fasting, in fact, is one of the major pillars of my dear friend's faith.  But, just like Muslims, Christians can fast out of obedience, yet entirely miss the point.  Fasting is intended to draw us near to God that He might draw near to us.  Near to Him, tucked intimately into His nail scarred side, is where we begin to understand what we believe... because He speaks to us.


Remember how Jesus, on the day of His resurrection, walked for miles with two men upon the road? He explained everything to them - everything that had happened, from the prophets to that present day. (Luke 24:13-35)


Do you want to know what to believe? Draw near to Him.  Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you, and walk beside you, and explain it all.




Drawing near is a journey; I dare say, drawing near to God is a pilgrimage. Muslims must go on a physical pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime, to the holy city of Mecca, the birthplace of their prophet Muhammad. Along the way they pray for enlightenment, the way Muhammad received his vision from Allah.

Christians, however, who are actively seeking to know God, don't need to venture anywhere except to their knees, where they can enter the holy of holies.  In the throne chamber of God Himself we can talk it all out.



 I'm reminded of Asheritah's story yesterday, how she had fasted so many times before, going anywhere spiritually. We can have the very same experience if we are not careful.


Draw near to Him - Then lean in close to hear from Him.


In this present age, with evil people outright deceiving mankind, we must know what we believe and in whom we believe.  If we are to be solid and grounded in our hearts and minds and behavior, we must be solid and grounded in what we believe and in whom we believe.  If we want to recognize falsehood and sin from afar and keep our ways pure, we must cling tenaciously to what we believe and to whom we believe.


An entire community of women is now 12 days into a 40 Day Sugar-fast.  As we fast and pray, testimonies are pouring in about the ways God is revealing Himself to each individual.  If you've been waiting for an invitation, this is it.  Join us! Join the Pilgrimage and draw near to God.  You can start the journey here. Our collective desire is to watch Strongholds in our lives crumble, that we might experience the strong hold of God's arms, and hear Him whisper clearly in our ears - Believe and be saved.


 Do you know what you believe?

... the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. (James 1:6)

Do you know what you believe?

Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. (1 Corinthians 14:20)

Do you know what you believe?

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3)

Do you know what you believe?

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. (Ephesian 4:14)

Do you know what you believe?


 Join us in the journey!