Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
— PHILIPPIANS 2:9–11
On the corner of my street in Niamey, Niger, sits a little structure where people gather five times a day to recite their prayers. It’s a mini mosque with a maxi voice! Five times a day, the Arabic call to prayer blares over a loudspeaker mounted outside the building. It echoes throughout the neighbourhood at top volume with accompanying distortion and squealing feedback. Many people on the street have asked the imam to lower the volume, but he refuses.
The speaker is about twenty feet from my bedroom window, which means that when my neighbour yells into the microphone every morning at 5 o’clock, I am instantly pulled from sleep. While I never appreciate it, some days it bothers me more than others. It feels like the enemy is taunting my soul, “We have this place under control. What difference do you think you’re going to make? You don’t stand a chance!”
My counter-attack comes from the Word of God. Every morning, while my neighbour calls people to that which cannot save, I call my attention to the only One who can. I quietly recite some of my favourite Scriptures that draw me to fix my eyes on Jesus, who reminds me why I live in this country and assures me of his eventual victory.
While my neighbour chants that Mohammed is God’s prophet, I recite the truth that, “…there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Jesus Christ, who gave himself as a ransom for all people…” (1 Tim. 2:5–6); “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Then I fall back to sleep.
1. Do I really believe that the Bible’s declarations about Jesus are true? How does my life reflect that?
2. Have I believed the taunts of the enemy when he tells me that my work for the Lord is futile? In what circumstances? What can I do to regain hope?
Lisa Rohrick is a C&MA International Worker. She works with the Fulani people doing community development and church planting in Niger, one of the world’s poorest countries.
“Niamey night”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Niamey_night.jpg#/media/File:Niamey_night.jpg