The world has gone bonkers. Everywhere you look, you are confronted with the reality of the corona virus that is spreading across the globe. From opening up the news feed on your social media app, to trying to find a roll of toilet paper in your local supermarket, it is ever before you; the fragility of human kind.
Even at church this morning, we were greeted by a holy elbow bump. Many churches have postponed their regular gatherings in exchange for an online meeting. Everyone is doing their part to minimise the risk of spreading the virus. One that seems to have implications reaching much further than physical discomfort.
Not wanting to give any more attention to this virus, I have resisted writing about it. But today, I just can’t seem to shake the need to say what’s on my heart. Having heard every opinion from blind ignorance to imminent apocalyptic disaster, I have begun to recognise that there might be some other viruses going around, that we haven’t prepared for. Viruses that affect the heart.
(This post is not written in judgement of anyone. I am including myself in the questions that are confronting. I love you, and I want you to know that you are not only loved, but you are so much more than you know. You are not to be intimidated by anything. Not even a pandemic virus.)
Often times it is the very thing that we don’t know that kills us. I think of all the years I have spent living in the grip of depression, not knowing that I had both the authority and the power to pull that stronghold down. Even though natural routes offered limited help, my knowledge of natural methods of dealing with my mental health, far exceeded my knowledge of God in this area.
“My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me.”
Hosea 4:6 NLT
I am not saying that we ignore natural advice and throw caution to the wind. To be ignorant is harmful, whether in the natural or spiritual realm. But, I am confronted with this challenge: if I compare what I know about God, with what I know about the corona virus, which would come up short?
Do I know who I am as a child of God, and the benefits I have as a citizen of the Kingdom (Psalm 103)? Do I know God? Not just know about him, but know him; so intimately that I can trust him completely. No matter what the threat.
Do I know the promises and the protection I can access? And do I know how to access them? God’s promises are yes and amen, but they are not given to us by default. We have to lay hold through Faith, what God has put on the table, by Grace.
“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.“
James 1:5-8 NLT
If there is one thing we need, in this time that we live in, it is wisdom. I believe that it’s not only asking for a general dose of wisdom (which isn’t a bad thing to ask for), but asking for specific, daily instruction about how we go about our day.
God promises to direct our steps when we acknowledge him in all our ways, but do we stop and ask for directions? Do we listen and obey? Do we live in close enough proximity to him, to hear what he says. John 10 says that we can hear his voice, like a sheep listen and follow the voice of their Shepherd. What is God saying about your daily activities?
What if God’s advice or instruction does not follow the way that the world is following? Are you so familiar with his voice that you can trust his direction? There are so many stories of people who have escaped a natural disaster, because they have heard God speak something that in the natural, didn’t make any sense. But they obeyed, they didn’t waver, and they were saved.
Having an intimate relationship with the Creator of Heaven and Earth is the only remedy for unbelief. You can only trust someone you know. Someone who is not only capable of doing the impossible, but willing to do it for you! And he is willing! God is no respecter of persons, he responds to Faith.
If you have been to church for any length of time, you will have heard 2 Timothy 1:7 quoted in some shape or form. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. Most of us know it. Some declare it. Few act like it.
What has rattled me a little bit, is not the way that the world is responding to this pandemic, but that the children of God are joining them in their panic buying and fear mongering. I have seen people declare Psalm 91 the one minute, but speaking and acting as if we are about to enter the great tribulation the next. And I had to ask myself, do they know that they are Faith Machines? That they are designed to win, whenever they release Faith upon the earth?
You were created to produce life (or death) through what you think, believe and speak! So make sure that you are lining up with the Word of God and producing Life through your words. You are created in the image of the Creator, after all.
You have been given authority over all the power of the enemy and nothing will harm you (Luke 10:19). The facts around you may look intimidating, but he that is in you, is greater than whatever is going on outside (1 John 4:4) You were given overwhelming victory, not by some distant God in the universe, out there. But by an Almighty Father who loves you and cares about every detail of your life (Romans 8:37).
Think about that! Believe that! Say that!
Before the church service started this morning, I checked my phone to see if I had switched it off. I noticed a message from a friend’s mum. It was an information checklist on the corona virus. How to identify it, avoid it and what to do to stop it in it’s tracks. One piece of advice was to get as much exposure to the sun, as the virus is very sensitive to heat.
As I read this, a little giggle rose up in my spirit as I thought that this is exactly what we need to combat these viruses of the heart; we need exposure to the Son. We can know all the scriptures and declare all the promises, but unless we know the One who has given us his Word, we have nothing to stand on.
I have always thought that Faith is the antidote to Fear, but recently I have discovered a more potent one: Love.
“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear.”
1 John 4:18 NLT
What is there to be fearful of when you know that the Creator of the Universe loves you enough to offer up his Son as a sacrifice for your sins? Would he pay such a high price for you to be in right standing with him and then not take care of the little details of your life?
We all can do with a little more exposure to the Son. As we allow him to shine his Love upon our hearts it will kill off ignorance, unbelief and fear. Our hearts will be healthy enough to produce Faith and Life. We can trust him, he will never let us down.
“Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.”
Psalm 34:5 NLT
My prayer today is that we all, as children of God will shine with peace and joy during this time of darkness. May we be so radiant with the glorious love of God that we will stand out as people who do not shrink back at a bad report. May we overflow with hope and love and be fearless as we embrace the direction we receive, straight from Heaven’s throne room.
We are beloved children of God.
Today, I hear the Father say: “Fearless One! Come into my presence with joy and gladness. My fiery favour surrounds you like a shield. No evil will come near you. No plague will dare to enter my presence. I am with you. Always. I am your Healer and Protector. I surround you with songs of deliverance, because I love you. You are the apple of my eye. Safe and secure. Untouchable. Stay close. Stay loved. You are my Beloved.” ❤