I hope you are all doing ok at the moment with what our world is going through, especially the distressing images from Europe. We are certainly in challenging times.
Today I want to talk a little about that. Specifically, what does God want us to know currently?
First, a scripture:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)
My friends, one of the earliest things that I heard from God when Covid broke out was a very simple phrase: "Watch and pray."
In some ways that took the pressure off. I could certainly watch and pray easily enough. So far, so good.
But what does watching look like? Well, I'd say it means adopting a quiet spirit, taking our time to assess what's going on, looking at events while staying in the Word every day, and constantly asking God at every step: "Here's what I'm seeing. Would you tell me about this?"
Lately what we've been seeing has been different to anything we've seen in our generation. It's been startling. We hear only in part (1 Corinthians 13:9), but here are some specific things I've heard from the Lord about this time. I hope it helps you along and gives you some points of focus:
1. First, this is a spiritually significant time, and the pandemic is a spiritually significant event. It's not some random event. It does reflect a movement in the Heavenlies of some sort.
2. It is a time that will pave the way for God to bring salvations. Our job is to prepare ourselves to partner with God when it's time.
3. God is using this 'shaking up' of the world and church. He is allowing certain things to be stripped away, especially in the church but also in the world. Painful as it is, this is a purifying time for the church.
4. It's a hard truth, but parts of the Western church needed to be woken up. Parts of the church had aligned themselves with the world's morals, making sin seem ok. Universalist ideas had crept into some pulpits, watering down the truth of Jesus and what he did for us. In other parts of the church, lukewarm Christianity had taken hold. This is a serious issue.
5. God is deeply merciful and compassionate, but also righteous. Because he is righteous, reformation needs to come to His Bride (Ephesians 5:27).
6. We should be prepared for God to move in new and unexpected ways next in the church, and be open-hearted in readiness for that.
7. We need to be on guard ourselves: The enemy is using this pandemic as an opportunity to distract believers from Jesus and from spreading the Gospel. Stay alert; be careful; go to him for every answer.
So yes, that summarizes what I've heard from the Spirit over the last two years. For me the Book of Jeremiah has been a great help in understanding what we've been walking through. In that book, God allowed some very difficult circumstances for his people on a national scale but he explained his perspective behind it. His intent is always to try to bring people back to him. Further, he looks after those who listen to him. But tough stuff happens because people and nations take themselves far from God.
It would be an oversight if I didn't mention the vaccine. All I can say is I've asked God about that, and his response was "Stay focused instead on the work I have for you to do." I have never had any information from God to say that this vaccine should or should not be taken. So, that's all I can say there.
Ultimately, from all of the above I'd say our priority has to be the health of our relationship with him. Then, walk in love for others, and always be found waiting to work for Jesus. That alone will enable us to stay at peace.
Well, phew, that was a serious post, but I hope there's been something in there for you.
Next time I write I'll talk about about what we are to do, how we are to respond. But for now, let's chat in the comments?