We are now a couple months into these circumstances – to me – I call it a mess. It’s been a time of deception, confusion and fear that has caused so many people to get depressed and frustrated. As Believers most have started to catch on that this wasn’t God’s way and we cast off all the negative stuff the world is trying to put on us and have choose to focus on Him. I will admit I had a few fearful, confusing times along the way but soon figured out I couldn’t listen to all the stuff the world was telling me and still keep my peace. My peace is only in Jesus and my focus has to be stayed on Him. There’s been some blessings come from the mess. In fact, every day is full of blessings if we have our eyes open to see them. The days – weeks – months ahead will be just as full of control by fear and lies. I think, at least I hope, we are at a point we can see the deceptions and rise above them and take our authority in His name. We have authority over the deceiver and he is already defeated but we let him weasel his way into our emotions with some fears and doubts.
There has been so much controversy – so many thoughts – so much fear. Our daily lives are full of choices we must make ourselves even though mandates appear to take away our choices. The Lord understands the decisions we face every day, especially now. Sometimes it is hard to know which way to go but we must be guided by His peace. Our decisions come from the Holy Spirit not our emotions or own understanding. And our decisions may not look like the choice someone else makes. That’s the tough one. As Believers, will all our decisions on this virus situation be the same? Probably not. The choices we make to be led by the Holy Spirit, keep our eyes on the Lord and stay in peace should be the same. We must submit our desires to Him and listen. When emotions are high and fears are haunting us we have a harder time hearing Him clearly. The fact that we desire to follow Him makes all the difference. We can live by Proverbs 3:4-5 – which we have heard many times the last few weeks “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” We know He is leading and guiding us as we trust and acknowledge Him in all we do.
One of the most difficult parts of this time is every mandate has gone against who we were created to be. That’s where some of the confusion and fears come in for all who love the Lord. One example is we weren’t created to be without fellowship, face to face. As Believer’s, the mandates have been against the Word. Before you get too rattled about what I am saying – I am not saying that we rebel against the mandates. In the beginning of this whole thing the protocol that was explained made some sense to our understanding but as weeks have gone on the Spirit inside is saying this isn’t right – it’s the opposite of how the Word says it should be. I’ve shared some of this before but social distancing is not His way. No touching? He says BELIEVERS lay hands on the sick and they shall recover! What, is the Word void and null if the government tells us something else? I don’t believe so. What about Hebrews 10:25 where it says: “This is not the time to pull away and neglect meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing, because we need each other! In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate that day dawning.” Passion Translation Or in the Amplified it says: “Not forsaking our meeting together, as believers for worship and instruction, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more faithfully as you see the day of Christ’s return approaching.” What the Word says is far above more accurate than what science and charts say. Then there are those who are without work and cannot even work. They had successful businesses that they had worked hard to establish. Many of these are self- employed people are struggling with frustration and anger because the government has taken away their right to do as the Word says: “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5:8 All these Biblical principles dwell in us and when we are told we can’t do them it is going against the Spirit that lives inside us. It’s a fight. Then there is the “safer at home” deception. You are safer wherever the Lord tells you to be! Period. No one protects us but our Father the Protector! Covering our faces with masks is hiding the Light and also a huge opportunity for unsafe people – criminals to be amongst us. Those running from the law, released from the jails and those in a hard time about to resort to theft to care for themselves love the mask idea. They know they cannot be recognized with a mask on. Those without masks are criticized and scorned! What is happening? But these are the mandates put before us for now and some say from now on. The choices we make with these guidelines are ours to make in Him. There may be times He tells Ed and me to go visit someone and lay hands on them and we will do that. There have been times when 10 people gathered face to face – held hands, prayed and took communion. Just listen to Him. We, mostly Ed, have gone to the homes of each of the 50+ families in our ministry at least once and most twice in the last month. More ministry has happened during these visits than we could have imagined. It’s what the Lord showed us to do. We’ve taken food to the homeless and even touched one. He guided us to do that. More mandates and laws are now being made to wear masks. If that doesn’t bother you – go for it. If it does bother you – don’t go to the cities or businesses that require you to wear a mask or you can’t do business with them. That sounds a bit like the end of the Bible but I’m not going there right now. These are choices that are between you and your Shepherd. You don’t have to make a scene or rebel just follow His way of peace and you will have no doubt, confusion or fear inside you.
The next thing we really need to do right now is encourage one another. Lots of encouragement happens on Facebook and social media. But we all need to hear real voices on the phone. Cards in the mail lift our spirits. Even in these times you can drop by someone’s home with- a meal, some food and goodies, flowers and a card. If the Lord puts someone on your heart to take something to – then go do it. You aren’t safer at home when He’s guiding you somewhere. You don’t know how much joy you will bring to the receiver. To be His deliverer we must be an overcomer. Overcome the fears, confusion and frustration. When our daughter left home at 18 as a missionary to India the Lord told me she was safer where He wanted her to go than if I had her tied to my kitchen table. That was close to 25 years ago and I will never forget that. She went on to Uganda, Pakistan and Afghanistan serving Him.
“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.” Romans 12:9-10 Abhor evil, cling to good, Him, and be kind to one another.
“Because of this, encourage the hearts of your fellow believers and support one another, just as you have already been doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 We are here to encourage one another. That is one of the greatest gifts we can give – encouragement to fellow believers not just the lost world.
“Anxious fear brings depression, but a life-giving word of encouragement can do wonders to restore joy to the heart.” Proverbs 12:25 This is a powerful verse for many during this season.
“Now, this means that when we come together and are side by side, something wonderful will be released. We can expect to be co-encouraged and co-comforted by each other’s faith!” Romans 1:12 Powerful truth!
Listen to Him – this road before us could be long and narrow but with our Shepherd we will get to the other side or maybe we are already there. The other side isn’t a place where we are back to our old normal ways with all the difficulties are erased. The other side is when we have His peace, joy, hope, fullness, courage, love, faith – all that’s in Him we have in us as we live in a world of chaos. That’s His way. If that’s where you are – you’ve followed Him through the valley of the shadow of death and feared no evil. What a glorious place to be!!! We have the victory!!