Come on, everyone! Let’s sing for joy to the Lord! Let’s shout our loudest praises to our God who saved us! Everyone come meet his face with a thankful heart. Don’t hold back your praises; make him great by your shouts of joy! For the Lord is the greatest of all, King-God over all other gods! In one hand he holds the mysteries of the earth
and in the other he holds the highest mountain peaks. He’s the owner of every ocean,
the engineer and sculptor of earth itself! Come and kneel before this Creator-God;
come and bow before the mighty God, our majestic maker! For we are the lovers he cares for and he is the God we worship. So drop everything else and listen to his voice!” Psalm 95:1-9
The most important thing we can do right now is keep our focus on the Lord and praise Him! We know by now there is much more involved in the change in our world than the virus. These last 8 weeks have been full of confusion. The left hand really doesn’t know what the right hand is doing and vice versa. I didn’t mean that politically even though there is truth there also. The sad part is after 8 weeks there is still confusion. There’s still no answers to so many situations. Some leaders want people to wait 3 more months staying at home. Many people are rising up saying this is enough – we need to work. Many huge events are being canceled for months. Before long the virus won’t seem as much of a priority in the minds of people around the world as the next fear of an economic disaster that will take years to recover from. All I know to do is shout “Hallelujah” another opportunity for Believers to rise above the fears and go forward!
As Ed and I traveled back from my Mom’s the other day we talked about how we saw the near future in ministry. We don’t have clear answers on how and what we will do but we know we will be going forward – not sitting still - and we know we are victorious! The Lord showed us a picture of people rejoicing, excited and in peace. We see our world conference as a coming together of Believers, pastors and leaders that are so excited and full of hope. We will live stream these meetings to the nations. Our theme is “Refocus Your Vision” which we chose last fall. The Spirit knew what we would need now! Visions and ministry around the world will be refocused for this new season of ministry. How exciting! At this point the pig roast will still happen this summer to help the orphans and elderly in Peru where this mess is really hitting hard. The men’s conference is a go as men will come together to rise up in their callings during this time. We are going forward with plans to go to Kenya in December. We feel this is crucial right now as we don’t know what restrictions could be on traveling in the next few years. How will this all happen? We don’t know the specifics. He just told us to go forward and be courageous. “But Christ is more than a Servant, he was faithful as the Son in charge of God’s house. And now we are part of his house if we continue courageously to hold firmly to our bold confidence and our victorious hope.” Hebrews 3:6
Courageous – Strength – Faith – Hope – Love – Standing strong – go forward – Rest. These are the words we hear the Lord speak to us as we pray and seek his wisdom. There’s a fine line between being aware of what is happening in the world around us and keeping our focus on Him. Focusing on the news and social media is not helpful. So much of what we hear has a hint of truth and a heap of deception. It just brings more fear and/or confusion into our hearts. Our country is so divided right now and that is not good. There’s so much actual hate on both sides which makes people’s hearts harden to the truth. This last week I read through the book of Hebrews in the Passion Translation. In Hebrews 3 it talks about the Israelites wandering in the wilderness. They still doubted and still had unbelief after all God had delivered them from. In Hebrews 3:10 it says, “‘They wander in their hearts just like they do with their feet, and they refuse to learn my ways.’”
“So search your hearts every day, my brothers and sisters, and make sure that none of you has evil or unbelief hiding within you. For it will lead you astray, and make you unresponsive to the living God. This is the time to encourage each other to never be stubborn or hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Hebrews 3:12-13 This isn’t the time to wander in your hearts. The enemy knows the strength and power of Believer’s coming together! The enemy’s plan is to keep us separated as long as possible. Without fellowship our hearts can wander and our minds get focused on situations – our situations. Right now the enemy has Believers battling each other over what is the right or wrong thing to do during this virus. This shouldn’t be! Encourage one another to not harden their hearts. There is not one single mandate that has been made that doesn’t have 2 sides to it and both can make some sense. That is the reason to look to Him for all your wisdom and not put all your trust and faith in what the professionals, health leaders and so on say. We know there’s 2 sides for sure. We have all the internet articles, news information and wherever we get our information from. If your mandate isn’t from heaven, from – the Provider – the Healer – the Answer – the Wisdom - then the mandate you are following will have flaws.
A house divided will not stand! We can’t be divided as the body of Christ. Personally, Ed and I have to stand on the truth we believe He gave us even when some of our church family disagree. As leaders this is hard and tears at our hearts. We don’t all see it the same, even politically, but we can still come together in His love. All we know is that there is an enemy that wants the church divided and weak. We won’t give into the lies!
He is our hope, the earnest expectation of good. He is our faith – the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. What we see if we look at this situation is not real. Hope and faith don’t see in the natural realm. What do we see in His hope and faith? That’s something to ponder and meditate on.
“So now we come freely and boldly to where love is enthroned, to receive mercy’s kiss and discover the grace we urgently need to strengthen us in our time of weakness.” Hebrews 4:16
“And now we have run into his heart to hide ourselves in his faithfulness. This is where we find his strength and comfort, for he empowers us to seize what has already been established ahead of time—an unshakeable hope! We have this certain hope like a strong, unbreakable anchor holding our souls to God himself. Our anchor of hope is fastened to the mercy seat which sits in the heavenly realm beyond the sacred threshold, and where Jesus, our forerunner, has gone in before us.” Hebrews 6:18-20
“So now we must cling tightly to the hope that lives within us, knowing that God always keeps his promises! Discover creative ways to encourage others and to motivate them toward acts of compassion, doing beautiful works as expressions of love. 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.” Hebrews 10:23-25
“Now faith brings our hopes into reality and becomes the foundation needed to acquire the things we long for. It is all the evidence required to prove what is still unseen. This testimony of faith is what previous generations were commended for. Faith empowers us to see that the universe was created and beautifully coordinated by the power of God’s words! He spoke and the invisible realm gave birth to all that is seen.” Hebrews 11: 1-3