Published on: May 2020
Whilst I appreciate why there is a tendency towards the 'we are in lockdown, just as the disciples were' attitude, I rather think this is boxing ourselves in.
The disciple's world had shut down!
All their hopes and dreams of Messiah coming to rule, prophecies fulfilled appeared to have fallen to nothing. Bewildered, frightened (John 20:19) yet God strengthened them, even in their weakness, by his presence and by the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes we have an attitude that God wants us strong and He will present himself when we are. However he also presents himself when we are weak and fearful, when we throw ourselves on his mercy.
However, Jesus had been preparing the disciples for the moment of their lockdown, as well as for their future ministry (John 13:31-16:33).
The disciples knew the scriptures; which is why they were so sure they had met the Messiah.
Is God preparing us?
Whatever message this pandemic/plague is sending to the world, let the message being sent by his church and preachers be one of faith and victory — in the Cross.
We may be in an invisible battle, but we know that God is still there. We know the prophecies are true and being fulfilled. We know Jesus still saves. We know the Holy Spirit is guiding, comforting, empowering. We know that God is still in charge!
As the disciples, do we know our scriptures? The whole Bible.
Passover and Pentecost changed the disciples, a change that turned fear into bold preachers of God's word — his message to a fallen world.
The great heroes of faith in the Bible from Moses to David to the prophets all knew how to turn to God for help. The Psalmist declared, "I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy of praise, so shall I be saved from my enemies" (Psalm 18:3).
The book of Hebrews is a gallery of Biblical heroes.
As this pandemic rolls on let us pray the power of God into situations, arm ourselves with the whole armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-18)
Just as the disciples were transformed after their 'lockdown' experience and as they encountered Jesus the Christ in a new way, so let us be transformed by the renewing of our faith and of the Holy Spirit. Covid-19 is a contagious viral disease which holds us in lockdown, but are we praying that God, in His mercy, would use this time of restriction to strengthen the remnant of believers in the UK, so He can use His church to reap a harvest of souls for His kingdom when we are released!.
Questions are abounding: "Is our present crisis 'God's judgment'?"
Whether this is the eleventh hour or an eleventh hour, the important issues are the same — understand the times (Luke 12:54-56), watch and pray (Luke 21:36), preach the Gospel (Matt 24:14), and be ready (Matt 25:44).
Reading: Leviticus 26:12
Song: I sing the Almighty Power of God
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