July 9, 2020
“For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)
For such a time as this. For such a time as this. For such a time as this. This forsaking of absolute truth, God’s truth, for your truth and my truth. This murdering of the unborn, our most innocent and vulnerable, on the altar of convenience. This infinite number of genders and the ability to change your gender just by speaking it. This progressive Christianity that denies God’s definition of marriage on the altar of tolerance and acceptance. This political uprising of the extreme leftists drunk with power, heading in the direction of tyranny. This disunity among races under the guise of systemic racism. This COVID-19 that has put a fear in people that should be reserved for the God of the universe. For such a time as this. Really? Am I here for such a time as this? If I trust the God of the universe, then yes, I am. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
I am here for such a time as this. God does not make mistakes. Nothing He does is random. He is a God of order and peace, not chaos and confusion; but I feel the weight of the world. I feel sad, angry, scared and confused by the turmoil around me. I am here for such a time as this. A time gripped by fear, anxiety, doubt, disunity, lies and confusion. How did we get here, Christians and non-Christians alike? Aren’t Christians a separate people? Shouldn’t we stand out? To be salt and light? To display God’s peace that surpasses all understanding? To be filled with joy, contentment that is independent of our circumstances? “For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7) But we all look like sheep. Sheep muzzled by fear. The flames of fear that are fueled by lies being tossed all around us. Sheep following a shepherd who is cultivating a culture of fear, chaos, hypocrisy and disunity. A shepherd cultivating isolation. I refuse to let the enemy stake his claim on me. Satan is not my shepherd.
COVID-19 has become the weapon of the enemy. Man and a virus have become what we fear. Not God. Should we take the coronavirus seriously? Yes, of course. Should we use wisdom, discernment and precautions to keep us and others, especially the high-risk categories, safe? Absolutely. But how did we arrive at shutting the doors of our corporate church gatherings? “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering: (for He is faithful that promised); And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching…Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that after, ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe in the saving of the soul.” (Hebrews 10:22-25, 35-39) By closing the church doors we are lacking discernment and giving into the fear and lies, and in turn, breeding isolation. And then the devil has a foothold.
Our nation is where it is because we have turned our backs on God. We have created a culture where good is evil and evil is good. No wonder fear, anxiety, confusion, hypocrisy, lies and disunity are permeating the air so thickly that I find myself suffocating even when I’m not wearing the dreadful mask that is supposed to protect me from the “rona”. Church, we need each other. Now more than ever. “And so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25) I am confident, that with wisdom and discernment from the Lord above, we can continue to gather together in such a way that promotes health and safety. Are we really letting a virus prevent us from gathering together and worshipping our Savior? COVID-19 is not the only virus, and it will not be the last. There are viruses more dangerous than this one. We take risks every day. Allow each individual to discern his or her risks. Keep the doors open and at least give us the choice to gather together.
We need courageous leaders to encourage us, remind us of 2Timothy 1:7 and of God’s faithfulness; to shed light on the lies and hypocrisy that have weaponized a virus and that beg to ask the question, is this really about our safety? People are easy to control when they are scared. We need to hold fast to the corporate church gatherings. We need to gather together and pray, and to lay hands on those who need healing. We need this now, in the clutches of spiritual warfare, more than ever. Let’s not be deceived. This is spiritual warfare. “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, where with ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” (Ephesians 6:11-17)
Psalm 31:24 says, “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord”. My mind goes to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and Daniel. A scalding fire and the lions’ den, respectively, did not thwart them. And Peter, Paul and John, who were brutally murdered for their faith. My mind goes to Christians in China and Afghanistan that meet underground in secrecy and risk being murdered so they can worship God and not forsake the assembling together. And here we are forsaking the assembling together for a virus. A virus. Is that the message that we as Christians want to be sending? That we will shut the doors of the church at the mere intrusion of a virus. Especially when there are Christians overseas who risk being murdered. Instead of showing those around us that despite the fear, uncertainty and confusion, we’re holding fast to our corporate church gatherings because our hope is in a faithful and loving God; a God who deserves our praise and worship; a God that is worth the risk. Instead of showing those around us that the God we serve is a God of peace, healing, restoration and miracles; a God that is faithful in a time of uncertainty; a God that does not give us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind; and instead of saying, “Look what we have here in Jesus Christ!”, we’re fading into the background and falling off the cliff with the rest of the lost sheep. For such a time as this. I am here for such a time as this and I refuse to be a lost sheep. My shepherd is Jesus Christ. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:27-28)
The Lord impressed upon my heart that I am here for such a time as this; to put what has been on my mind onto paper so that maybe eyes will be opened. I do not want to fade into the background and remain quiet. I want to do something. At the recommendation of Heidi St. John from the Off the Bench with Heidi St. John Podcast, I want “to get off the bench and onto the battlefield”. So, this is me “getting off the bench”. In conclusion, I want to say thank you to my mom, Maryann, and my dad, David, who tirelessly listen to me vent, with the resultant encouragement of my mom to write it down and get my thoughts out there; to my husband, Doug, and my daughter, Gemma, who are my biggest fans and graciously push me outside of my comfort zone; and, most of all, to my God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who guided my thoughts and words, and who has continually turned my anxieties into peace. Peace, because He is Sovereign, and He is in control. God bless.