Popular speaker and author Priscilla Shirer encouraged Christians to use the coronavirus pandemic as a time to “stand firm against the schemes of the enemy,” warning that Satan will use every opportunity to “discourage God’s people.”
On Wednesday, Shirer, the founder of Going Beyond Ministries, participated in the Q 2020 Virtual Summit, an annual event that equips Christian leaders to thoughtfully engage culture from a Christian worldview.
Opening her session, Shirer said Christians should have a perspective that gives them a way of approaching the global pandemic that is different from nonbelievers.
“God is who He says He is. He's still seated on the throne, and He is not shaken by what shakes us,” Shirer said. “I don't know how people who don't have some sort of foundational bedrock level of truth in their lives are able to make it in these shaky times because everything is changing.”
“So in these changing times, there has to be something that we count on that is true, that is unchanging, that does not shift with the shift in times,” she said. “We’ve got to know our Bibles, we've got to know who our God is, and we have to anchor ourselves firmly in those truths now more than ever. That's what provides us hope, even when other people are hopeless.”
Just as God can use even the worst tragedies for good, Satan similarly “will try to use everything that he can to turn it into a scheme or a tactic to discourage God's people, to dissuade them, to make them feel like they're defeated, even though we already have the victory,” Shirer stressed.
“We have to then choose: Are we going to operate like victors or are we going to operate like the victims that the enemy wants to use this situation to make us feel that we are?” she asked.
When an individual embraces Christianity, they aren’t just given a “ticket to eternity;” their identity is completely changed, Shirer said, adding: “That means, no matter pandemic or not, I am who God says I am, and I have access to every spiritual blessing that He has given me the privilege to access in the authority of His name.”
“I get to choose: Am I going to let fear run my life? Or am I going to let the hope that comes from the position I have in Jesus run my life?” she posited. “Do we make choices out of fear, out of anxiety, out of insecurity about the future, or do we say, ‘Wait a minute, that's not who we are. That's not what is wired into my spiritual DNA. I'm not going to let the enemy use this as a scheme to now make me start making decisions out of that place.”
“I'm a victor. I have access to all the authority and power of God. What kind of decision does that girl make? And then I make those choices and decisions whether I feel like it or not. I've got to stand on the side of victory and operate through that lens.”
Shirer said Christians have the choice to see the pandemic — or any other difficulty in life — as something that is a “hiccup in our plan,” or as an “opportunity for God to be glorified in a unique way,” and “for us to be strengthened, our character built, our spiritual backbone fortified.”
The time of isolation is also an opportunity to view others through a “lens of compassion and empathy toward others,” she added, as well as an opportunity to “stand firm against the schemes of the enemy.”
“How will we know what it is to feel like a victor unless we've had these circumstances in our life where there was clear obvious demonic opposition and we saw righteousness become a breastplate for us?” she declared. “How will we ever know what it's like for the Word of God to become the dagger of the Spirit so that the enemy doesn't stand a chance when he's trying to come against us and our families?”
The mother-of-three said that during this time, she is standing in the gateway of her home saying, “Not today, Satan. Not on my watch, not while I'm here, I'm going to be someone who's positioned in prayer.”
“And now we'll get to see what it is to stand firm against the schemes of the devil in prayer for my family,” she said. “What a testimony we have when we literally, physically, practically, put on the armor of God by being righteous believers who gird our minds in the Word of God, who are found on our knees in prayer, who are in the Scriptures so that it becomes a dagger against the schemes of the enemy.”
In coming years, parents will be able to tell their children “what we did to stave off the schemes of the enemy, and they'll be able to emulate our lives, not because they heard about it, but because we told them straight from our mouths that we've seen it work in our own experiences,” she said.
Founded in 2007 by Gabe and Rebekah Lyons, the annual Q conference seeks to equip Christian leaders to thoughtfully engage culture from a Christian worldview. The two-day event featured a number of influential thought leaders, pastors, and notable members of the Christian community.