These are difficult days, aren’t they?
Anyone who says they have no fear in this pandemic, well, I don’t want to take any advice from them.
I realize God has not given us a spirit of fear but also I know that fear is a part of how God protect us from time to time from things that can harm us.
Let me show you in scripture…
Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
For the longest time people have said something like this, “I don’t want to give my life to Jesus just because I am afraid of going to hell.”
So, it would be like you saying now in the pandemic, “I don’t want to wash my hands or social distance from others just because I am afraid of dying.”
I would encourage you to rethink your theology of fear.
When God asks us to do something, we shouldn’t let fear keep us from doing what He is asking us to do. But on the other hand, sometimes God uses fear to get us to do things we should be doing or to stop doing things we shouldn’t be doing.
See, fear is not always bad, sometimes it is good. Sometimes God uses fear to save our lives and even our souls for that matter.
During the time of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus, God encouraged Joseph not to give into his fear in this passage…
Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ[a] took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed[b] to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him…
See, God encouraged Joseph not to be afraid but to obey and do what He had called Mary and now Joseph to do. So, Joseph refused to give into his fear and did what God asked him to do.
But another time, Joseph was getting ready to do something and look at what God does this time…
Matthew 2:13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt
So, in one situation he encourages Joseph to run toward his fears and in another situation he encourages him to run away. So, when do you know which is which? Glad you asked!
Matthew 2:15 And (they) remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
Do you know what determines how you approach and handle these two situations differently?
It is right there in bold, it is determined by what God has spoken.
You might say, “Yeah, but we don’t have a chapter and verse for every moment and every situation in our lives?”
Yes, that is correct, but if you are a follower of Jesus Christ you do have the Holy Spirit living inside of you. And Jesus told the disciples that the Holy Spirit would do what?
John 16:13 Then the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into ALL the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
God give us a promise, here is the promise, “I will lead you into ALL truth through my Holy Spirit and I will tell you about things that are to come.”
God knows the future, if you need to know something about it, ask Him.
In the midst of this pandemic, the most important thing you can do is learn how to hear God’s voice inside you.
I believe the most important work of the pastorate is to teach God’s people how to listen for, hear, discern, and obey what He is telling them to do.
All of us are scared right now and rightfully so.
And when the Bible says God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and of a sound mind, Paul is saying, “In the midst of all the cacophony of fearful voices and paranoia ringing in your head and all the negative and disastrous “what ifs” bearing down on you, may I encourage you to get alone with the Lord, read His Word, as you read His Word, ask Him to speak to you, write down what you hear Him saying.”
How will you know if it is the Lord?
Here is the best way to know, when you hear His voice it will change you even if your circumstances have not yet changed.
God’s voice gives a peace that passing all understanding that guards your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. What does that mean? It means you don’t need to UNDERSTAND it all, you just need to know HE’S GOT IT and HE’S GOT YOU!
That is how powerful God’s voice is. He can change us in an instant without changing anything around us.
Ask God to change you in this pandemic, and then you will know how to pray for God’s will in the circumstances and challenges of this pandemic.
May God show mercy on our souls in this season of great UNCERTAINITY!