Total Restoration Ministries

Restore unto me the Joy of Your salvation (Psalm 51:12)

A Time Such As This

The church of the 21st century is at an interesting crossroads.  The Covid-19 Pandemic has brought the world to a virtual stand still.  For the first time in the recent history, people who claim to be Christians are being told they cannot gather together to worship (in most states the group size limit is 10).  We who hug as a matter of course are being told to establish and maintain social distancing.  Now as the national economy begins to slowly reopen, protests are breaking out as people are increasingly frustrated with how politicized the Covid pandemic has become.  How do we maintain our faith in a time such as this?

First and foremost, I believe the Bible has all our answers.  If the church is truly under attack, it seems arming and preparing for battle is the smartest course of action.

When I say "arming and preparing for battle," I am not speaking of guns and ammo.  The Bible clearly tells us, "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds." (2 Cor 10:4)  Don't misunderstand.  As an American Citizen and a veteran of our armed forces, I believe strongly in constitutional rights.  

How to deal with the shut down and the slow reopening can be found in Ephesians 6


The late President John F Kennedy is credited with saying, "we subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."  The advent of social media has given everyone a platform and everyone on that platform has been given a voice.  Unfortunately, not everyone is using that voice to share truth.  As believers we are called upon to have truth draped all around us.  We are not to be dedicated to any political agenda or political platform.  We are to be dedicated to the truth as presented in the Word of God - which includes recognizing when someone's platform or position had adopted part of the truth to further their political agenda.


Something that has become far too common in the United States (and particularly with people who claim to be Christians) is the propensity to take offense.  We often feel victimized by people who mean us no harm and sometimes by people who have given us little more than a passing glance, if that.  In truth, most times we are not offended by that individual - we are offended by what that individual represents to us and frequently, that representation is a either of something we don't like about ourselves, or an unaddressed pain from our past.  In her book Hurt People Hurt People, Sandra Wilson explains that Jesus Christ is the only all-sufficient healer for hurt people.  When we embrace that, the righteousness that sometimes we wield as an offensive weapon, can then serve its proper purpose of shielding our hearts from offenses, intentional and incidental.  The most effective way to wear your breastplate of righteousness is to refer back to Isaiah 26:3


The Old English of the King James translation sometimes trips people up here, and I get it. Shod? Yes, as in properly fitting shoes.  Simply put, everywhere you go, you should be prepared to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  You don't have to be a preacher to do it.  Remember the not-so-old adage "what would Jesus do?"  Run with that.  Would Jesus (based on what you have read in the Bible, not what people have TOLD you about him) do what you are thinking about doing or say what you are thinking about saying?  If your answer is no, then don't do (or say) it.  James 1:27 describes how to purport ourselves as believers: take care of less fortunate children and the elderly, and keep yourself unstained from the world.  I am aware this runs counterintuitive to most social media norms, but remember that Jesus himself said that the PeaceMAKERs are blessed.  Just because there is an argument doesn't mean YOU have to be involved in it.  Yes, you are welcome to share the Truth (not you opinion, or your version of it - just the Truth) and then leave it at that.  


Oh those fiery darts! And it seems sometimes they don't even come from the devil.  The government says you can't go outside (unless you need to).  Don't go to the doctor (unless you need to go to the Dr). Don't horde food, but buy enough to stock up for you, your spouse, and all the kids for two weeks.  While you're in self-isolation, your kids and spouse seem to find your LAST nerve and they don't just GET on it, they want to have a full out dance battle on your last nerve.  How does faith get you through when you go to the bathroom just to find some alone time and there's a knock at the door.  All you want to do is scream "GOD WHY!?!?!?"  Guess what... that's ok.  It is perfectly ok to ask God why things are happening.  Here is where faith comes in: The last time you got sick, He healed you.  The last time you were unemployed, He guided you to a job.  The last time you thought you were going to lose your mind, He brought peace.  The last time was not the last time.  God is still God.  He never sleeps and He never slumbers.  He is still on the case.  Romans 8:28 tells us that we know (we have secure confidence in this knowledge) that ALL things (Bishop B.L. Clark is fond of saying All includes everything and excludes nothing) work (creatively develop and bring about) together for Good - just check to make sure you meet the conditions.


If you've ever played a sport that required a helmet, or had a job that required you to wear protective headgear you will very quickly embrace the understanding of this simple precept: Every Helmet is not for Every Head.  I'm sure you're wondering, "what does that have to do with getting through this pandemic with my sanity in tact?"  Simple: Your Helmet of Salvation should be fitted to YOUR head.  One thing I've noticed about Christians during this crisis is that many of us go in one of two directions: We slip back into our worldly ways (My granny used to tell me that idle hands are the devil's workshop) or we become SUPER-Christians, ready to beat people down with our understanding of the Bible.  Obviously, neither situation is ideal and neither really works.  Hebrews 10:23 tells us to hold fast to the profession of our faith without wavering.  It is perfectly okay to hold fast.  Maintain.  Stand firm. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with growing.  What I am trying to convey to you is: Don't feel that you have to outgrow or outshine.  Don't feel that you have to post and respond constantly because you're a Christian.  Humility is a virtue.


In all the "uniform" Paul describes for Christians, there is only one part that is specifically designed to be an offensive weapon. The Bible is "sharper than any two edged sword."  What is implicit in this is that as with any other weapon, if you are not trained to use it, you could do more harm than good.  So if you have been furloughed, suspended, quarantined, or in some other manner suddenly been given an unusual amount of unregulated time, the best way to invest that time is by diving into the Word of God.  Bible study is essential to your spiritual growth and your sanity.  And before you bring up the fact that you can't go to church, remember that Bible study can be done virtually - online, video conference, telephone, etc.  There is no reason NOT to do Bible study.


How much time do you devote to prayer?  This question isn't meant to be an indictment of your prayer life, but rather an opportunity to examine yourself.  Prayer isn't always long, drawn-out, and formal.  How often do you take a moment and tell the Lord, "thank you?" You were mad because your wife took an extra 10 minutes putting on her make-up... and now you're in backed up traffic and you're mad because she really didn't have to put on make up to go to the store.  She's going to have a mask on.  Who is going to notice?  Then you learn that along your original path, at time you should have been at that spot, a driver lost control of his vehicle and caused a four car pile-up.  Did you pray at that point?  Thank God for having mercy on you (Prayer), and then intercede for the health, well-being, and salvation of those who were in the accident (Supplication).  Sometimes we overlook prayer until we need something, forgetting that Thank you is VERY powerful.  If you're a parent, you will agree when I say that children ask for stuff a lot, but you LOVE hearing Thank you.  Knowing and hearing that your children appreciate what you do sometimes makes you more willing to entertain their unusual requests.  Think about it.


At the end of the day, God is still in control.  He wants you to be emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually healthy.  I want that for you as well, so let me leave you with this from 3 John 1:2 - Beloved, I pray above all else that you prosper and be in good health, even as your soul prospers."




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