I’ve noticed I’ve been hearing the name of the Coronavirus more than I’ve been hearing the name of Jesus, even (and especially) from people in the church. Coronavirus is not worth all that. It has only brought sickness and death. Jesus never did that; He always brought healing and life. More than that, He brought forgiveness of sins and eternal relationship with Him. Coronavirus will only be here a little while, in the history of the earth. Jesus is eternal. Jesus paid for ALL our sicknesses and diseases on the cross. He did that for the joy set before Him: relationship with us. Let’s give Him the reward for His suffering! Let’s have relationship with Him!
Jesus is the most powerful. His name is the most beautiful. He is the one that has no rival. Coronavirus is not a rival for Jesus. Never has been, and isn’t about to be.
Very few people have been affected by the Coronavirus, in the big scheme of things. Even fewer have seen the virus itself. Yet the whole world believes in the power of it and are changing their lives and habits to accommodate it (and that’s wise! this introvert is NOT complaining about cancelled events and staying home, don’t get me wrong!). There are, as of a quick Google search, 99 cases of COVID-19 in Georgia. And, as of a quick Google search, there are 10.52 MILLION people in Georgia.
Very many people, however, have been affected by God. Very many have been healed. Very many have been saved. Very many have seen miracles and signs and wonders and have heard His voice and sought His face. Yet the whole world does not yet believe in Him! They are not yet changing their lives and habits to accommodate Him! (which would be even wiser!) In another quick Google search, 83.4% of the population of Georgia are Christians. Doing some math, that would be 8,790,360 Christians in the state of Georgia. Versus 99 cases of COVID-19. Why are 99 people catching the attention of the news media and the general public more than 8,790,360 people??
Jesus wants His worship back. If you are turning your attention and actions more towards/based off of the Coronavirus than you are what Jesus is saying, you are worshipping it. You are not made to worship anything other than Him, and when you do, you’re inviting characteristics from things other than Him. Fear. Sickness. Anxiety. What has your focus? What is your life oriented around? As my pastor said last night, “Do we prioritize our lives in a way that accommodates God’s presence?”
I’m not saying take Coronavirus lightly. I’m saying take Jesus heavily.
In times of peace and prosperity, spend time in your secret place with God like you need Him for your next breath. Like a war and massive unrest is going on. Prepare with Him. Get in the habit of being with Him. Then, as unrest and war and disease comes, you’ll be at peace. As the pastor’s wife said last night, “As we have known His name in the secret place, we must make His name known.”
I find it amusing and heart-warming how one thing God says will lead to another. As children (and currently, but especially then), my sisters and I would get SO overwhelmed when Mom would give us more than like two or three steps at a time. I can remember her being like “wash the dishes and then do your laundry and finish your math and then it’ll be lunchtime” and we’d be like “WOAH WOAH WOAH SLOW DOWN THERE MAMA wash the dishes and and and and wait what?” Even things that went together like “wash the dishes, dry the dishes, and then put them away” and on a good day we’d get like 2 out of 3 and then have to go chase her down around the house and be like “what was the other thing you said??” Children can’t remember all the instructions. Even if they did, they’d be overwhelmed by them! And not even in the sense of parents burdening their children—sometimes Mom would be like “go make your bed and brush your teeth and come see me” and when you did, she’d have pancakes or popsicles or a free day off of school spent at the park or something exciting to give us.
The song “Most Beautiful” has been on repeat for me. Different parts of the song at different weeks, but the same song. This week is no different; I’m focusing back on the beginning of the song “One thing I desire/Only this I seek/Just to dwell, dwell, dwell, here, forever”. As in Psalm 27:4, “The one thing I ask of the Lord—the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.”
That’s what God’s said the past many weeks.
And now, Psalm 91 has been on repeat in light of COVID-19.
“When you sit enthroned under the shadow of Shaddai, you are hidden in the strength of God Most High. He’s the hope that holds me and the Stronghold to shelter me, the only God for me, and my great confidence. He will rescue you from every hidden trap of the enemy, and he will protect you from false accusation and any deadly curse. His massive arms are wrapped around you, protecting you. You can run under his covering of majesty and hide. His arms of faithfulness are a shield keeping you from harm. You will never worry about an attack of demonic forces at night nor have to fear a spirit of darkness coming against you. Don’t fear a thing! Whether by night or by day, demonic danger will not trouble you, nor will the powers of evil launched against you. Even in a time of disaster, with thousands and thousands being killed, you will remain unscathed and unharmed. You will be a spectator as the wicked perish in judgment, for they will be paid back for what they have done! When we live our lives within the shadow of God Most High, our secret hiding place, we will always be shielded from harm. How then could evil prevail against us or disease infect us? God sends angels with special orders to protect you wherever you go, defending you from all harm. If you walk into a trap, they’ll be there for you and keep you from stumbling. You’ll even walk unharmed among the fiercest powers of darkness, trampling every one of them beneath your feet! For here is what the Lord has spoken to me: “Because you have delighted in me as my great lover, I will greatly protect you. I will set you in a high place, safe and secure before my face. I will answer your cry for help every time you pray, and you will find and feel my presence even in your time of pressure and trouble. I will be your glorious hero and give you a feast. You will be satisfied will a full life and with all that I do for you. For you will enjoy the fullness of my salvation!””
Y’ALL! I get excited when I believe what the Bible says. Even in a time of disaster, with thousands and thousands being killed, I will remain unharmed! How could disease infect us? God sends angels with special orders to protect me!
And it’s all because I listened when He gave me step one: Dwell.
Because I delighted in Him as His great lover, He will protect me! Because I dwell in His presence, He is my refuge!
The next verse after that dwelling verse in Psalm 27:4—
v. 5 “For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock.”
Psalm 91:4 in the NKJV says, “He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.” I have a wooden sign thing hanging next to my bed with this verse on it and some gold glitter feathers painted on it. It hangs above me every night—well, most every night. Last night, in the middle of the night, it fell down on me. It woke me up and I just rolled over and placed it on the floor, but this morning, I smiled about it. His feathers were covering me last night, and not just from above my bed. No, they came close, as close as they could be on me.
So that thing, that one step that Abba Father said to me weeks ago—dwell—led to step two: the reward of Him as my refuge. His feathers over me.
Take what He says, one step at a time. Dwell with Him. He will be your refuge. That’s the safest thing you could do.
“The Lord rescues the godly; he is their fortress in times of trouble. The Lord helps them, rescuing them from the wicked. He saves them, and they find shelter in him.” Psalm 37:39-40 NLT
I would encourage you to spend more time in His presence this week. He is your safe place. Maybe fast and pray for those affected by COVID-19. Maybe take communion daily to remind yourself that He has taken your sickness, sins, and diseases. (You can make these declarations as you do.)
If you feel led to give to people who are affected by COVID-19, out of work because of it, etc, you can donate through this link and select “COVID-19 Fund”.
Today is a great day to believe what the Bible says.
I’ll leave you with this verse:
“Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”
Love you all! Stay well! Stay in His presence! Be kind to one another! Be children again as you’re stuck at home. Enjoy peace.