As we are all well aware, this whole COVID-19 thing has gotten us all on the ropes. Every one of us has been affected in one way or another.
As such, over the last few weeks I’ve tried to write about some things that might help us in this time. I’ve written about fear, peace, and mostly hope. The last two weeks especially have been especially good for me (I do write these things for me as well) because while I don’t live in fear, hope is something that seems in short supply these days. All we hear is news about how bad things are. I need to remember, now more than ever, that there is something on the other side of all of this that will be good.
But here’s the thing. Hope is not a strategy.
Funny (and by “funny” I guess I mean “ironic”) how here in spring, when everything in the world around us, in nature, is starting to come back to life again after the dormant, dark days of winter, there is a virus that is trying to take life away from us. Trying to steal not only our life, but our hope, our peace, our beauty, and our joy.
There’s Something Happening Here
A few years back I learned this simple “trick” from John Eldredge, author of many great books including Wild at Heart and Captivating (which he wrote with his wife Staci). It’s a little question you can ask when you are trying to process the things that are happening around you. If you’re ever left wondering “Where did that come from?”, or “Is this from God?”, you can usually figure it out by stepping back and asking “What is the fruit of this thing?” Meaning, what are the results of it? What’s happening as a result of this thing?
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them. – Matthew 7:15-20
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23
You shall know them by their fruit.
The result of things from God (the fruit) are the things listed in the Galatians verses above. If it’s from God you will see things such as love, peace, and self-control.
If you don’t see those things as a result of the thing you’re questioning, then it’s not from God.
Where Did This Come From?
So in the case of this virus, let’s seek the fruit. Let’s ask some questions. Do a little Q&A.
Q: Does this virus reek of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, or self-control?
A: No, that’s not really the vibe I’m getting.
Q: Does it smell more like an enemy that prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8)?
Q: Does it seem to come as something that wants to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10)?
So if the result of the thing that’s happening isn’t from God, then it kind of points to it coming from someplace else, right? It points to being the work of the evil one.
Satan walks around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. He is continually looking to steal, kill, and destroy. This virus has brought the world many things, but it hasn’t brought with it much peace, joy, or self-control, has it?
What do we do with this information? I think if we want to be successful right now, there are two things we need to do.
Job Number 1
Our first job is to do all we can in the natural world to stay safe and “flatten the curve”. Stay home, wash your hands, cover your sneezes … you know the drill.
I know there has been talk about “reopening the economy”, but we’re not there yet. Keep doing what you’re doing, it’s working.
Support those people who are working hard and are on the front lines of the battle with the physical disease.
- All the health care workers who are literally standing next to and helping those who have been infected.
- Police, fire, and emergency personnel all over the world who have no choice but to put their lives on the line to keep us safe. They need our support right now more than ever before.
- Local businesses need us.
- Those of us who have lost jobs need those of us that haven’t.
There are so many people who need our support right now. Let’s do all we can to help and support those we can right now.
Job Number 2
Our second job starts here:
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. – Ephesians 6:12
There is an enemy looking to devour. There is someone that wants to steal, kill, and destroy.
Do not miss this. Whenever you go online or watch the news, what you’re hearing about is the physical virus. It’s real, and dangerous. That’s why the first thing we need to do is guard against it.
But there is a very real spiritual component we’re missing. There’s a whole realm of reality that we’re not talking about at all.
Where do you think this virus came from? You think it just popped up out of thin air or that some guy ate a bat and now the whole world is sick?
We have an enemy and it wants to destroy us.
We are at war, friends. A war with two fronts. One you can see and one you can’t.
Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t real. You can’t see the wind, but it’s for sure real.
Brothers and sisters, it’s time to stand up and fight.
It’s time for us to be willing to get on our knees and fight in the spiritual realm against these rulers, authorities, cosmic powers, and spiritual forces to push back the kingdom of darkness.
It’s time for us to put on our armor (Ephesians 6:10-18) and go into battle for our families, our cities, our nation, and our world.
It’s time to humble ourselves and start to pray 2 Chronicles 7:14.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
We need a healed land. We need to work and pray like never before.
It’s time for us to wake up to the fact that we have an enemy.
It’s time we acknowledged that we are at war.
It’s time we decided to stand.