Everywhere we turn right now we’re hearing about the uncertainty and fear facing our nation and our world. We and those we love are being affected whether they are getting sick, losing valuable business and jobs, or simply facing the daily struggle of adjusting to what seems will be our new normal for an unknown length of time.
In the midst of all of the unknowns and isolation, I’ve felt the Lord speaking the same thing to me over and over again. This lyric keeps playing on repeat in my mind:
“You take what the enemy meant for evil and you turn it for good, you turn it for good.”
(See a Victory, Elevation Worship)
Each time I hear it roll through my mind is a gentle reminder from the Lord that I can’t serve two masters. I am either serving the purposes of the enemy or the purposes of God. I am either letting fear, anxiety, and a desire for control rule my mind. Or, I am abiding in the Lord and letting his peace, comfort, and rest sustain me. I can choose to let fear consume me by obsessively refreshing my news feed and keeping up with the number of cases and watching the death toll climb. Or I can trust him, hope in him, and truly live out my belief that to live is Christ and to die is gain. I cannot do both.
“We need to pay attention to our thought life, because it is there that the enemy is seeking to steal, kill, and destroy all the good and glorifying fruit the Lord wants to bring through this trying season.”
I believe there is much good the Lord wants to do in His people and the world through this time. The enemy is trying to breed fear, loneliness, and death. But our good good Father has other plans. Plans to instead bring peace, hope, and deeper intimacy with him- all things that ultimately bring abundant life regardless of our physical circumstances.
Yes we should wash our hands, follow our leaders guidelines for social distancing, and generally think of others and the impact our decisions have on them now more than ever. But even more than that we need to pay attention to our thought life, because it is there that the enemy is seeking to steal, kill, and destroy all the good and glorifying fruit the Lord wants to bring through this trying season.
Some good questions to ask yourself:
- What is consuming my thoughts? Is it fear? Anxiety? Am I constantly playing out worst case scenarios? Or, is it prayer? Truth from scripture? Thanksgiving? Praise?
- Where am I placing my hope? In my own strength and ability to do every single thing imaginable to protect my family? In others and their adherence to the government recommendations? Or is my hope rooted in a direct connection, an abiding, to the source of life himself?
- How am I spending my time? What do my activities reveal about what I’m running to for comfort?
- What do my words, the things I’m speaking about most, reveal about what is really going on in my heart?
The world is and has been (ever since the fall) an unstable and constantly deteriorating place. This is nothing new, we are just feeling the truth of it more acutely right now. In the same way, we are seeing the truth of where our hope lies revealed in a more acute way.
Take this time to bring those things to the feet of Jesus! Confess, repent, and surrender to his sanctifying work. He longs to use every bit of this for his glory and our good. But if we resist him, which it is fully within our power to do, we will miss the fruit that he desires to bring. We will have chosen to serve the enemy’s purposes rather than the Lord’s.
I feel the Lord drawing us to himself. Beckoning us in love to use this extra time at home together to drink deeply of his goodness. Let’s choose to retreat to his feet, instead of to our news feeds. Let’s choose to posture our hearts in thanksgiving rather than in fear. Let’s go looking for opportunities for God’s name to be glorified and for us to be conformed more into His image. Let’s lean in to Him, not the world. And let’s hope in him to use this time to do exceedingly more than we can ask or think in our hearts, lives, and world!
Related Scripture for study:
Ephesians 3:14-20, 6:10-20
Psalm 116 – 118
1 John 4:18
2 Timothy 1:7