The present coronavirus pandemic will demonstrate how the kingdom of God is different from the kingdom of darkness. It is also a huge opportunity for the church to function as the salt and light of the world. The reason is that the kingdom of the heavens is governed by a different set of laws and principles than those under the rule of the prince of this world (see John 14:30, 1 John 5:19).
The following are 10 statements that should illustrate contrasts between true Christ-followers and unbelievers conforming to the world system:
1. Instead of hoarding goods, we are generous with others.
While Christians should save money and food to provide for their immediate family, our mindset should be to also have enough to provide for our community. Many great leaders I know in the body of Christ are always champions during times of crisis and utilize their church buildings and vast resources to provide food, medical care and much-needed intervention for their communities and cities.
2. We don't depend upon the world's resources but on God's Word to survive and thrive.
Jesus made it clear that the intent of Father God is that "man shall not live on bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God" (see Matt. 4:4b).
During the volatility of a global crisis, people of faith have learned to depend upon the tried and true words of the Lord more than on human government. Psalm 91:4 (NKJV) says, "His truth shall be your shield and buckler," which means that it is His fidelity that is our assurance of security!
3. Instead of getting sick when we touch others, we can heal them with our touch.
While every Christian should practice social distancing out of love and respect for our neighbor, this should never nullify the fact that all believers are commanded to lay hands on the sick in faith that they will recover! (See Mark 16:15-17.) Hence, we should not shrink back from opportunities God brings to us to pray for those who are sick and fearful during these times.
This makes no sense to the unbeliever and to the ignorant Christian, but in the laws of the kingdom our touch can represent Jesus (1 John 4:17) and release His healing power to others.
Through the laws of the kingdom—by faith, typical plagues should not have power to stop anyone on assignment from the Lord (see Ps. 91:6). Even Paul the apostle casually shook off a viper that attached itself to him—and instead of falling down dead—a healing revival took place that shook Malta and planted Christianity there! (See Acts 28.)
During the bubonic plague in the early 20th century, Evangelist John G. Lake had the faith to continue to lay hands on the sick because he said "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death" (see Rom. 8:2).
4. Instead of giving into fear, we exercise our faith.
Because Jesus already conquered sin and death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (see 2 Tim. 2:10). He commands us to fear not because He holds the keys of death and Hades (see Rev. 1:17-19). Jesus also said to fear not Him that can only kill the body (see Matt. 10:28).
While those whose only hope is in their money and in this life are afraid during a crisis, we are not to fear what the world fears (see Jer. 10:1, 2). Christ-followers have discovered that His perfect love casts out all fear because fear has torment, and those born from above will never taste eternal separation from God (see 1 John 4:18).
5. Instead of running from the plague, we intercede in the midst of it.
Like Moses and Aaron of old, Christ-followers should stand between the living and the dead and make intercession during a plague (Num. 16:48). When the Roman Empire collapsed in the fifth century, the rich Roman citizens fled from the barbarian hordes, and the church stayed behind while the bishops began to help administrate the cities. Jesus modeled the laws of the kingdom and said that the greatest demonstration of love is when we are willing to lay down our life for one another (see John 15:13).
6. Instead of walking in the orphan spirit of survival mode, we trust in the provision of our heavenly Father.
While the world is in survival mode because they are estranged from God, Christ-followers are assured of His ample provision during a crisis (see John 10:10). Jesus told the church we can petition our heavenly Father for our daily bread (see Matt. 6:6-9). Jesus said that even evil people provide for their children—so how much more shall our heavenly Father give good gifts to His children (see Matt.7:9-11).
David said that because the Lord is His shepherd, he shall lack nothing (see Ps. 23:1). Jesus said He would not leave us as orphans (John 14:18) but will be with us even until the end of the age (see Matt. 28:19, 20). Because of our covenant relationship with God as Father, we do not trust in the arm of flesh but in God for all things during a time of famine (see Jer. 17:5-8).
7. Instead of feasting and playing, we are fasting and praying.
During a national crisis, the prophet Joel proclaimed a solemn assembly for the land (see Joel 1, 2). While the people of the world are medicating themselves for hours every day getting inebriated, consuming Netflix, porn and other forms of entertainment, mature Christ-followers should be banding together, seeking the Lord earnestly during a crisis. Jesus warned His followers to watch and pray lest their hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap (see Luke 21:34).
8. Instead of criticizing our elected officials, we pray for them.
It is so easy for people not in the driver's seat of leadership to criticize their executive leaders in church and state. Every day on mainstream news, there are rabid criticisms between those on the left and right of the political spectrum. In contrast, true Christ-followers should be lifting up their elected officials and community leaders in prayer during times of crisis (see 1 Tim. 2:1-4).
9. Instead of being preoccupied by the fear of physical death, we focus on dying to self.
While the world is so preoccupied with preserving their lives, true Christ-followers know they have already died and their life is presently hidden with Christ in God (see Col. 3:1-3). Since we have already been crucified with Christ (see Rom. 6:1-6), we die daily (see 1 Cor. 15:31) and live for another—even for the one who died and rose again (see 2 Cor. 5:15).
We should be living in this world as "dead people on furlough"! Hence, since Christ followers have already died, they cannot be killed twice, which wrests away all fear of physical death. This is why Paul said that departing this world and being with Christ is far better than staying in this realm (see Phil. 1:23). Consequently, this is a huge opportunity for Christ- followers to share their faith with everyone they perceive is being tortured with a fear of death.
10. Instead of focusing our energy on the crisis, we creatively look for divine solutions.
Isaiah 60:1, 2 speaks of the people of God arising and shining during times when darkness covers the earth. This is one of those times! While the world is petrified, paralyzed and fraught with fear during these days, the believer should understand the times (see 1 Chr. 12:32) and know how to regularly function in the spiritual manifestation of the Word of wisdom (see 1 Cor. 12:8).
Since the church is organically connected to the "mastermind" of the universe as our head (Eph. 1:22-23), we are to function as His fullness and with His wisdom since we have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). Hence, during this or any crisis, Christ-followers should be the greatest problem-solvers the world has ever seen! Consequently, the greater the challenge, the greater the opportunity for solutions so God can be glorified among the nations (Matt.5:16).
May the Lord be glorified during these days, and may this present purging be followed by supernatural power and another global Great Awakening!
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