Where is the fearless army of faith that will bring shame to the end-times assaults of Satan?
Dread has come to the church. The following verse is a warning to rebels of God, yet it is manifesting among Christians today. Embarrassing.
Your life shall hang in doubt before you. You will be in dread day and night and will have no assurance of your life (Deut. 28:66).
As believers, we are promised abundant life and a life free from fear. Those who rebel? Dread has come. Why is the church responding like the lost? Why are so many afraid, anxious and losing hope? We have a problem.
An Embarrassing Response
My wife Amy posted the following to Facebook the other day:
Right now, it costs less to book a 14-day European cruise than it does to buy 10 bottles of antibacterial gel on Amazon.
She wasn't making it up. The price of the cruise plummeted to less than $600 while the antibacterial gel she found was $60 a bottle. Madness. In fact, I just searched on Amazon for PURELL Advanced Hand Sanitizer, Refreshing Gel and it's going for $189.99 for two bottles. What?
Consider how face masks and antibacterial gel is sold out in most brick and mortar stores right now, yet there doesn't seem to be a rush on anointing oil. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if snakes, oops, I mean essential oils, were escalating in popularity while raw, fervent and authoritative intercession is giving way to fear and human "wisdom."
Dr. Drew Pinsky was quoted by FOX News:
"Essentially the entire problem we are having is due to panic, not the virus," he said. "I was saying this six weeks ago. We have six deaths from the coronavirus, 18,000 from the flu. Why isn't the message, 'Get your flu vaccine'"?
Pinsky, host of "Dr. Drew After Dark," said the coronavirus impact has been milder than initially projected.
"The entirety of the problem now is that people are being pushed into bankruptcy. Travel is down. The supply chain is being interrupted because of panic," he reiterated.
"The flu virus is vastly more consequential and nobody is talking about that."
He said that people who are wearing respirator masks are engaged in "panic behavior" rather than preventative measures.
"It is a press-induced panic that will have real consequences. It will not be the virus," Pinsky said.
If Dr. Drew is furious that secular society is panicking about coronavirus, I believe we as Christians should be all the more furious.
This fear that's causing supposed blood-bought followers of the most powerful being in existence to absolutely freak out over a minuscule chance that they might be touched by a flu-like illness is ridiculous when compared to their concerns about eternity.
If there's a much greater chance of going to hell, where is the panic, the concern, the preparation? This road is very narrow and few will avoid eternal torment, yet people are stressed over a virus? Yes, some have died, and that should cause heartfelt compassion, but it shouldn't result in anxiety. While numbers may increase and appropriate health precautions should absolutely be taken, as of the writing of this article, of the 327 million people living in the United States, nine have died from coronavirus. The percentage? 0.0000000275229358%, or approximately 1 in 36 million.
The chances of going to hell? Much greater than 50%. Some would argue more than 99%. Again, where is the urgent, intense concern?
Enter at the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who are going through it (Matt. 7:13).
Where Are The Faith-filled Warriors?
Are you taking the opportunity to show the lost you are fearless, full of faith and joyful? Or do they sense your anxiety about coronavirus?
A crisis of faith has been exposed. Coronavirus is embarrassing the church.
Have you noticed any difference at all between the godless world and those who are seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus, the healer? Bold decrees of faith, not confessions of fear and worry, should be exploding out of our mouths!
Instead, Christians are hiding in caves, running from the battle and trembling not in the fear of the Lord, but the fear of the enemy.
Sure, take precautions, but don't cower. Don't respond like the world. Don't allow the enemy to impact your life. Live! Be free! You are covered by the blood of Jesus!
Of all people, we should be the ones preaching faith, not fear. Put the ridiculous spiritual face masks away. Your mouth is your weapon! Don't allow the enemy to muzzle you. Speak to the fear and command it to dissipate! Renounce the tactics of the evil one! Let the world see just how powerful Jesus is and how different His children are. We run to the battle.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust." Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the hunter and from the deadly pestilence (Ps. 91:1-3).
I suppose if you aren't truly dwelling with God, wildly surrendered to Him and abiding in Him, you might have cause for worry. So, if it helps, buy stock in oils, meds and potions. However, for those who are walking with God, I suggest you read, and then shout to this world, that your Deliverer is all-powerful! The snare and the deadly pestilence have no influence over you.
Look, I give you authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. And nothing shall by any means hurt you (Luke 10:19).
I love the word "all." "Nothing" is pretty great, too. Nothing shall hurt you! We have authority over all the power of the enemy.
God's instructions in Psalm 91 are to reject fear! That is your initial strategy, not antibacterial soap and fist bumps.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day; nor of the pestilence that pursues in darkness, nor of the destruction that strikes at noonday (Ps. 91:5-6).
I am so impressed by actor Patricia Heaton's simple Twitter post. Who else thinks like she does?
Am I the only one who's not that worried about the #coronavirusus ?— Patricia Heaton (@PatriciaHeaton) March 1, 2020
Is it OK to take precautions? Response is good, reaction is not. The moment fear or worry enter in, we can know the spirit behind coronavirus has touched us, even if the disease has not.
People are refusing to travel, canceling vacations, rejecting invitations to public gatherings, hiding away at home and waiting for the world to end. Yes, this is absolutely embarrassing and is no way to represent our mighty healer!
We need an awakening of bold faith. It's time for God's people to rise up in the face of the enemy, with fire in our eyes, and cast him out. We fear none other than God, and we will, as a unified army, assault the darkness and laugh at the threats. You are in this army, mighty warrior. Take your stand and let the world see you are fearless, relentless and full of the fire of the Holy Spirit!
Even if safety demands a physical mask, take off your muzzle and open your mouth. The world needs to hear the message the enemy is trying to shut down. It's a message of healing, freedom and abundant life.
Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling, there shall be no evil befall you, neither shall any plague come near your tent (Ps. 91:9-10).
The Lost Are Not Safe
I leave you with a commission. Those who don't know Jesus, who have rejected His leadership and lordship, are in grave danger. We shouldn't be surprised when trouble comes, and though we have an advocate, those who have said no to God do not.
We must intercede for them; we must war on their behalf. Messages of awakening should be sounded night and day. They are not in a safe place.
If you are not careful to observe all the words of this law that are written in this book so that you may fear this glorious and fearful name, the Lord your God, then the Lord will bring extraordinary plagues on you and your descendants, even great long-lasting plagues, and severe and long-lasting sicknesses. ... Your life shall hang in doubt before you. You will be in dread day and night and will have no assurance of your life (Deut. 28:58-59, 66).
Doubt is hanging before our nation. Dread has come. Assurance of life is fading—for the lost, that is. The redeemed, you and me, are the ones with the answer, the solution, the antidote!
We need a massive move of God, a revival, an awakening in our nation. Faith is our only hope and repentance is their only hope, but what a great hope it is!
So, let's end the embarrassment as we put on our armor and arise as mighty men and women of God, filled with faith and driven with a passion for the lost. I pray this current crisis will be just what they need to turn to Jesus in full force.
Originally published on The Stream.
John Burton has been developing and leading ministries for over 25 years and is a sought out teacher, prophetic messenger and revivalist. John has authored ten books, is a regular contributor to Charisma Magazine, has appeared on Christian television and radio and directed one of the primary internships at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City. A large and growing library of audio and video teachings, articles, books and other resources can be found on his website at www.burton.tv. John, his wife Amy and their five children live in Branson, Missouri.
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