The coronavirus outbreak has the world on a widespread shutdown, where life as usual – filled with sports, events, and church and social gatherings – approaches a slow crawl. Many in the United States alone this weekend will face a light self-quarantine, adhering to recommendations of “social distancing” and the cancelation of events involving hundreds of attendees.
While the world spends their time steeping in pandemonium and fear, this time is a golden opportunity for followers of Christ to give attention to some important items on God’s plan for our lives. Take a look and share!
1. Fast and Pray for God to Intervene.
Yes, I know you just stocked the fridge with enough food to last for weeks. And, guess what? It’ll be there waiting for you after a fast LOL!
Team, when we’re facing noisome pestilence or danger rooted in principalities and spiritual wickedness, this kind of peril is best addressed through fasting and prayer. No evil can over-power the true and living God. God is waiting for His people to stand in the gap – humble ourselves, pray, repent and turn from our wicked ways. Make time to repent and intercede on behalf of the nation, knowing God can defeat any evil host or war that rises against us (Psalm 27:3).
2. Strengthen Your Online Witnessing and Evangelism.
Think you’re stuck at home only to surf and scroll online? It may not be what you’re used to doing, or perhaps your platform is built for another purpose – but you can let your light shine for Jesus Christ on social media.
Can you imagine what Jesus and the disciples could’ve accomplished if they had email and social media? Instead of posting the latest news, meme, or selfie, consider asking your network, “If you died today, do you know where you’d spend eternity?” Share a testimony of God’s grace and favor to you. Give God the glory by sharing scriptures or praising Him for His mighty acts in another teammate’s life. Make sure your social media profiles reflect the life of a follower of Jesus Christ and share His love with great enthusiasm, truth, and grace.
3. Turn Your Home Into a Safe Place for Small, Christian Gatherings.
As congregations make use of online streaming during times of emergencies, open your home to other believers for Christian fellowship. The group could watch an online service together, have Bible Study, or simply join for prayer and worship. Jesus will still be in the midst of two, three, or more who gather together in His name. A return to the early Acts 2 church may be in order, so prepare your home to be available for the Master’s use.
4. Have Dedicated Bible Study with the Kids.
Parents, if you’re home with the kids for an extended period of time, it’s the perfect time for you to have a personal Bible study with the kids. No one knows your kids like you – what they fear, what they question, the challenges in life or school they’re dealing with. Show them how rich and rewarding the Word of God is! Illuminate scripture to solve a problem, show God’s power and faithfulness in a similar situation they’re going through, or simply reinforce the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The seeds you plant during this time will bring a blessed harvest.
5. Clean and Declutter Your Home.
Our external surroundings are often a reflection of what’s going on inside us. Is your home disorganized and chaotic? While many may claim to work best in “organized” chaos, sometimes we all deserve a reset to true order. Because you’re always on the go, maybe you haven’t had time to do any “real” cleaning of your home.
Take this opportunity to clean and disinfect your home – organize your space, throw old or unused items in the trash. Stop holding on to things you can’t wear or items that no longer serve a purpose. And then, reflect on how this same exercise of cleaning, throwing away, and prioritizing needs to happen in your mental and spiritual life.
6. Ask God Those Hard Questions and Listen for His Answer.
Got some burning questions for God about your life, direction, a Bible verse, your future? Now is a great time for you and God to have that talk. Take a break from the news, Netflix, and/or social media and get quiet before God. “Hey, God. I’ve been thinking…” Tell God your thoughts. Engage with Him as a child whose loving Father can’t wait to share all of His knowledge and wisdom. Laugh and sing with God. This can be a time of wonderful intimacy with the Creator.
7. Take a Deep Dive in the Bible.
Sure, we all (hopefully) “read” our Bibles, but when’s the last time you took a deeper dive? Engage in some personal, biblical research. Break out the concordance, flip through the Strongs dictionary, read historical writings of a certain biblical time, cross-reference words and meanings throughout the Bible. With the Holy Spirit as your guide and leader into all truth, you’ll be amazed by what God reveals to you.
8. Serve and Check on Others.
This time doesn’t have to be solely about me and my family. Pick up the phone and call a friend or loved one who you haven’t spoken to in a long while. Check on their well-being and how they’re doing with everything. Do they need something you can provide? The conversation may afford you an opportunity to be a resource, share a testimony, or just pray with them. Whatever you do, do it with love and humility.
9. Write the Vision, Make it Plain.
Have you been flying by the seat of your pants because you didn’t make time to write God’s instructions down? Have you been operating by memory of what God told you? While life has slowed down, go back and write down the steps and guidance God shared with you. Get clarity from God as to whether you’re on the right path or not. Perhaps, once this season of emergency is over, God wants to send you help for the vision – be ready to give your help the ability to run, not walk with the vision God has given you. Time is of the essence!
Take a break from your 90mph life. Do nothing. Get a good night’s sleep. Sleep later than usual if you can. Release the mentality that “busy” is a sign of purpose. God’s work, His plan for your life will never require you to run yourself in the ground physically, mentally, and emotionally with no room to re-charge. God’s plan always includes rest, just like it did for Himself.
So, What’s the Play Call?
Team Jesus! During times of emergencies when normal life shuts or slows down and you have more time on your hands, be sure to do those things that will strengthen your walk with Christ and bring Him glory. Leave the fear and panic to the world; continue to trust in the Lord your God. He wants us to make the most of every opportunity in these last and evil days (Ephesians 5:16).