Mar23MonMarch 23, 2020
It has definitely been an interesting week to say the least with the spread of Covid19. I know it has forced many of us into a place where we have had opportunity to self-reflect. Questions like the following may become more real to us than ever before:
Am I using my time wisely?
Am I taking anything for granted?
Am I employing a healthy perspective?
Am I living true to myself?
Am I waking up in the morning ready to take on the day?
Am I thinking negative thoughts before I fall asleep?
Am I putting enough effort into my relationships?
They are all really good questions to ask ourselves more now than ever before. So, many of us can easily let our lives slip into auto-pilot and then something like this outbreak happens and we are forced to question everything that we have come to know. Some have said that the warning signs for something like this happening have been there for years. We have been more focused on climate-change to our demise at the expense of understanding the spread of viruses that are a more imminent threat to our world.
I’ve been really encouraged by the ministry of Steven Furtick and Bill Johnson in particular and some of my insights that God is showing me in this time have come through their teaching.
It’s an easy prayer request just to ask God to get us out of this mess, but we must learn the lessons that He is teaching us in the midst of this pandemic.
Out of the biggest mess, He can create the greatest miracle. We are being prepared for the miracle of empathy. God shows us who we are by what He has brought us through. Sometimes we are stuck because we haven't learned to stop! He makes me lie down in green pastures.
Sometimes to get us to green pastures, he has to get us to stop! Steven Furtick
Steven preached on Joshua 3 yesterday.
Early the next morning Joshua and all the Israelites left Acacia Grove and arrived at the banks of the Jordan River, where they camped before crossing.
He pointed to the fact that God had to first stop the nation and get them to camp. God is already in my tomorrow. Our faith often grows in unfamiliar places. Jesus was sleeping through a storm, the disciples were stressing... In the same way, those who don’t put their trust in the LORD run around and worry and stress about everything; however God speaks to our anxious hearts, His children and He says stop to patterns of pessimism. We will get through this! He challenged by saying that God is preparing us for a miracle! Let’s learn to really lean into that. I have read others who are challenging us to fast and pray one day this week for our nation. There have also been prophetic declarations that the LORD will bring a revival through all of this. So, many have just come to a place of self-reliance and this virus has shown all of us just how vulnerable we all really are. There have also been encouraging messages that the LORD will bring a symbolic end to this crisis at the time of Passover or Easter. Let’s pray into that as well! This is such an amazing opportunity for us to share the hope and trust that we have in Jesus that Francis Chan has reminded us. This is not a time for believers to be spreading the contagious message of fear! We need to pray for healing, there our great prayers to proclaim with confidence on the YouVersion App.
2 Three days later the Israelite officers went through the camp, 3 giving these instructions to the people: “When you see the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God, move out from your positions and follow them. 4 Since you have never traveled this way before, they will guide you. Stay about half a mile[b] behind them, keeping a clear distance between you and the Ark. Make sure you don’t come any closer.”
Steven reflected on the fact that right now we are in the midst of all this social distancing; however look at this passage and you will see that God is talking about spiritual distancing with the Ark. Testimony starts with test. He's giving us the gift of distance. He is teaching us that though we may feel He is distant, He is not.
He is using distance in our feelings to bring us closer in our faith. He is calling us to spiritual depth. I don't want to just get through this either, I want to be an overcomer! I want to be confident and say, It is well with my soul, like I did at my father’s funeral and mean it.
Sometimes we see God better in the distance. The ark was called the ark of testimony, the ark of the LORD, Yahweh, the ark of the covenant, the ark of His presence. Remember the new covenant was not dependent on you, it's dependent on God, it was His Son, His sacrifice, His blood. A mighty fortress is our God, He is my safe place.
5 Then Joshua told the people, “Purify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do great wonders among you.”6 In the morning Joshua said to the priests, “Lift up the Ark of the Covenant and lead the people across the river.” And so they started out and went ahead of the people.
Everything is found in His presence! Tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things. Let God be in your tomorrow, consecrate yourself today.
God promised me the grace for today and the hope for tomorrow
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Ephesians 3:16,20
8 Give this command to the priests who carry the Ark of the Covenant: ‘When you reach the banks of the Jordan River, take a few steps into the river and stop there.’”
Why did the priests stop in the middle of the Jordan River?
He doesn't want you just to get through this. He wants you to stop in the middle of it, discover Him, His presence, His peace, His life. The spirit of fear is trying to rob you. You tell it to stop in Jesus' name. Go deeper in your walk with Him, He is more than enough! He declares miracles over your children, over your home, over your provision! The Spirit of the LORD is here! Steven Furtick
My prayer is that you find real encouragement through reading this and please pray the following Psalm over yourself as a declaration.
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
3 For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
4 He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
8 Just open your eyes,
and see how the wicked are punished.
9 If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”
Bill Johnson asks, “How does God show up in a virus, a pandemic? God shows up opposite to the surroundings. This is the ignition point for a massive healing revival!” Download the anti-virus software, the power of the Holy Spirit!”
What if fear through a party and no one showed up. This virus is riding the wings of fear.
Abiding in the love of God is what keeps us immune!
The manifest presence of God on his people is the place of healing.
There is a wonderful element of safety and security found in this Psalm.
Ok, that’s enough for today. I’ll share more insights on Psalm 91 in a future blog. Be blessed!