Pandemic Shut-Down Plus 2 Years
The hunger to see Jesus and the truth of His love remained.
What happened to you during the shut downs? What changed in you?
Some came out of it all like a bear comes out of the cave after hibernation. Bleary eyed, restless, and hungry. Tired of sitting around their homes, watching the same trash on TV and gaining weight.
The scary part is many Christians did the same thing. No church time, no Bible time, no growth. And no growth is the key prerequisite for death. Alarming, isn’t it?
The shut-downs were unprecedented. We’ve never seen anything like it. Politically, it was about as wrong as leadership can get. Spiritually, it was an acquiescence of the Church. Not for all, but for many.
However, that is not the point. In the middle of these moments, something began to happen. Something the “liar” didn’t intend. The devil had no idea how the shut-downs would affect some people. But like he ventured with Job, he ventured this calamity upon us. And it backfired on him. Just as it did when he killed Christ.
In 2020, we headed into an uncertain time. As humans world-wide. As a Nation. And as the Church here in America. We yelled and screamed the injustice of it. We fought with every social media post we could. We showed the world we were unhappy about it.
But many in the church smiled and happily sat down in front of their TVs, dug into their bags of chips, and gleefully took an extended vacation. After all, we have Netflix, Amazon Prime, and one million more channels we can catch up on.
On it drug, lulling us to a peaceful, uninterrupted, course of drowsy Christianity. Providing, finally, the ultimate excuse for our lack as the carriers of the Gospel.
But something happened. Not to all of us. But the hunger to see Jesus and the truth of His love remained. In fact, it grew. We dug into the Word. We added to our prayer time. We learned to worship in the midst of our days. And slowly, quietly, powerfully, a fire grew inside of us.
Not the fire that says Jesus has saved me and I am happy. No, indeed, a fire that was engulfing those who refused to be complacent with the status quo. An understanding that despite what man may have decided, God was alive and pouring out on those who were willing to walk into His presence without a minister or pastor leading them.
Something happened in that time. You see, because many churches willingly shut down their activities, those of us that still needed time with God turned to get it more frequently from Him directly. This changed us. This taught us that we needed only Him and Him alone.
House churches and small groups sprang up. Online connections became vital. People learned to risk exposure in order to worship God. And through all of this God proved that He was still vibrantly active in His people.
And growth became a thing again. Not by man’s leadership, but by God’s direct connection to people.
Then churches opened up. Many saints returned with a fire in their gut and a hunger for doing more and seeing the Kingdom of God grow.
History will record the shut-down that the devil devised turned things upside down for him more than God’s people. That the presence of God increased instead of decreasing. And it continues. More and more.
The people of God that found this new connection with Him are not gonna be pastors or leaders. They will be Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers rising up to meet the needs. Not in the spotlights or even in the pulpits. They will be Jesus in their neighborhoods, communities, homeless shelters, grocery stores, and so on. It’s not about popularity or notoriety. It is about the Kingdom. Neighbors called in the midst of the pandemic to reach the ones they love next door.
Did you grow? Did you get closer to God? If you are silently saying, “No”, dig in now. Don’t wait another second. Get in the Word of God. Ask for wisdom and revelation (Ephesians 1:15-21) to know the Word and understand it. Seek Him daily in your prayers (1 Thessalonians 5:17) to draw closer and hear Him more. Worship Him and know His presence (Psalm 22:3).
Your call is to the people that God loves. And that group includes every single person alive. There is no time to waste.