If Satan would have known that by crucifying Jesus, he was unwittingly releasing the very act that would allow man to reconnect to God, he probably would have never followed through with his devious plot.
Subsequently, if Satan could have seen into the future and realized the result of the “safer-at-home” mandate, I suspect that once again, the evil intent he planted in the hearts and minds of men to shut down our nation would have been scuttled.
We are now in a season of God encounters.
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What happens when the majority of workers in a nation are sent home? They have more time to think.
And so they begin to create.
- Jim Bridenstine, Director of NASA, asked “What do you do with rocket scientists when they stay at home? Well, what they do is they build amazing things.” Working from home the NASA scientists and engineers have figured out how to take three pieces of NASA technology and restructure them to help fight the coronavirus.
- Dr Rhys Thomas of Wales invented an easy-to-build new ventilator which will ensure that the majority of patients won’t need intensive care if they are treated with this ventilator first. In addition, it cleans the patient’s room of viral particles, supplies purified air to the patient, and releases nurses for other duties.
- Many churches, with technology in place to stream online, have seen attendance actually multiply. One of my friends, Craig Walker, senior pastor of Upward Church, saw his congregational attendance spike from an average of 1700 on Sunday mornings to 2400 stateside, and international viewers spiked even higher.
- Some people have stated that rather than “attending” one service on Sunday morning, many are now watching multiple services online–watching the service of their home church and then other services they typically couldn’t watch when they were at church.
- Ministries previously restricted to serving one audience at a time are going global. My friend, Jon Pritikin of Feel the Power Ministries is an example. He shares his powerful testimony in schools across the nation and internationally.
It can be an exhausting schedule, but for the first time he is holding a global assembly this Wednesday, April 29, 2020 where students around the world will be able to access it online. It will have subtitles in Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Hindi, Hebrew and Russian!
- The smaller house church model of the first century church has been replicated in a sense during the safer-at-home mandate as smaller more intimate Zoom prayer calls have been created so friends and family can stay connected.
- Consequently, large mass prayer calls and meetings have also been on the rise as believers around the world connect with a URL link or phone number to pray and discuss what God is saying in this hour.
- The continued restrictions on our civil liberties in the face of this pandemic, some which seem to have no connection to the furtherance of health, have wakened a sleeping giant as people who have typically been silent are now joining in protest and prayer to support the president and hold governors accountable for decisions that are harming their states.
- New songs & books are being written. (Quarantine Life by Matthew West is hysterical.)
- New businesses are being created to meet the unique needs of this season.
And family and community are being reestablished.
Almost every afternoon and evening I can open my front door and see families walking their dogs, taking bike rides, or talking to other neighbors across the lawn, etc.
In essence, community has been re-established much like the days before air-conditioning when families would head outside after dinner because the air was cooler.
Something unique has happened.
Instead of the Church, businesses, and relationships imploding, it would appear creativity, insight and prayer are exploding. While I realize this is not the case for every church, business, and relationship, it is certainly taking place with increasing frequency.
Why? Because God, as the Creator, created and we are made in his image. As a result, when people are rested, they begin to create. (God created Sabbath rest for a reason),
We are in a season of God encounters.
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During the fifty days from Passover to Pentecost, after the crucifixion, Jesus appeared to many people in random places. With each encounter He imparted fresh revelation and hope.
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:30-32).
This is what we are seeing around us. Fresh revelation to create, a renewed hunger for God, and re-establishing of community.
If Satan would have known this would be the result…but he didn’t.
As states are now discussing when to reopen, may we not return to “normal” as far as apathy and busyness. Instead may we continue to press into God, seek His revelation, and remember the importance of rest.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
Lord, help us to remember the lessons learned in this season. May we not return to the busyness that keeps us from taking a Sabbath rest and which often keeps us from interacting with family, friends, and neighbors. May we recognize the unique lessons we have learned from this pandemic and recognize that you always take what the enemy meant for evil and turn it for our good. May this be the case for every reader and family. Lord, we ask that you would turn this for our good. Amen.
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