Have you ever been in a loud, crowded room where the person in charge is trying to get everyone to listen to him and no one seems to be listening? So, the leader steps closer to the microphone and says, “Could I have your attention?” That’s what’s happening right now.
God has our attention now…many of us anyway. He has allowed this virus to happen in the earth so that we would have a “divine pause,” a stoppage of all our normal activity, in order that we would have an opportunity to listen. The problem remains that many people still refuse to listen – they’re simply waiting for things to get back to normal. What if God doesn’t want everything back to normal because things are about to change drastically?
You can read many stories in the Bible about God bringing a pestilence on the people, not because He wants to destroy them but because He wants to restore intimacy with Him. If they’re pursuing other things less important, they grow further apart from Him and don’t teach their kids about Him. God does NOT take pleasure in bringing judgment, but He will just so He can restore intimacy. Why do we humans have to lose so much just so we will have gratitude? It doesn’t have to be that way.
Many are experiencing anxiety right now; afraid they may come in contact with someone who is infected. Adults are wearing Halloween costumes that cover the entire head, such as the picture I saw of a guy wearing a homemade hazmat suit with his kid’s horse’s head from a school play. We should be wise, but fear and anxiety are not helping us. Anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but it does come from trying to control it. If you’re racked with fear, think about it, anxiety does not remove future suffering – it only robs you of today’s strength.
Understanding what God is doing through all this can remove anxiety. When you know His plan prophetically, then you have a better idea of the outcome. Not knowing the outcome is why so many people are fearful and buying multiple packs of toilet paper. Where did that come from and how will that help our future? “Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). This is what will get us positioned for our future.
Many within the Church believe that revival or an awakening come when we deserve it. We’ve obtained a level of excitement and fervency with crowded churches so that revival will break out. That’s not how or why revival happens. Revival comes when there is repentance on a whole scale. Period. If you were to study all the revivals in our past history, you will find this as a fact. “If My people will humble themselves and pray, seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and heal their land” (2 Chron.7:13-14). We who have been saved a long time think of wicked ways as something that other people do but not me! How small does a sin have to be before it’s not a sin anymore? We need to open up the deepest depths of our hearts and repent of everything that displeases the Father, including having judgments of other people, gossiping, and anything else that creep up on a saint. This is the time to cry out for mercy! Repent of all unbelief!
You may know of someone who has the virus or of someone who knows someone. But how close does the virus need to come to our house before we become desperate and cry out for mercy and repentance? I recently saw a Facebook video of people in Italy praying on their knees and with their faces to the ground, crying out for mercy! They’ve had close to 18,000 deaths. It was a very large public square and these people were everywhere, not worried about social distancing at all – scads of people. That’s desperation!
After you’ve repented, begin to declare what you want to see happen, not only for the country but also for yourself and your family. This is also why God allows plagues to take place; He wants to answer your prayers! He wants to fulfill the desires of your hearts, but those hearts must be prepared and molded into a heart seeking intimacy with Him. Instead of asking God to take away the disease, start commanding the disease to wither and die. Jesus promised us, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you’d say to this mulberry tree, be removed and be cast into the sea” (Lk. 17:5). He didn’t tell them to ask – He told them to command.
God is measuring our response right now. Staying home or wearing a mask and practicing social distancing is society’s reaction to the disease. God is not looking for a reaction; He is looking for a response. Sure, do those things, but carefully consider what else you will do. How will we respond? Will we hunker down, watch a lot of TV, and sleep longer while we wait it out, or will we respond with repentance and fervent prayer, declaring into the heavenlies what we want to see happen? This generation will eventually be considered as the one that prayed or the one that played. In the future we will either be celebrated or we will be studied for why we let this opportunity slip by us. Make up your mind and be diligent about it!