Sunday, February 23rd God spoke to our church through tongue interpretation and gave us a Word which I haven’t forgotten. He used my own lips to remind the church what he wanted us to remember. Just before there had been an outward demonstration in the Holy Spirit, I heard Him say to me, “Speak my word.” At the moment I heard his gentle voice whisper those words so clearly in my ear, I did not realize we were about to have a demonstration of His Spirit. The worship had filled the house of God so beautifully that night as the saints had embraced Him. Then God’s presence came in with a gentle hush. As we waited on God for a Word, I remembered what He had just said to me and so out of obedience I spoke the only words He gave me to say. He said, “Have not I told you I will be with you? Have not I told you I will be in you?” Nothing more came, so I held my peace. I did not understand at the time what was about to occur that very week for our family personally.
By Wednesday, that very same week, we received personal news that would punch us in the gut as if someone had hit us with the blow of a bat. We are still clinging to God over the matter and believe he is on the scene doing a work we can not see. Then within weeks the world turned upside down all across America as our government gave the announcement for us to not hold meetings of over 10 people in order for our own safety from a deadly and invisible virus sweeping across the world. Since then, church has taken on a very different appearance than most of us are usually accustomed to. As worship leaders and ministers, we have sung and preached sermons to sanctuaries full of empty seats where once worshipers had filled. Families have gathered around their computer monitors and phones to sing songs together and hear the preached word. They have held prayer meetings together like never before in their own living rooms. Zoom Bible study meetings have become a way we can come together.
The words the Lord said to the church that night have resounded in my heart since. I believe He was letting us know his promise to be with us because He knew what was just about to occur. He was not taken by surprise at the turn of events. I realized that night after the service had carried on, God wanted us to have confidence in the God working in us. To not be afraid to open our mouths and speak what he would have us say when the time came. To ask even a complete stranger, “Is there anything I can pray with you about?” To not over complicate it with our own thinking and allow our mouths to be God’s tool to reach others as he has always desired us to do. To have confidence not within our own ability but in His.
The church buildings may be empty for a time, but the church is still here. We are the church. It’s not really a new concept, but we are to be God’s hands, feet, and mouthpiece. What has changed though is this virus has caused us to switch up our routine and what we would call normal. The other day my niece did a Live on Instagram and one thing she referred to was those whom God used to represent him at different times of crisis in the Bible accounts to save the people.
She said, “We are God’s representatives in this hour.” And I thought to myself how true those words are.
The question is, will we rise to the challenge in this crisis and represent Him well? Many have already taken on the challenge and have represented the Lord in the best way they know how. To which I am so thankful for their courage. Many have stepped out of their comfort zone and have allowed God to minister through them to bring a word of peace, love, and mercy to those around them. We must be a ready flame in God’s hands to ignite a fire of exponential and unprecedented revival. There has been a shift and I believe God is using what the enemy meant for evil to awaken the church from our slumber. (Genesis 50:20)
The world is frightened. Like a great wave, fear and sickness have gripped our nation.
But, 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and a sound mind.”
It is time for us to grab a hold of the Word of God like never before and declare it in prayer over this giant of sickness which has ransacked our cities. Many families have been touched by this virus, one way or another. Many have already lost a loved one, and others are praying the prayer of faith even tonight for their family member to rise from the deathbed where they lay sedated in hospitals. There are also many more who have recovered and miraculously defeated death.
This may be the greatest hour of the church to arise and do as scripture has instructed.
2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
God has already given us our marching orders. Humble ourselves and pray, pray, pray, and then pray some more until something happens. Keep in his word and keep seeking his face.
John 15:4 says, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”
Just as the words God spoke to our church that Sunday evening just a few weeks ago, we can not forget who is living inside of us. We must remember God is with us!
Galatians 6:9, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
Though trouble surrounds us, God is on our side!
Joshua 1:9, “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 says, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;”
God is with us! If you have received salvation as in the book of Acts, then his spirit lives within you! (Acts 2:38, Acts 19:2-5)
2 Corinthians 4:7 lets us know, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”
We can have confidence that God has equipped us to be and do exactly what he needs for us to do in this great time.
We must remember what is written in Isaiah 54:17, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.”
And also in 2 Corinthians 10:4, “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;)”
God is with us! We are going to make it as long as we move in close to him. He is a gentleman and he won’t force his way into our lives. We have to be open to allow ourselves to be what he has called us to be.
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