SCRIPTURE: I Thessalonians 5:17-18 “Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is GOD’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
By now you have heard the latest report. Our President has extended the “Social Distancing” to April 30. Governors in many states have issued curfews and stricter policies of staying at home. Perhaps you saw the special that aired March 31 on NBC which focused a great deal of those “soldiers” on the front line: the medical doctors, nurses, health care workers, and others in emergency management areas. The special, in my opinion, was not trying to invoke fear and panic, but to give the American people an honest perspective of what we are up against and to take this pandemic serious. It was called “The silent and invisible enemy,” an “Army attacking that you cannot see where it is coming from next.”
Dr. Deborah Birx, who is part of the Coronavirus Task Force Team, stated, “It is stressful to follow the guidelines [social distancing and staying at home] but more stressful for soldiers [medical profession] on the front line. There is no magic bullet, no magic vaccine, it is our behaviors. It is the Communities who will do this. Each of your behaviors translating into something that changes the chaos of this viral pandemic over the next thirty days.”
Two points I would like for us to consider. First, in the Christian life we are continually fighting against an “invisible army,” an enemy who is not so silent in his destructive tactics and forces and “masquerades as an angel of light.” Jesus referred to him as, “The thief [who] comes in to steal, kill and destroy,” John 10:10. If we are not on alert by the Holy Spirit’s promptings and His Word, or wearing the protective gear Paul writes about in Ephesians 6:10-18 “the whole armor of GOD,” we will be destroyed. Paul speaks about helmets, breastplates, shields and swords necessary for battle against this unseen enemy. Unlike the coronavirus, we are fighting not a flesh and blood enemy, but against rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Not only are these for our defense and protection, but we are given offensive weapons. The “sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of GOD” and “all kinds of prayers” prayed in the Spirit. Paul summarizes, “With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
Second, YOUR behavior matters. As Dr. Birx said, “…Each of our behaviors translating into something that changes the chaos of the viral pandemic over the next thirty days.” As followers of Christ we are called upon to live a certain life. “WHATEVER HAPPENS, CONDUCT YOURSELF IN A MANNER WORTHY OF THE GOSPEL…” (Philippians 1:27). “Be careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity for the days are evil,” (Ephesians 5:15). “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,” (Colossians 1:10). “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received,” (Ephesians 4:1). “Not everyone that says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only [those] who do the will of my Father who is in heaven,” (Matthew 7:21).
PRAYER: LORD GOD, Creator of vast world and universe that surrounds, we are truly humbled by your mighty power. As Your child, who belongs to you by the gracious gift and sacrifice of Jesus; by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus the Christ, I thank you. Help me, O LORD, to realize and remember my behavior as a child of GOD matters. How I live every day, how I respond in a crisis, how I treat others, how I forgive others, how I love others, MATTERS! Father GOD, help me to do my part as a follower of Christ. Help me to be submissive to the social distancing that our governing powers have decreed for America. I pray for your supernatural strength, protection, wisdom be given to the doctors, caregivers, scientists, government officials, and spiritual leaders battling this coronavirus pandemic. LORD GOD, I ask for Your forgiveness of my sins, remove any hindrances to my relationship with You. LORD, I pray that I will not live in panic or fear, but I will live in faith and trust in Your promises. Deliver us from the effects of the COVID-19. We pray in faith for the eradication of this coronavirus. I thank you for your salvation! I thank you for your provisions. I thank you for your forgiveness. I thank you for delivering us from evil. It is in the mighty name and Jesus, the One whom you gave all authority to in heaven and on earth we pray, Amen.