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Prepare yourself for the times ahead of us. People prepare themselves in different ways. I believe the most important thing is to draw closer to God and His Word. However, let us not neglect the practical and physical things we need to do. You have a part to do so take responsibility and with the help of the Holy Spirit do your part as you trust God for His protection.
A true and sad story
Several years ago in a congregation in my city, one of the leaders decided to go on a mission trip to Africa. Nothing wrong with that. I know some believers asked him if he planned to take the required vaccines before his trip. But he did not want to take any vaccine—he believed it was a lack of faith if he did take any vaccine.
He together with the whole congregation prayed for protection and safety. Moreover, he even received (if I remember correctly) many words from the Lord concerning his trip and the victory he would have. These words all promised protection and God’s favour. The Pastors did anoint him with oil and committed him to God. So our brother was convinced that all was going to be well with him. He put on a triumphalist attitude and declared and proclaimed God’s protection with all the scriptures he remembered.
Then he went to Africa, did his mission and returned home. Next, we heard that he was sick and the doctors could not determine the cause of his sickness. Unfortunately, he died shortly after his arrival home—in spite of many people who prayed for his healing. That’s a true story, even if I don’t use names.
I don’t want to say he died because he did not want to take the vaccines and medicine doctors recommended. The brother in my example was a true genuine believer—I am not judging or criticizing him for his decisions. I think he genuinely believed that he did not have to take any vaccine or medicine because God would protect his body.
I believe with all my heart in God’s sovereign power and protection for spirit, soul and body. But I also believe we have a responsibility and a part to do in our walk with God. There are many cases like the one I mentioned—many believers who think all they need to do is pray Psalm 91 and nothing bad will happen to them. And when something bad happens, they are disappointed in God and lose their faith.
On the other hand I know people who traveled to countries like India and did not take a vaccine and nothing happened to them. Praise God for this too! I traveled to a few places myself, but I always take precautions and take the right vaccine besides prayer and fasting. I don’t think I have enough faith for protection against diseases nor do I want to end up in the same scenario as the man in my example. So, unless I have a direct word from God deep in my heart (a rhema word) I will take a vaccine and do all I know to be prepared for a bad scenario. And I don’t think God is sad or disappointed with my decision.
If one chose to take a vaccine is not sinning. Likewise, if one chose to not take a vaccine is not sinning. The real danger here is when one group judges the other group. Indeed, the Bible has a lot to say about judging and pride.
Prepare yourself for the times ahead of us
Recently I received many messages like: don’t worry brother, we are all under the blood of the Lamb as the Jewish people in Egypt, and the angel of death will passover our house—that is the coronavirus or COVID-19 will not dare enter our life or family. Somehow they imply that because we are saved (under the blood of Yeshua) nothing bad can happen to our bodies. I don’t see that in the Bible.
This type of thinking is closely linked with the charismatic movement, and it can be dangerous. For many Christians it’s hard to think God will allow the coronavirus to touch them. Usually the same people think all God wants is for them to be happy—they have a God who is only love and grace. A God who only encourages but never rebukes, only blesses but never commands, only heals but never judges rebellion—a God who is only compassionate but never a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29). Please read about Lot’s wife.
I believe with all my heart that God can and will protect all of His children. However, by the word protection I don’t think God always refers to physical protection. We so quickly jump to the conclusion that protection means foremost physical protection.
What if God choses to allow the coronavirus to touch your body? Will God be unfaithful to His promises and Word? Is God not good anymore because of that? I have three friends who are right now in quarantine and I did not hear them complain or blame God for not protecting them. True, they are concerned for themselves and their families, but not desperate or fearful.
A godly attitude
In many Christian circles people read Mark 16:18 and practice the word of Yeshua in an erroneous way. Mark 16:18 (ESV)
they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.
The leader of the so-called Christian community will come in front of the people with a poisonous snake in his hands. He will then quote this scripture and dare people to come and do the same thing as he does. If they refuse, he says they are not true believers. That’s really an abusive interpretation—unfortunately, it’s not so uncommon.
I can give you so many examples of people who took the Bible verses they want and applied them as they want and who got themselves in big problems because of that. No wonder God says His people perish because they lack knowledge (Hosea 4:6). They don’t know the difference between a rhema word and a logos word.
I believe a godly attitude is to not see how far you can go in life without taking the necessary precautions. A godly attitude is to look up to Yeshua and in humility ask for His protection, power and wisdom to know what is your part. That’s not a lack of faith—on the contrary.
It’s crucial to not let fear invade your mind and heart. It’s crucial to be cautious how much news and Facebook messages you read. Needless to say, it’s crucial to surround yourself with people of great faith, who love the Lord and walk with Him in obedience and have a balanced life. And make sure you make God, His Word and prayer priority number one. Only in His Presence can you find rest and shalom and receive wisdom in difficult times.
Prepare yourself with prayer
Acts 2:42 (ESV) says
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Don’t freak out, but go to God in prayer. Pour out your heart before Him and surrender your life once again. In prayer we show how dependent we are to God, and we realise that our God is the sovereign God. He is the Almighty One who created the heavens and the earth, and nothing is impossible for Him.
Most of us pray more fervently and more often only when we face hardships. In difficult times usually believers regret that they did not cultivate prayer to the point where it would be as easy and as natural as breathing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Psalm 46:1 (ESV) says that God is a very present help in trouble but you do not want to live your life in an emergency level and see God as only Someone who helps you when you need help. God is so much more than our Refuge and Help in times of trouble.
I want to encourage you to prepare yourself in prayer and devote yourself to prayer.
Prepare yourself with wisdom
The source of wisdom is God—then we need to seek God by faith and in prayer ask for His wisdom (James 1:5). Wisdom is to see things and life from His perspective. Not from the perspective of media or politicians, but from God’s sovereign perspective.
I also believe someone knows he is making a wise decision when he thinks of the consequences or counts the cost. The most godly believers I know live with their feet on earth and with their minds, hearts and eyes set upon Yeshua and the things above (Col 3:2). They have a balanced life and walk with God—extremes are not present in their behaviour. They take responsibility for their lives and families and do not neglect their relationship with Yeshua. Most importantly, they do their part faithfully knowing God will always keep His covenant promises.
I love spending time with these types of people. And I see that right now, they prepare themselves as much and good as they can and know. But not in a spirit of fear, but in a spirit of wisdom—that’s important to know.
Let us follow the example of Caleb. Numbers 14:24 (ESV)
But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it.
My prayer for you is to let yourself be guided by the Holy Spirit and not by the spirit of this world, or by a spirit of fear, panic or by a false spirit of faith.
Prepare yourself with much courage
Yeshua told us in John 16:33 (ESV)
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
And in John 14:1 (ESV) Yeshua said
Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.
We have a choice to make—we either let our heart be troubled by the world situation or we trust in God and in Yeshua. My prayer for you and me is to choose wisely the second option—trust in God.
God will make a way for those who listen and obey!
Yes, the enemy and his agents are out there spreading fear and panic. Try to discipline yourself by not looking to the enemy, to the problems, to the mountains, but to Yeshua (Psalm 121). The real danger is to magnify the enemy and his works instead of glorifying Yeshua, magnifying Him and His works.
Start by looking at the cross—God loves you and cares about you. Remember the words of Yeshua in Matthew 28:18 (ESV)
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me
And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Treasure the words of Yeshua in your heart as you walk through difficult circumstances. Prepare yourself as the five wise virgins with oil in their lamps (Matthew 25:1-11). Make sure you have your priorities in the right order and devote yourself to the Scriptures, fellowship with other believers (as much as you can in these circumstances) and prayer.
We don’t have a manual for a crisis or a seven step plan to follow when something bad happens. But you do have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of you and the Bible. And I believe in the Bible you can find the answer for any and every question you might have—just ask the Holy Spirit to guide you there.
Pray also for the healing of those who are touched by the coronavirus. Pray for yourself and your family. And pray for a great revival on the face of the earth. Moreover, pray and prepare yourself in God’s presence for any situation God reveals to you.
Do you agree?
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