This pandemic is driving people to spiritual solutions. I am no exception. These two questions below from the You Version Bible app spoke volumes to me.
- Where is your gaze set? What can you do to take your gaze off the temporary?
- When you think about your life in Christ, do you invite Jesus into all of your life or just a part of it?
I have a friend who is fighting loneliness. She lives alone, and because of the coronavirus she does her work through her laptop. She networks with people, but the aspect of being with people face-to-face is not there. She’s a faithful Christian, and her faith is strong, but she still fights loneliness. Fighting something does not mean we are less of a Christian. The Bible clearly says in this world we will have trouble. But it doesn’t stop there. It goes on to say to take heart because I have overcome the world. That personal pronoun refers to Jesus. That’s who said that, and he continues to mean every word of it because the Holy Spirit is here. We have a tendency to lean heavily upon whether life is good or bad. That’s human nature. Jesus in fact asked the Father to take the cup of suffering away if there was another way. No one in their right mind wishes for bad things to happen. Adam and Eve came into the world with no sin or suffering. Satan lied to them by not telling them the whole truth. A partial truth is a lie. They indeed became like God knowing good and evil, but they still disobeyed God. It truly is as simple as that. God created us. He put parameters in place to protect us and give us life abundant, but we began to worship our own understanding, and the lies Satan put before us. Jesus showed us in the desert that overcoming the ploys of the Evil One was possible. We do not have to give into temptation. We’re going to be tempted. That is not over. One day will come when temptation will not be part of our experience because we will have eternal bodies, and the reality of the Garden of Eden before the fall will reign again. Whether that’s on a new earth, or somewhere in the clouds called heaven I don’t know. My theology leans towards this Earth being made new and indestructible just like God, divine beings and us. These bodies we have now are temporal, hence the shelter-in-place we are practicing, but when our Father returns with the Son we will be made eternal. That fact continually gives me hope.
There will come a day when death will be deleted from our experience. Walking with God will be literal, and faith will be seen. Wrapping words around these subjects is the only way I know to make them more real. But just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Read some of Anselm’s writings about the ontological argument. New Advent dot org is a great place to read some of the church father’s writings. You’ve got time, so why not?
My pastor Kevin Queen wet my appetite for the Gospel of John, and I’ve been meaning to sit down with my NIV Study Bible to read it. I think I’ll start today. I’ve got a great view out my office window now to do just that. Time with our Father is never wasted.
Last night while I was doing the dishes I listened to incredible praise and worship music by Bethel Music. Wow was I lifted into the presence of the Father! Emmanuel is not just a divine name. It’s a reality that when we lean into it can change our whole perspective. Too many times I let the seen aspects of this life be the common denominator, but over and over he shows me what is most important. That doesn’t mean I don’t do the dishes, but it does mean I seek him first in all I do. Sometimes that’s done simultaneous to the task at hand.
Phil Collins has some lyrics in a song that goes, “I’ve seen your face before my friend, but I don’t know if you know who I am?” I didn’t realize Phil Collins was a theologian, but you could certainly apply those song lyrics to the great I AM. Jesus Christ continues to move through all of life for me, and his presence is transforming millions, if not billions, to find him in this time.
Do you remember when Satan and God discussed God’s servant Job in the Hebrew Bible? Can you imagine the discussions God is having with other supernatural beings about this pandemic? I wonder if some of the same conversations that happened around 1918 are happening again? To God a day is a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. I guess one-hundred years would be like thirty minutes. It doesn’t matter because he’s the master of time, and our trust is in that. Remember when as children we sang he’s got the whole world in his hands? Times like this remind me of those “childish” songs. His love and mercy flow through his servants in good and bad times, but like Revelation illustrates extreme times of suffering remind us that God wins in the end.
I don’t know how long our present predicament is going to last, but my prayer that when it is over that we will not forget the One who brought us through it. His love is great, and when I’m tempted to reach for Twitter I’m going to try to reach for Him because his tweets are eternal.
I love you guys.