Updated: Mar 27
Is it possible that nothing will change?
The days seem to hold a looming darkness. A shaking has taken place.
The whole world can feel it.
Covid-19 is the headline news of the day.
It is on the mind of the believer and the non-believer.
Reports of new cases and deaths all around.
If anyone had told you earlier this year that churches around the world would be closed for weeks, you probably would not have believed them.
The incurable nature of this disease has caused a great shaking with some seeking for answers inwardly and others outwardly.
As the world seeks for answers and solutions to a growing pandemic, my prayer is that it is becoming more and more apparent to everybody that we are not in control. There is a God in heaven.
In Ecclesiastes 3 , we are reminded that there is a time for everything. Nothing takes God by surprise, he set the times and the seasons, all our days are written in his book (Psalm 139:16).
If things have been shaken, economies shaken, governments shaken, if we feel the shaking, I am led to believe that there is a reason for it and at a minimum a result from it. Scripture says even what the enemy intends for evil God can use for good. (Genesis 50:20, Romans 8:28)
Place a few objects on a board, give them a good shake and you will see that nothing stays in its place after the shake. So, to expect that nothing changes after this shaking would be reckless and careless on our part. It is common that before any change or promotion there is what looks like commotion, chaos.
Consider the great shaking as Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and thereafter imprisonment in his journey of ascent to leadership as second in command in Egypt.
Consider the night before the Israelites were finally delivered from Egypt. That night can only be described as pure commotion , a great shaking in the land as the first born of both people and animals outside the Israelites camp were killed by the destroying angel (Exodus 12). Interestingly, the Passover is right around the corner from today.
Consider the events surrounding the birth of Jesus, a massacre of babies by Herod in attempt to stop God's plan for man's redemption. (Matthew 2)
Consider the second coming of King Jesus... pure commotion, the book of Revelations speaks of the greatest shaking the earth will ever see as our Lord ushers in the new millenium.
So, I ask, is it possible that nothing will change?
Or has this crisis brought with it an opportunity for personal and corporate reflection?
Is it merely to have church gatherings closed while we wait and see?
Would this time away from the mundane, the schedules, the song practises, the group meetings be a missed opportunity if nothing changed in us?
Shall we not use this time to look inwardly and cry out to the Lord to show us the errors of our ways or other ways in which we can do things better?
Shall we will not apply or take as the benchmark for correction Jesus's letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3 and genuinely check how we've been getting on both as a church and as individuals?
Shall we only pray for this disease to go away so we can go back to the comforts of our world as we like it? Our work, home, travel, food , supplies, life as usual? Or shall we also seek the Lord in prayer concerning his house?
Only God knows when this will end and how it will end.
Scripture tells us that we go from glory to glory as we are transformed to be more like him. (2 Corinthians 7:18)
What if there is a cost to His new Glory?
What if the cost is that ... EVERYTHING CHANGES.
Can we dare to be inconvenienced.. for the long run?
What if our worship changes? Our praise changes? Our entire belief system in how we view God, his word and what we call Sunday service, our fellowship with Him and others changes?
Can we stand to embrace such a reality?
Let us ponder God's sole purpose of deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt.
For all the great tribulations or shaking faced by Pharoah and the Egyptians, God through Moses had this sole reason - "Let my people go so they can worship me.'
"Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Israel is My son, My firstborn. So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn.” - Exodus 4:22-24
We see further on in the book of Exodus God warning his people not only that they should not worship other Gods but in addition to that, that they should not worship God in the way the nations do. (Deuteronomy 12:4)
Has our worship of God been influenced by other gods around us?
Shall we take this time to ask the Lord to help us turn and return to worship Him in Spirit and in truth ? Away from pop songs?
Shall we take inventory and make deep scriptural based reflections of what have become natural traditions? Gimmicks, smoke, lights, Santa Claus, the Easter bunny and others..
Are we yearning and yielding for Him to do a work in us? Even if it means being inconvenienced? Even if it means .... EVERYTHING CHANGES?
Change or repentance, seldom feels pleasant but great and glorious things can be birthed as we allow the Lord to do a work in us.
Paul often wrote letters of warning and correction to the churches, those that had gone off track into other doctrines such as the church in Galatia and those that needed correction in their practices such as the church at Corinth. Perhaps this quiet time is a great opportunity to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal what God has planned for the church through this crisis and beyond.
Even if it means everything changes.
Lord, forgive us.
Lord, open the eyes of our understanding.
Lord, change us.
To you Lord is all the glory now and forevermore.
(Psalm 86:11, Psalm 51:10)
“For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while)
I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land;
and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to
the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts.
‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts.
‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord of hosts.”
HEBREWS 12: 25-29
See that you do not refuse Him who speaks.
For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
For our God is a consuming fire.