I believe the global predicament with COVID-19 is far more than just a medical crisis. In fact, everything we are facing — economic crises, political crises, financial crises, familial crises — goes much deeper than what’s on the surface. Everything visible and physical is preceded by that which is invisible and spiritual. If you want to address the visible and physical, you must identify the cause and cure to that which is invisible and spiritual. To put it another way, if all you see is what you see, then you do not see all that there is to be seen.
I believe this disruption we are experiencing has been allowed in order to precipitate a spiritual realignment and center us back toward God. Second Chronicles 15:5-6 says,
In those times there was no peace for those who went about their daily activities because the residents of the lands had many conflicts. Nation was crushed by nation and city by city, for God troubled them with every possible distress.
In these verses the Bible describes a world in chaos and individuals without peace. When the people of Judah and Benjamin went home, there was family conflict. City rose up against city and nation against nation. There was no peace in the land.
At the end of verse 6 it says,
For God troubled them with every possible distress.
Wait a minute. Who is behind this chaos and lack of peace? The Lord took the blame.
In the Old Testament, when God’s people departed from Him, judgment followed soon behind. With the sacrifice of Jesus, God recast His relationship to the world. Second Corinthians 5:19 says that the world was reconciled to God through the death of Jesus Christ.
No longer does the Lord God rain down fire and brimstone or send floods, like in Noah’s day, but we can experience the passive wrath of God that is described in Romans 1:24, Romans 1:26, Romans 1:28. The Scripture says that God turned them over to impurity. Then, again, later in the chapter, God turned them over to disgraceful passions. A third time, God turned them over to a corrupt mind.
Because the people of God no longer took Him seriously, choosing to dishonor Him and drift away, He let them experience the consequences of their behavior and see what life looked like without His provision.
Romans 1:21-24 describes what happens when an individual, family, church, or nation depart from God:
For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals, and reptiles. Therefore, God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts. — NIV
Yes, we know God exists everywhere, but I am talking about the relational absenteeism of God. It is as if God has said, If you don’t want Me, you’re going to have to see what life is like without Me. So I believe God is interrupting the normal, natural, and preferred order of things on every single level. God is sending a worldwide message.
Returning to the Old Testament story, 2 Chronicles 15:3 speaks to the causes of the chaos and crisis at that time:
For many years Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without instruction.
He didn’t say there was no belief in God; he said their belief was not in “the true God.” The Israelites had replaced “the true God” with idols.
Many of our churches have failed as they have bowed to culture and dumbed down His deity by ignoring His Word. We are no longer teaching unapologetic truth. We are teaching what we think or what feels good to the people. We teach what is popular and preferred.
There are two answers to every question: God’s answer and everybody else’s. And everybody else is wrong. God has spoken and He does not stutter.
His Word is perfection, ever relevant, speaking to all issues, for all of life.
God defines marriage. God defines gender. God defines identity. God defines what it means to be parents and how children should respond. God defines religion and how the church operates. He creates and defines governments and how they should be run. He has spoken on how the citizens of a nation are supposed to act. God defines sexuality. We don’t. When we start to redefine seminal issues like these, chaos will ensue.
In creating our own rules and parameters, we insult God.
When there are no teaching priests in the land and the pulpits allow society to vote on what God has said, we do not conform to God’s standard. We only make people comfortable with their own standards.
God speaks to the issues of righteousness and justice and how to handle the poor, pursue equity, and stabilize economic structures and personal finances. The mission of a teaching priest is to declare God’s truth with love and clarity on every issue in society.
God’s Word must become the current standard by which all issues are addressed, by which all people must conform, and by which all systems must be adjusted. No matter how high or how low, regardless of political, social, or economic position, the teaching priest must never kowtow to the culture. The leader must speak with spiritual authority and Holy Ghost power.
The best way for the servants of God to love and care for the people is to speak God’s truth. The pulpit must preach in a way that overrides the opinions of society or what your parents may have taught you. God’s Word must override what professors or politicians have to say. It overrules what the media is trying to promote. We have no more time for clever sermonettes or cute Christian phrases. This is a season for preaching the full counsel of God’s Word with grace but without apology.
The desire of God is relationship with His people. Make knowing Him your goal. God will bless us, our families, and our culture as we learn that the God who causes distress also alleviates the distress when we return to His side.
~ Dr. Anthony Evans
Excerpted with permission from Divine Disruption by Tony Evans, Chrystal Evans Hurst, Priscilla Shirer, Anthony Evans, and Jonathan Evans, copyright Tony Evans, Chrystal Evans Hurst, Priscilla Shirer, Anthony Evans, and Jonathan Evans.
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The passive wrath of God is a frightening concept. When we decide to dishonor Him, not listen, and go our own way… He let’s us do it and allows us to experience the consequences that come. Knowing Him and staying with Him is so worth it! Come share your thoughts. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily