When a song wells up inside of you…well, I thought you would like to hear it too.
Be at peace dear church, God is sovereign.
When a song wells up inside of you…well, I thought you would like to hear it too.
Be at peace dear church, God is sovereign.
I feel I can truly relate to Keith Green in this song. I feel cold, dry and hardened.
I wonder…if there’s anyone else in this world like me right now.
It seems this virus has slowed everything down to a snail’s pace, and now I have nothing but time on my hands.
I don’t have anymore work. All our contracts have cancelled on us. My wife teaches piano via the internet, and has some students still. But other than that, we are home and not sure how to spend our time.
Our children homeschool so they are still finishing their studies. I do have some work in the workshop to do so that keeps me from going ‘cabin-fever’ crazy, but I have noticed something strange. I am finding that since a lot of the distractions are gone, my thoughts have been drawn to my spiritual life. Or lack thereof anyway.
Anyone else feel the same drawing to things spiritual lately? Anyone else feel deep down that this time of quarantine and social distancing is actually a blessing where God can finally get through because the phone’s not busy?
Our finances will undoubtedly suffer through this trial, but since God is on control of every penny that flows through our life, He is well able to deal with this. We wear masks, wash our hands continually, and keep a safe distance from those around us, yet, all it takes is one lapse from one of us, and bang, we are infected. But yet God is controlling every cell and atom of everything in this world, so He’s also in control of that.
What do I have to worry about? Really…nothing. So my thoughts coast again toward my relationship with my Lord Jesus. This is a glorious time to really get back to that place where me and Jesus were inseparable. Where I yearned to be with Him and learned so much at His feet. Instead I find myself in the kitchen busy and burdened with much.
This period of trial for the human race will end one day. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Most of us have nothing better to do anyway. Shouldn’t God get our best instead of our leftovers? Give Him your attention and humbly submit yourself to His will. Curl up at His feet and give Him the time He deserves.
(Samuel Davies, “The Nature and Universality of Spiritual Death”)
“My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber.
The Lord protects you; the Lord is a shelter right by your side.
The sun will not strike you by day, or the moon by night.
The Lord will protect you from all harm; He will protect your life.
The Lord will protect your coming and going, both now and forever!”
God is the guardian and deliverer of His people!
From how many dangers has He preserved us!
From how many calamities has He delivered us!
Dangers, distresses and deaths crowd upon us–and surround us in every age and every place! The air, the earth, the sea, and every element–are pregnant with numberless inlets of pain and death ready to seize and destroy us!
Sickness and death swarm around us! Nay, they lie in ambush in our own constitution, and are perpetually undermining our lives–and yet our divine Guardian preserves us for months and years unhurt, untouched. And how many ‘salvations’ of this kind has He wrought for us! Salvations . . .
Salvations from seen and unseen dangers!
Salvations in infancy, in youth, and in maturer years!
These things we cannot deny, without the most stupid ignorance, and an atheistic disbelief of divine Providence.
Sovereign Ruler of the skies,
Ever gracious, ever wise,
All my times are in Your hand,
All events at Your command!
His decree, who formed the earth,
Fixed my first and second birth;
Parents, native place, and time,
All appointed were by Him.
He who formed me in the womb,
He shall guide me to the tomb.
All my times shall ever be,
Ordered by His wise decree!
Times of sickness, times of health;
Times of poverty, and of wealth;
Times of trial, and of grief,
Times of triumph, and relief.
Plagues and death around me fly;
Till He bids, I cannot die!
Not a single shaft can hit,
Till the God of love sees fit!
“Surely He will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear . . .
the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you!”
This is quite the world we’re living in right now. Talking with my family on occasion regarding the various ‘Apocalypse’ style scenarios one could live through and how best to navigate them, one never really thinks he’ll actually find himself in that sort of trial.
But here we are. The Covid-19, or more commonly called ‘Coronavirus’ is sweeping the earth and many have been affected and many more will be before this is all over.
That’s fine, and I’m not really concerned about the virus, because we as a family are already very clean and do more than most people to keep it that way. I am more concerned with society as a whole and how the Christian will be regarded after everything calms down.
I hear about how companies, governments, sports teams and just about every institution out there is closing down and cancelling events and that means a whole lot of money and business down the drain.
I see myriads of people in the stores fighting over toilet paper and food, and can only imagine it getting worse.
Here’s the scenario I see: Lock-down of our towns and cities. Businesses close, schools close, no one is allowed to go to work but some, only some will be able to telecommute. Most will not have enough money to pay their bills, and after their credit cards have been maxed out, most will either walk away from their homes, declare bankruptcy or worse.
We as a family own a janitorial business, and just today, our biggest contract was cancelled on us. What is going to happen when more and more businesses we cater to, close their doors? We won’t have work either. My wife teaches piano and has been scrabbling to set up online lessons for those who are too afraid to leave their homes anymore. Yes, it’s getting that bad. This, if it works, will be our only source of income. It won’t be much, but if we are not allowed to leave our homes, what good will it do?
We saw images in China where food was being hoisted up on ropes to people who were trapped in their homes. Can this sort of thing happen in Canada? I wouldn’t be surprised.
Yet, with all the trials and tests we, as a people, and we as Christians are facing now, we have to remember that God is sovereign. He is supreme and He is in control of this virus and the implications surrounding it. Its invention/discovery didn’t catch God by surprise. He’s not losing sleep, wringing His hands in worry. He is in control of this! God is not a worried and tense bystander downing Rolaids and milk trying to calm His ulcers. He is the majestic God of all, King of heaven and earth and is moving His chess pieces across the board where He wants them to go. Not one thought, word or action from the whole of mankind is beyond His control (Proverbs 16). Not one death escapes His notice. Not one germ is allowed to proceed unless He gives it permission.
How does this apply to us as Christians? We read in various places in Scripture where God promises us protection through trials, yet we also see where He allowed His children to suffer horribly. Psalm 23 and 91 come to mind where we can derive great comfort knowing that God will take good care of us. We read in Proverbs where He controls everything from the big to the small. From turning the king in the direction He wants him to go, to the rolling of the die. Everything that happens in this world of ours is under His constant control. EVERYTHING! Not most things. Not the big stuff. But everything.
We can count on God to guide us through the valley of death. We can trust that He will open His arms to us when we run for cover and need His sanctuary. We can rely on the fact that no matter how big the giants of life are, God is the biggest giant of all!
Yes, we may suffer. We are told in Acts that the road to heaven is paved with many tribulations. The narrow way is losing its elbow room, and we as His children are feeling the pressure.
As we see inevitable changes to society and how things are run, where do we put our trust? If we are forced to live in a cashless society and most business is run online, then what? Then we trust in God and adapt.
As the store shelves empty, as our so called freedoms wain, and as society inches closer to a one world government run by an all-seeing computer generated dictator, we will continue to give and sacrifice as God calls us to. We will continue to love and serve, pray and forgive and live out this life of Christ to the best of our ability.
If this virus leads to us being persecuted and martyred for God’s glory then so be it. It won’t be nice to live through, but it will bring us to our Lord’s protective side early.
(“Pleasant Readings for the Home” Author unknown)
A traveler one day called at a cottage to ask for a drink of water. Entering, he found the parents cursing and quarreling, with the children trembling and crouched in a corner. Wherever he looked, he saw only marks of degradation and misery. Greeting the family, he asked them, “Dear friends, why do you make your house like Hell?”
“Ah, Sir,” said the man, “you don’t know the life and trials of a poor man! Do what I can–everything goes wrong!”
The stranger drank the water, and then said softly (as he noticed a Bible in a dark and dusty corner), “Dear friends, I know what would help you, if you could find it. There is a treasure concealed in your house–search for it.”
And so he left them.
At first the cottagers thought it a jest, but, after a while they began to reflect. The whole family tried to find the “treasure”–but in vain. Increasing poverty brought only more quarrels, discontent, and strife.
One day, as the woman was thinking upon the stranger’s words–her eye fell on the old Bible. It had been a gift from her mother, but since her death long ago–it had been unheeded and unused.
A strange foreboding seized her mind. Could the stranger have meant the Bible? She took it from the shelf, opened it, and found the verse inscribed on the title-page, in her mother’s handwriting, “The law of your mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.” It cut her to the heart. “Ah!” thought she, “this is the treasure which we have been seeking!” How her tears fell fast upon the pages!
From that time she read the Bible every day, and taught the children to pray–but without her husband’s knowledge. One day he came home, as usual, quarrelsome and in a rage. Instead of meeting his angry words with angry replies–she spoke to him kindly and with gentleness. “Husband,” said she, “we have sinned grievously. We have ourselves to blame for all this misery, and we must now lead a different life.”
He looked amazed. “What are you talking about?” was his exclamation.
She brought the old Bible, and, sobbing, cried, “Here is the treasure. See, I have found it!”
The husband’s heart was moved. She read to him of the Lord Jesus, and of His love. She continued to read the Scriptures daily, as she sat with the children around her, thoughtful and attentive.
So time went on.
It was a year later that the stranger returned that way. Seeing the cottage, he remembered the circumstances of his visit, and thought he would call and see this family again. He did so, but he would scarcely have known the place–it was so clean, so neat, so well ordered. He opened the door, and at first thought he was mistaken, for the family came to meet him so kindly, with the peace of God beaming upon their faces.
“How are you, my friends?” said he.
Then they recognized the stranger–and for some time they could not speak. “Thanks, thanks, dear Sir–we have found the treasure which you spoke of! Now the blessing of God dwells in our house–and His peace in our hearts!”
So they said–and their entire condition, and the happy faces of their children, declared the same more plainly!
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2
Heavenly-mindedness can only be maintained by the strictest vigilance. It is a delicate and fragile flower, susceptible to every variation of the spiritual atmosphere. Guard against that which checks its growth.
Many are not aware how much . . .
unfit the heart for communion with God, and lessen the tone of its spirituality.
Close communion with mere nominal religious professors is particularly to be avoided. Much more injury to spiritual-mindedness accrues from intimate friendship with such, than from those who assert no pretensions to a religious character; as with the one we are apt to be less on our guard than the other.
Avoid the world’s amusements–they will eat as a canker into the very core of your spirituality!
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world” is a prohibition which should never be absent from the eye of a traveler to the heavenly city.
Are not heaven’s attractions many and powerful?
How rich is heaven! Why, then, should not our thoughts be there? Oh! shall not our hearts be more where our most precious treasure is, where our holiest and dearest hopes center, and where we ourselves shall shortly be?
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:1-2
On Tuesday, February 3, 1970, in the Hughes Auditorium on the campus of Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky, during the college’s regular chapel service, which was scheduled to last only 50 minutes, a revival broke out that continued non-stop for 185 hours. Though the revival officially ended at about 3 a.m. on Wednesday morning, February 11, there would be intermittent outbreaks from time to time during chapel services for several weeks after that date.
On Tuesday morning, February 3, 1970, at 10 a.m., with one thousand students present, the chapel service started. The students who had made a high commitment to prayer were in attendance with great expectation that something was going to happen. They even mentioned to one another that they could sense the presence of God. Some of the students had even stated prophetically the night before that the revival was imminent.
Asbury’s academic dean, Custer Reynolds, was scheduled to speak that morning. When he came to the microphone he indicated that he did not feel led to speak, so he briefly gave his testimony, then gave an invitation for students to share about their own personal experiences in their relationship with God.
Dr. Clarence Hunter then opened the altar for anyone who wanted to come and pray. Immediately hundreds of students rushed to the front, kneeling at the altar four to five deep. Spontaneous singing broke out. The presence of the Lord was so real that all other interests seemed unimportant.
Throughout the auditorium, students knelt, not only at the altar, but at their seats, in the aisles, and anywhere they could, to confess their sins and get their hearts right with God.
Several hundred students gave their lives to Christ that day.
At the time the chapel service was to end, the bell sounded for students to go to their classes, but everyone ignored it. Academic Dean Custer Reynolds then approached the microphone and said that classes were cancelled.
Many students were lined up, intending to testify of how God was working in their lives. Many were overcome by their emotions, and with tear-filled confessions, they acknowledged sins they had committed against others that were present, and they publicly asked for forgiveness. Reconciliation began to take place between those who previously had been at odds.
Students continued to publicly pray, sing, and give testimonies, with some students even singing their testimony.