It is hard to think of anything that has been more globally disruptive in our lifetimes than COVID-19. In the midst of everything we believers always are to live a spiritual life, not leaning on our own understanding but in all of our ways acknowledging Him and allowing the Lord to direct our path. In the middle of COVID, few believers are trying to chart their own course. Now the rest of the time… our flesh is genelet the Lord take a break while we figure things out. There are three areas of life that I believe God wants us to have a reset during this disruption that if we allow God to direct us, we will discover is a time for divine order to be clarified in us.
We are human beings not human doings;
So many of us humans are addicted to busy-ness, stress, and pressure that we often wander through life lacking the peace and the power of purpose that can come from divine order.
I highly recommend Dr. Archibald Hart’s book, “Adrenalin & Stress.”
Our prayer focus in this area is to ask the Lord what are His priorities for our lives. Remember, His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). If our way has been hard and burden heavy; we are either not doing what God has called, anointed, and gifted us to do, or we are not doing it the way He wants us to do it. Sometimes there’s no need to change the “what” of our doing, but we need to change the “why.” Stress, anger, envy are all very unhealthy addictions. They will kill your spirit and cause you to die from the inside out.
Your prayers, good deeds, best efforts don’t earn God’s favor or blessing. We do have an altar in this new covenant that so completely fulfills the altar of the old covenant as to render the old obsolete (Hebrews 13:10). You will not and cannot earn the favor and blessing of God.
It’s all by His amazing grace! It stooped down and lifted us from where we were. Sinking deep in sin far from the peaceful shore; Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more, but the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry! And from the waters lifted me, now safe am I! Love lifted me!!
We are in a love relationship!! When that relationship becomes the #1 priority in your life, it will change everything in such a beautiful way. It will reorder your priorities. It will make you a better person in every arena and relationship in your life.
“So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom. 33 “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. 34 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Luke 12:32-34 NLT
It gives our Dad great happiness to give you the Kingdom! YOU!! You’ve got to believe that on a personal level before you can ever really know the power of that statement. And the Kingdom is not meat and drink, but it’s righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost! (Romans 14:17)
The first century church was totally focused on treasure that moth and rust could not corrupt.
PRIORITIES! Nothing of this world owned them. Too many in North America think living for God is about getting stuff now and a Grand Prize trip to heaven.
Jesus said, it’s more blessed to give than receive. Our priority in this time should not be what can I get, but what can I give. Believers don’t give to get. We get to give. We are channels for the blessing of God to flow through. There is no greater blessing that God can impart into people in your world right now than His peace and joy.
A great priority God will give you revelation about is both His priority for your life and the people He has placed in our life.
Let me quickly run down the priority list for a Jesus follower’s life:
1. Relationship with God.
2. Relationships in your home (spouse, children, others)
3. Ministry [relationship to local/global body]
4. Secular work [relationship to boss/owner; customers (internal & external)]
5. Extended family and friendships
Living out these priorities forces our life to intersect with others. God made us to be relational beings.
Living these priorities correctly with other people hinges on one thing! Let’s journey with our brothers and sisters in the church at Corinth to confirm this one thing…
I Corinthians 12:25-27 “This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. 27 All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. 28 Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church:”
I Corinthians 12:31-13:1,13 “So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts. But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all. 1 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”
More important to God than your perfect execution of a gifting or talent, is how you love your brother or sister.
This statement I’ve said many times:
Your demonstration of God’s love to others directly reveals your revelation and understanding of God’s love to you.
Let me add one thing to that:
It’s great that you can show love to people you like, but Jesus said that conventional wisdom was a lesser law than what the new covenant of grace declared.
Matthew 5:43-48 – Teaching about Love for Enemies
43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
Here at POGH, we have begun a push towards excellence in ministry. One core value that has emerged as part of this effort is the importance of details in pressing for excellence. The value is stated this way, “In excellence, details always matter, people matter more.” Even in our efforts to minister in excellence, or we could say perfection, wholeness we must never lose sight of the importance of people.
The third “P” I’m asking us to give spiritual consideration to at this time is God’s purpose for our life. Several years ago, Bishop David Howe shared a wonderful thought contrasting why it’s so critical to be Spirit led instead of purpose driven.
And now Bro. Rick Warren, author of “The Purpose Driven Life,” does also emphasize the necessity of our purpose being revealed to us by the Lord. Sadly, some gain illumination about their purpose and then disconnect from daily guidance by the Holy Spirit.
In this whole, huge world, He has a purpose and plan just for you.
He gave Jeremiah (1:4-6; 29:11) the message this way, “The LORD gave me this message: 5 ‘I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.’ 6 ‘O Sovereign LORD,’ I said, ‘I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!’ 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
And the instruction to Joshua (1:6-8) was “Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. 8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”
During this COVID-19, I do believe we should take a fresh and deep look at these three areas in our lives.
I pray the Holy Ghost gives you a specific revelation of what this reset is to change in how you do life.
Our prayer is that you will discover experientially there is no higher, lasting priority in life than a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Love God. Love people. And if you will discover His purpose for your life, your life will be rich beyond any earthly measure.