by Melissa Nordell
As I was interceding desperately about the Coronavirus pandemic and its effect on churches and the Body of Christ, the Lord gave me a vision along with words of wisdom to explain what He meant.
The vision had congregants of differing ages in a church, sitting in pew-type chairs. Suddenly, the rug underneath the pews was pulled out from under the congregants. The people were of varying ages but all in adult clothing which meant to me that these were people of all spiritual ages. This upending was so unexpected, startling everyone since immediately this caused the people in the “pews” to fly up and off their seats! It was a very unforeseen and unsettling surprise. No one was hurt; it was just such a bewildering jolt.
Even though this pandemic’s true source is of the devil and a result of a fallen world, the Lord explained that this has upended church as usual in so many respects, shocking everyone, getting us all out of our routines; and He will use this time for the greatest good. We know that “getting the rug pulled out from under” someone means to “abruptly leave someone in a problematic or difficult situation.”
Christians have gotten too comfortable sitting in church and not being the Church, too used to being in church as a social club, ministering to our own groups inside the church for the most part, some in a ministry celebrity culture of idolatry, working too hard on busy projects that are not bearing kingdom fruit but may only be traditional, dependence on the pastor and not praying much and not studying the Word for themselves; therefore, the Lord is going to use this horrible situation ultimately for the good of the kingdom of God (Rom 8:28). In essence, it is somewhat of a fast from “church as usual” to change our focus. If there has been a famine in the land of hearing the words of the Lord and obedience, crises bring all people, saved and unsaved, desperately hungering after Him.
I believe that the racial unrest is also a part of this upending of God’s Church since the Church should be leading the charge in equality, reconciliation, and healing. The Bride must be made ready for the soon-coming Groom, Jesus.
Prov 8:12 “I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.” (KJV)
As Christians, we need to get outside the church anyway, going out to that fallen world, bringing the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ. Especially right now, we need to go beyond the four walls bringing hope and encouragement to the unsaved and fearful as His salt and light. I praise God for churches and ministries who have used the “witty inventions” of the Lord to have drive-in churches, daily prayer and encouragement online, Bible studies and even children’s church online, on-street and beach baptisms, teachings regarding how to take daily communion at home, and food outreaches for the multitudes of people out of work, using differing tools in this age of high tech. Many church leaders are realizing that they can have a greater impact, ministering 24 hours a day, seven days a week, online and by phone instead of just a couple times a week in a building. The homebound and those in remote areas are being ministered to and discipled in greater numbers all over the world.
However, many churches are not doing anything at all and may be in a time of testing as God will bless those who are doing His Kingdom work. Some churches may even fall away.
Isa 35: 3,4: “Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.”
As more and more people feel that their lives are out of control, they are turning to God more than ever. Some are fasting who had never fasted before, with more are getting into the Word of God for themselves, and some having communion at home for the first time. I recently read a credible survey demonstrating that COVID-19 has caused Christians to pray much more and with greater depth including many who had never prayed before this crisis!
When the sudden changes occurred after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attack, people flocked into and packed churches. This time, there will not be just a temporary resurgence if we do things differently, pray, and continue to minister to the multitudes that do not know Him, thereby bringing Revival and Reformation.
As Jesus demonstrated in a rare episode of righteous anger, He overturned the money changers’ tables in the temple and said “…It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves” just days before He was betrayed, suffered and died on the cross (Matt 21:13). Of course, this was the moneychangers’ tables but this can be equated to anything that goes on in a church that is not part of a house of worship unto Him, or not a house of prayer.
Isaiah 55:8,9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (KJV)
Like everyone, I am looking forward to the soon-coming day when we will celebrate, assembling together in church, worshiping, teaching, learning, and fellowshipping – but this pandemic and racial unrest will revolutionize the Church as a whole for those who will listen and change. Ultimately, God’s heart is for saving as many as possible and discipling the whole Body since His ways are higher than our ways. Being a Christian doesn’t mean just going to church.
Our temporary “new normal” will have some profound and lasting effects for the good, but only if we pray for a new and better day, interceding like never before for Revival and Reformation. Most can quote Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose,” but do not realize that the two verses just above say: “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (v. 26 and 27 KJV). Thus, He will make this horrible situation work together for our good when we seek Him, pray, and intercede by His Spirit.
This awful, novel virus and racial inequality will not stop unless we pray, for we know that another scripture, 2 Chron 7:14, also verifies this: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land;” with a huge emphasis on the word “if” in healing the land and its people.
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