Blog Reboot – March 16, 2020
This devotional blog has been silent since July 2019. But who saw this unique time coming? Certainly not me! As I was preparing for the day this morning, I specifically asked the Lord what I might do to be a part of the solution. I’m just a lowly Bible student. Most of the time, I don’t feel like I have much to offer in a circumstance like we’re experiencing. But I believe He was pretty clear with me. It’s time to write again and bring the Word into the situation. Many are doing that, and I am grateful. I guess I will add my voice to the crowd. I pray that while you are living in a place of “social distancing” you are also spending time meditating on God’s Word and talking to Him about it all, for what we need most during this time is prayer!
2 Timothy 1:6-7
6I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
If you’ve paid attention at all during the last month, you know we are in a challenging and rather unique situation. And this is a situation we share with the entire globe! In this country, we are not used to that kind of event. But here we are. The internet is rife with information (some good, some bad, some very bad) and opinions. But it seems we are finally coming together, at least a little bit, to react for the common good.
I don’t want to be just one more voice telling you what to do. You already know what to do. I’m also not going to recount statistics or fill your head with data. There are many out there who already have that well in hand. No, I want to bring God into the picture, for this virus is not a surprise to Him. He knew it was coming, and knew we had a few things to learn.
One of the first responses when all of this started was fear. The run on toilet paper has become the meme of the decade as that was the first thing to go in the stores. That’s still a little peculiar, but there you have it. That kind of hoarding is born out of fear, plain and simple. God deals with fear in several places in the Scriptures, but probably nothing more plainly than in 2 Timothy. “…for God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power, love, and self-control.” I’ve seen that verse repeated often over the last few days – at least the first half. But instead of focusing on the front half, let’s look at the back half, for it there where our strength is found.
… of power, love, and self-control. Could there be better words to lead us forward? God gives us a spirit of power, love, and self-control. We have the power, granted to us by the Holy Spirit, to cast out fear. We have the power to love each other, even if it’s from the distance. And we have the power to control our fear response and let God be God in our lives.
As we wield this power, let’s do it in response to the neighbor who might be unable to get to the grocery store. Let’s speak words of peace and comfort rather than jumping on the fear-train the culture so quickly embraces. Let’s speak the name of Jesus with confidence and joy, even in the midst of uncertain times. All of these actions require intentional thinking on our part. Instead of a knee-jerk response that sends us into a panic at the Wal-Mart, perhaps we shop for what we need in an attitude of prayer. And most importantly, let’s remain connected to the Lord through worship, Bible Study, and prayer. All of these can be accomplished online for the duration. Those of us in the ministry are on a steep learning curve of how to best use technological resources. But we’re figuring it out! So, fear not. But more importantly, embrace the spirit of power, love, and self-control. We’ll talk more tomorrow.