The Return from TIME OUT: Covid-19: Coronavirus

Christians, as parts of the country begin to reopen and certain areas of the economy start to come back online.  People are cautiously stepping back into society and resuming activities that once were commonplace throughout America.  Before the majority of society reopens, I feel that we have an opportunity to look at the things that have been stripped away because of the Pandemic and see if we need to re-establish all the things we feel we lost.  Anytime we have a pause or break in our lives, we often can rush back to make up for lost time, but I ask, should we rush back at all?  Are there things God has been bringing up in our lives through this season that we need to evaluate and potentially leave behind as we move forward into a new, uncertain season of our lives.  

Throughout History there have been events where it has impacted society so greatly that there was a PRE and POST annotation to the event.  The biggest event, especially for Christians, was the birth of Jesus Christ.  We base our very DATE on the event: BC and AD. Other big events include World Wars, the Great Depression, 9/11, Financial Crises, and I believe the “Covid Pandemic” will be added to that list.  The reason we have PRE and POST is because changes occurred throughout the event that changed the way of life potentially forever.  Take 9/11 – flying has never been the same since that event, for good reason, changes needed to be made.  

I do not know when we will be POST Covid – it could be a while as there is still a long road ahead, but before we get too far into old routines, we need to ask, do I need to resume all I was doing before the Covid Crisis and the way I was doing it?  As a parent, I often send my children to TIME OUT.  They were acting a certain way, I determined that was wrong, I put their life on PAUSE for a moment for them to think about what they were doing, why they were doing it, and give them an opportunity to evaluate the cost.  When I bring them out of time out, I ask them WHY I sent them there, and analyze how they can act going forward to avoid future punishment. I see many similarities with the Covid Crisis and Time Out from a loving Father.

Now, I have seen many Church leaders shy away from saying that Covid is from God.  All the sickness and disease is from the enemy and that we need to fight against it and pray against it.  Then I was reading in Deuteronomy the other day.  It was a favorite passage that many Churches love to preach, “the BLESSINGS of God’.  These blessings are associated with obeying God and I love them.  Then, in the same breath God explains the curses for not following Him, “The Lord himself will send on you curses, confusion, and frustration in everything you do, until at last you are completely destroyed for doing evil and abandoning me. The Lord will afflict you with diseases until none of you are left in the land you are about to enter and occupy.  The Lord will strike you with wasting diseases, fever, and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, and with blight and mildew. These disasters will pursue you until you die.”  Deuteronomy 28:21-22 (NLT emphasis added).  Seems clear to me. 

I am TALKING TO CHRISTIANS because as Christ followers, we are under a covenant that promises these blessings but also THESE CURSES.  I truly believe God is judging this world, He is pouring out His judgement like RAIN. If you are a Christian and you feel like you are getting WET, then you need to ask why are you not under His umbrella?  To be honest, through this Pandemic I do not feel like I have been affected in a negative way, in fact, we are in the best position we have been in a long time, through this Pandemic.  Many people are citing how their lives have been affected negatively and the things they are dealing with – God has already judged these things in my life.  To be honest, the things that people have felt in the last 11 weeks, my wife and I have been in a testing season for the last 11 YEARS.  We felt years ago that we were standing there drenched in the rain, thinking WHERE ARE YOU GOD?!  We then realized that we were positioning ourselves distant from God, His promises, His blessing and favor, we were choosing to look at life and the things we wanted to pursue. Mind you, they were ALL under the appearance of Christian American living and how we thought God would bless us. This caused us to be out from under the umbrella.  So I can relate.  I fully understand.  I know the only way forward and to stay out of the rain is to get CLOSE to God.  

Whatever the Lord has removed through this Pandemic, where you as a Christian have felt: confronted, hurt, confused, disappointed, disoriented, you need to evaluate what God is trying to show you through this TIME OUT.  It could be your pursuits, passions, finances, occupation, habits, relationships, family, friends, thoughts, dreams, plans, desires.  In the last 11 years God stripped us of everything.  Who I was, who I THOUGHT I was, who I wanted to be, where I placed importance, how I approached life.  Have you ever had to reset your phone or other device?  Where all your apps or programs were deleted and you had to go back in and download them again?  If God has reset you in anyway, just ASK HIM before you re-download something.  Before we return to doing things the “way we have always done it,” lets see if something about it doesn’t align with God’s plan for our lives.  

I can testify that after 11 years of doing this, we gave everything to God and we let Him set up the way we do things.  Some things we gave up, He actually brought back in, sometimes the same, sometimes in a new way.  Some things are gone and I know they will never return because He has shown me why I don’t want that in my life. 

As a Christian, I have realized the enemy has NO POWER over anything in my life, unless I open the door and invite Satan in through sin.  So, if I purpose to be righteous with God and something negative happens, I attribute it to Him and not the enemy.  Why? Because if I look at it as from God and for my good (somehow) then I am open to correction, instruction, and changing something in my life.  This realization has gotten us through some of the toughest times in our lives, because we know God loves us and only wants to pour out the blessings on us, if we are in alignment with His commandments and will for our lives.  When we are facing tests and trials, we are reminded that we should be approaching them with joy, because they are maturing us, so we are complete in Him.  In closing, just take a moment and seek God as the country re-opens and you reestablish yourself in our new “normal” post-Covid Pandemic 2020.  

Father God, we thank you that you have us surrounded by your love and power.  We thank you that the enemy has no power or authority in our lives.  We thank you that no harm can come to us under the covenant with you.  We also recognize you as our loving Father, who loves us enough to chastise us when we need it.  We pray you speak to our hearts and open our eyes to anything that you want us to change as we begin to enter into activities, events, commitments, relationships, and habits.  Thank you that you work all things for our good WHEN we love you and are called according to your will and purpose.  We pray for a greater relationship with you through these events and that our lives might bring you more honor, glory, and praise in Jesus Name, Amen.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 (NIV)

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.  Romans 8:28 (NLT)

For the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes each one He accepts as His child.”  As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as His own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?  Hebrews 12:6-7 (NLT)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 (NIV)

I would recommend reading all of Deuteronomy 28, with the thought in mind, what the Lord says HE will do, not the enemy. 

“If you refuse to obey all the words of instruction that are written in this book, and if you do not fear the glorious and awesome name of the Lord your God,  then the Lord will overwhelm you and your children with indescribable plagues. These plagues will be intense and without relief, making you miserable and unbearably sick.  He will afflict you with all the diseases of Egypt that you feared so much, and you will have no relief. The Lord will afflict you with every sickness and plague there is, even those not mentioned in this Book of Instruction, until you are destroyed.  Though you become as numerous as the stars in the sky, few of you will be left because you would not listen to the Lord your God.  “Just as the Lord has found great pleasure in causing you to prosper and multiply, the Lord will find pleasure in destroying you. You will be torn from the land you are about to enter and occupy. Deuteronomy 28:58-63 (NLT)

Note:  In Exodus it was a “death angel” not Satan, not a demon, but the Lord’s death angel that passed over those under the blood, but striking those who were not.  

For the Lord will pass through the land to strike down the Egyptians. But when He sees the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe, the Lord will pass over your home. He will not permit His death angel to enter your house and strike you down.  Exodus 12:23 (NLT)

written and posted by Daniel Poggensee | 2020