4/29/2020 – Pastor Brian’s Blog
To make decisions based on fear is never a good thing. That thought was renewed last week when Judy and I went grocery shopping. You could see that there are many people living their lives in absolute fear. I went to ask a question of one of the store employees and she actually began walking backwards to get away from me.
Instead of people walking past me, some would make an exaggerated girth so not to enter into my social space. The aisles were marked as one way “streets” and I watched as people were afraid to pass someone reading labels on cans. Others found themselves going down the wrong way in an aisle, only to turn around and run into the person that they were trying to avoid!
Now I am not throwing caution to the wind, but how do you determine how you are to live and what you are to believe? Who do you allow to be your source of truth? Do you base your decisions on the “facts” the media tells you? Here are two media individuals, writing about the same events, but coming up with totally different “facts.”
“Crises have a way of separating the leaderlike from the opportunistic. The Trump administration spent this week distributing ventilators, standing up small business loans, dispatching hospital ships, erecting AlterNet care facilities, explaining virus modeling, revamping regulations to keep truckers on the road, and plastering the airways of information about hygiene and social distancing.” Kimberley Strassel, Wall Street Journal
Looking at the same events Peter Wehner from The Atlantic writes… “Trump is fundamentally unfit for office for me, that is the paramount consideration in electing a president because at some point a president will face an unexpected crisis. The crisis has arrived in the form of the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s hard to name a president who has been as overwhelmed by a crisis as the coronavirus as overwhelmed Donald Trump.”
Do you base your decisions on medical “facts?” I received an e-mail today from Medicare.gov saying… “It’s important to stay home to help slow the spread of COVID-19.” Yet I would challenge you to find any science that would indicate that our social distancing or staying at home has done anything to deter the spread of this virus. On the contrary, there is a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, quoting an MIT professor, “When one is outside, with air circulation or wind, the [virus] is easily dispersed and less concentrated.”
And if you think that you can base your decision on “facts” from the political arena, just listen to them fight over when is the right time to open or not open up our economy.
With so many different options for information, as Christians…
As Christians… we need to be living a Biblical life! First of all, we need to make sure that we are not allowing our environment or our society to control our thinking… Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2
We also need to stop making decisions based on fear because… God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
Two things are true about fear: First, when our decisions are directed by fear, it makes us much easier to be controlled. Fear will convince us that our safety is more important than God’s passion… The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
Second, if fear is not from God, then it is always best for us to stay as far away from it as possible… “He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:11-12
Prescriptions for anti-anxiety medications have risen dramatically nationwide in the past six weeks, and the main reason is fear. For the Christian, the writer of Hebrews says, we don’t need more meds, we need more of God… So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:6
As Christians we need to continually check our hearts and see where we have placed our trust, because where we place our trust, will direct the paths that we take. As Christians we need to trust God in everything… Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
I am not suggesting that we need to discard everything that we are told apart from the Bible. I am not saying that we should be involved in an uprising against our government. What I am saying is that we need to understand that this coronavirus will not have the last word.
Either God is in control of what is going on or He is not. If He is not, then the coronavirus is. For me I prefer to believe the Bible… I know that the LORD is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods. The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths. Psalm 135:5-6
The fact is, my life is in God’s hands, He has made my appointment with death, and no one (That means no one!) and no virus can break that appointment… And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment. Hebrews 9:27
My friend, I do not want you to live your life as someone without hope. There is hope, our hope is in the God who said… “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6
Not only is there hope, God also offers us peace… You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal. Isaiah 26:3-4
Satan wants to use this coronavirus to bring out the worse in us, while God wants us to use this as an opportunity to shine for Him. We need to be careful to examine every situation and every decision and discern if we are acting Biblically or are we allowing other outside influences to direct my paths.
The best way to do that, is less social media and more God media… I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:104-105
Remember when you go out in the world, when you go shopping, when you invite that unsaved person into your “social space,” when God tells you to do something that others think is crazy, remember you are not in this alone…