It’s natural that in times of crisis, we turn to God. PLEASE HELP! (Me at the end of a homeschooling day). During this current pandemic of COVID-19, I find myself quarantined and growing more restless by the day. I understand the importance of the quarantine, but that doesn’t always make it easy. Patience has never been something that I feel “good at.” It’s just hard to sit still during trials and wait patiently for God to move.
“THE FULLNESS OF TIME”
I tend to worry when God doesn’t come through when I want Him to, or the way I want Him to. In moments like this, I have to remind myself God is never late or never early. He is always on time! Galatians 4:4, tends to enter my mind when I begin to question His timing. It says, “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”
This phrase about the “fullness of time” is important because it signifies that God was at work behind the scenes as He prepared the exact timing of Jesus’ birth. His timing was perfect…and always is. God’s watch hasn’t gotten slower over the years. Our sovereign God is still calling His people to a deeper trust in Him as His timeline unfolds.
Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
Psalm 46:10 (ESV)
As we experience storms and seasons of uncertainty in this world, God’s fruit is produced through those storming moments. The way we go through the storms gives us a platform from which to speak from to tell of the “immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7 ESV).
Through the ups and downs
The promise of Hebrews 13:5 gives us hope no matter what the circumstances. “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (ESV). He is always with you and always provides what you need to do exactly what He has called you to do. God is faithful. Don’t worry! Don’t panic! Trust Him!
The command to “be still” before God comes from the Hebrew word (raphah) meaning, get your hands off it! Let it go and surrender it to Him! Let God have the problem! He is the one in control of your safety. Problems always show up when we fail to give God total and complete control. When I impatiently throw my hat in the ring, things always get worse. As a control freak, it’s hard to take my hands completely off. When I do, worry comes too easy.
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1 (ESV)
Whom should we fear?
You can run, but you can’t hide! BE STILL! Go to the “stronghold of your life” and release the reigns completely to Him. Don’t panic!
- We trust in the God of limitless power! (Zechariah 8:1)
- The battle is not yours but God’s. (2 Chronicles 20:15)
- Wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:14)
It’s difficult to watch the current pandemic unfold. It seems to worsen by the day and it’s hitting too close to home. In this unprecedented season, we see God calling out the church in “old” ways. We have been forced outside the walls! I pray that through it all, we rediscover first-century tactics that result in reaching our own generation just as they did. Peyton Jones says in Reaching the Unreached, “Before faith comes to others’ ears, movement must first come to our feet.” This is NOT a time for us to pause, hoard, or panic… it’s a time to be on mission. This is our moment to display Jesus and declare the good news to our neighbors and the world.
We believe that in the fullness of time (when He receives the most glory), God will remove this pandemic. The promise of God’s endless power and presence gives us the rock-solid foundation that so many are searching for right now. Let us “be still,” “wait for the Lord,” and share the hope of Jesus with our world.
A testimony of changed lives
When we planted Awakening Church, we had great plans to reach our city, but didn’t know fully what that meant. Joining God where He was working meant hitting the streets and following Jesus’ example to mingle with the people in front of us. We are a missions focused church and that mission begins the moment we step out of our homes. The Kingdom of God can’t advance if we are stuck in a holy huddle. So we deploy each week across our city to display Jesus and declare the hope of the gospel.
When we prayed for ministry opportunities to engage our city, God brought us people that had personally experienced the brokenness of being homeless and a passion to reach them for Christ. In the Seattle King County area, there are currently about 12,500 homeless people living on the streets or in shelters. This is an overwhelming number, but we’ve learned that being overwhelmed is the first step in getting back to where we belong…dependent on Jesus. The door opened wide to bring Jesus where He wanted to be. We knew that if we wanted to reach the ones that nobody is reaching, we needed to go where nobody else is going. So we began to pray and God began to bring homeless people into our lives. Each week (before COVID-19) we pick them up and welcome them into our Awakening Church family with open arms.
Over the past month, we have seen several people radically changed by the gospel. Not only that, but this past week one of our new sisters led two others to Jesus! Our social distancing has kept us from our “normal routine,” but it hasn’t stopped God from working in the hearts of people. This past Friday we held a baptism service at one of the local shelters and baptized five people! God delights in transforming people. And when we are willing to embark with Him on the journey He set out for us, we help facilitate that transformation.
J. Hudson Taylor said, “Unless there is the element of extreme risk in our exploits for God, there is no need for faith.”
May our faith grow as we risk more for the sake of Jesus.
I am 75 years old. It took me long time to let go of myself and my will in order for God to work out everything according to His plan and purpose for me. I testify to God’s faithfulness in all areas of my life: peace, joy, provision and protection. Don’t waste your time and energy trying to be “in control” of everything. God has it, all of it and I praise Him and thank Him every day.
Awesome, awesome encouragement. I thank God for all HE is doing in Seattle and the rest of our world.