- If sick or in recent contact with sick persons – stay home. (Let us know so we can minister to you.)
- Avoid physical contact. (Sweaty hands are gross anyway.)
- Practice physical distancing. (No one likes smelly breath.)
- Keep your hands clean. (You should do that anyway. It’s scriptural. lol Ps 24:3-4)
- Wear a mask. (It’s a City of Lakeland mandate.)
My fellow citizens of the Lakeland, FL area have likely recognized that I am writing in response to the mask mandate that was issued on July 2, 2020. I do not like being told what to do anymore than anyone else. As a matter of fact, I do not really even like the fact that God tells me certain things to do, but I have learned to love it because I have learned to trust Him and obey. Being told what to or what not to do touches the center of human will and pride. It seems to be the biggest hurdle man faces over and over. Don’t touch. Don’t eat. Don’t do…. It ignites the desire to do the exact opposite until I learn to trust the one issuing the commandment. I do not trust the governments of this world anymore than I trust the devil himself. However, I do not necessarily distrust the people that sit in the seats of power. I pray for them fervently and expect that God is able to guide them to make decisions that are the best for the whole of the people. I do not agree with every decision but what I do about my disagreement becomes the real issue. Is my agreement or disagreement based upon my fleshly likes and dislikes or as a Christian have I searched the scriptures and my heart which they are to be written on? The god of this world has blinded the minds of so many. The odd thing is that we each tend to think that we are not the blinded ones. “No, not me. I see clearly what’s going on.” Certainly, each person has a point-of-view, a perspective, and an opinion accordingly. But what are we supposed to do with such? How do we respond, react, cope, deal with, or work with things that squeeze our flesh, our freedoms, and our free-will? I encourage and exhort you. Let the Spirit of God teach and show you what you should do and how you should respond. Additionally, allow that same Spirit to govern your emotions and attitudes. Let the fruit of that same Spirit be evident in you. My concern and emphasis is not so much about for what you fight but rather how you fight. Additional reading suggestions: Galatians 5; Romans 12; Romans 13
Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-5 AMP
Our current times of the COVID-19 pandemic around the world demand those same ideas displayed in this passage. Even President Trump has used the term “war” when addressing the Corona Virus, yet he may not fully understand the accuracy of his words. Folks, we are definitely in a war. Not only is the world in a war against an evil sickness but we are in a greater war with fear-lords of the media. We as believers in God’s Word concerning faith and healing are also in many ways at war with many others in the “Christian world.” They don’t all believe what you and I believe and sometimes we take on friendly fire. I do not say any of this to put you in fear in any way or to diminish the power of your faith but rather to stress the importance of obedience to God. This boils down to counting the cost of war and deciding if you can fight this good fight of faith and lay hold of eternal life. Let me assure you, YOU CAN! You can do whatever He tells you to do. As this continues, it can be easy to grow weary in doing what is necessary, both in the natural and the spiritual, but it is important to “be sober and vigilant” and to not drop your guard. Remember Gideon’s Army? Those that were fearful and those that dropped their guard were sent home. Don’t be fearful and don’t drop your guard. Stay intent on following every word that the Lord speaks to you. He speaks to us through His Word and His Spirit, but know with certainty that He speaks. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to trust Him and not ourselves and to acknowledge Him in every way we go and He will direct our paths. He will direct you on how to take care of your family. He will direct you on how to stay safe from harm. He will direct you in every way but you must follow His leading. DO what He says to do and how He says to do it. Go where He says to go and when He says to go. Your faith will always work for you. The righteous live by their faith (Hab 2:4, Rom 1:17, Gal 3:11) but they do not live by someone else’s faith. You must work out your own salvation (preservation, healing, deliverance, safety, and soundness) with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12). You cannot live by someone else’s convictions. You must follow your faith and do so confidently – no shame. Die to ego and reputation and obey God. This is not about playing it safe to make the world happy or about impressing those around you in the church. Sometimes obeying God can seem like risky business but rest assured, anyone that fully trusts in Him shall never be put to shame (Rom 10:11). Faith begins with knowing God’s will. Find out what His will is for you. Helpful Hint: If you are asking your friends, “Should I go to church or stay home?” – Stay home… and smile about it! Please embrace my sincerity when I say that there is no shame, no pressure, and no obligation to attend services in person or online, especially during this time.
Luke 14:26-33 26 “If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. 27 And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. 28 “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? 29 Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. 30 They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’ 31 “Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? 32 And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. 33 So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.
** New Restrictions at Church Services *There will not be classes for children during this time. This includes Nursery, Little Lambs, and Children’s Church during all services including Sunday School. The corresponding rooms will remain locked and not accessible even for private use. Parents must keep responsibility for their children. Families will need to sit and stay together.
Believers’ Fellowship will still have services. We are not trying to be resistant to our government but rather obedient to God. We will comply as much as possible with any government order such as cleaning, avoiding physical contact, screening and distancing that does not restrict our ability and right to assemble.
Believers’ Fellowship is regularly cleaning and sanitizing doors and surfaces. Please assist in following government recommendations by avoiding physical contact, keeping safe distances, and keeping hands clean. If anyone is not feeling well or showing signs of sickness, you should remain at home and watch the services online. If you are not willing to follow these requests, please do not attend in person.
If you feel it best to not attend in person for your own safety, the safety of others, or for any other reason please join us online. You are under no obligation to attend in person or online.
(Please note that these comments are not intended to reflect fear in any way. The Coronavirus stops at The Door, it dies under the hand of the believer, it bows to the name of Jesus. If you need ministry please contacts us. Stay in faith and follow the leading of the Spirit of God within you.)
Sanctuary: a holy place of safety and refuge. Highly Essential… but there are some strict rules right now.At times like these, the church is essential and her place of meeting is vital to the cause and wellbeing of her people. We will continue to meet in person as well as broadcast online. Please know that there is no pressure for anyone to attend. Obey the leading of the Holy Spirit within you. That is the only safe way. If you decide to attend in-person you must abide by these rules. If you are unwilling to comply, please do not come. I know, it stinks but its necessary right now.
- If sick – stay home. (Contact us so we can minister to you.)
- No physical contact. (Do not shake hands or hug.)
- Practice social distancing. (Keep distance from others in common spaces. Sit with your own family separated from other families.)
- Keep hands clean. (You should do that anyway. It’s scriptural. lol. Ps 24:3-4)
- Children must stay with parents. No children or nursery services will be available.