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.
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.
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.
** 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.