Back to Normal?

In many states, the percentages of those affected with COVID-19 seems to be decreasing.  Hallelujah!  What wonderful news!  Some businesses are slowly opening.  Many churches will begin having services in their buildings again.

While I am thankful for what is happening, I feel the need to remind myself and others that some of our “normal” might not be worth revisiting.  Certainly, I am not speaking of our jobs or churches.  I am not even speaking of our social lives.  What I am speaking of is leaving quarantine with a new resolve rather than clinging to old habits.

Out with the Old

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During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, I heard many people say that things would be different once the stay-at-home orders were lifted.  People missed being able to attend church.  People missed their families and loved ones.  In light of this, I do hope that many things will not return to normal.

Our nation and our world need revival.  During the pandemic, people were seeking God and concerned about their souls.  As we return to church, work, and other social arenas, let’s keep seeking the face of God. Let’s press through in prayer as we intercede for our lost loved ones and our government.  The return to “normal” should be a new “normal” and not the old.

Examining Ourselves

Many of us spent the time in quarantine examining ourselves and drawing closer to the Lord.  This should continue.  We must continue to stir up the gifts of God that He wants to manifest in our lives (2 Timothy 1:6).  We should return to church and other social arenas of our lives with a renewed zeal to shine the light of Jesus Christ into our society.

Do not stop examining yourself, and I resolve to do the same.  While we do not live in condemnation, we should not become careless in our walks with the Lord.  We want to keep our relationship with the Lord fresh.  We do not want to end up like the five foolish virgins who let their lamps run out of oil.  As you know, oil represents the Holy Spirit.  We need to keep ourselves in the love of God and build ourselves up in our most holy faith (Jude 20-21).

A Different Mindset

Let’s re-enter the “normal” parts of our lives with a godly mindset by renewing our minds with the Word of God on a regular basis.  In doing so, our lives will be anything but normal, and this is good!

Personally, I believe we could be living in the season of the Lord’s return.  People are

_But, ye, beloved building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost. Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
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hurting and looking for something to fill the voids inside their souls.  Jesus Christ is the only one who can fill it.  Let’s resolve more than ever to point people to Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  Let’s refuse to let the mundane of everyday life drain us of our excitement for the things of God.

The fields are white with harvest (John 4:35).  People need Jesus, and we can point them to the cross.  Jesus said in John 12:32 that if He is lifted up, he will draw all men to him.  He was lifted up on the cross to pay for the sins of lost humanity.  It’s time we remind the world of this beautiful, wonderful hope.

No, we should not go back to normal.  Christians should run back to the outside world leaving all sin and weight that besets them. We should go into the harvest fields of our lives looking for people to bring to the Lord.

Now is the Time

In Ecclesiastes 3, we are reminded of the wisdom of God’s timing.  He knows when various purposes and plans must be carried out, and He knows when they must halt.  There is a time to plant and time to pluck up what is planted, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing.

We are in an uncertain time in our nation and world.  The Coronavirus pandemic has many in panic and fear which is completely understandable.  However, as Christians, God did not give us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and sound mind.  Certainly, I am not suggesting that we throw caution to the wind, but God never told His people to cave and cower to fear.

Time to Pray

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I understand that we are constantly being told to pray,  but it always should be our first step in any endeavor.  Prayer is a beautiful design given to us by God the Father for communication.  Prayers strengthens us.  Prayer changes our situations.  Most of all, prayer changes us.

Not only do we and others around us need prayer, our nation’s leaders need prayer as well as various state and local authorities.  As a matter of fact, the Bible instructs us to pray for them.  Sadly, I see many that want to bash and say what he or she would do if in leadership, but the fact is you do not know until you are in the situation.  The decisions they are making press heavily on them.  You can see this in the faces of many of them. They need our intercession.

Rather than hitting up social media to gossip and rant, hit your knees and cry out to God for our nation.  Cry out to God for all people!  Cry out for those who are lost without God!  People’s lives and souls are at stake.  What we do matters.

Time to Sanctify Yourself

I am a firm believer in God’s grace and mercy.  He has been so patient with me during seasons of willful sin and in my failings in general.  However, the time has come for many of us to grow up in the Lord.  It is vital that we open our Bibles along with our prayer and ask the Lord for wisdom to rightly divide His word.

When reading His word, you will discover areas of your life that need to change.  I have discovered the same.  Instead of trying to change what the Bible says or justify ourselves, let’s surrender to Christ and allow Him to change us.  It is not pleasant to the flesh, but it is vital.  The world needs to see a people on fire for Jesus and so in love with Him that we allow His love to radiate through us so others can see.

Time to Fast

Christians, it is time for us to push the plate back to show our true desire for God’s will in our lives and for the salvation of our lost people.  I love to eat as good as anyone, but I find that fasting has turned the heart of God.  It is His desire to show mercy.  It is His desire to save.  It is His desire to heal and deliver, but we have to allow Him to drive out that which is not godly in us so He can put more of what is Him in us.

Read the book of Esther and Jonah.  Fasting turned away God’s wrath and brought mercy and healing to Nineveh.  Fasting turned God’s heart to pour out divine favor on Esther as she went before the King without being summoned, which could have led to her demise.  Jesus instructed us to fast.  When giving instruction concerning fasting, He said, “When you fast…”  He did not say “If you fast…”  How you go about that process is something your should seek the Lord about particularly if you have diabetes or some other ailment.

Time to Act

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The time to do more than talk the talk has come. It is time to walk the walk.  It is time to demonstrate God’s love and faithfulness to those with which we come in contact.  For some, it might be to stay in to keep from spreading the pandemic.  For others, it is to be on the front line bringing aid.  For all of us, we can pray.  We can look after the elderly.  We can encourage each other and pray for our leaders.

Yesterday is gone.  The time is not tomorrow or next week.  The time to do God’s will is now.