(Micah 6:8) “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to love loyalty, and to walk circumspectly with your God?” (NASB)
Right now we are living at a very unique time in the history of the world. The Spanish Flu of 1918 was bad enough with around 500 million people infected and the death of an estimated 17- 50 million people. In those days the medical and scientific knowledge was nowhere near as advanced as it is today. Most nations are now moving into lock-down and we not only see COVID-19 spreading globally but the catalyst for what is looking like a worldwide economic collapse.
Some are so fearful now that they don’t even venture out into public except for the very basic necessities. Everything we have been accustomed to for years is coming to a grinding halt. Unnumbered thousands are now unemployed and wondering what is next for them and their families and businesses are “going to the wall.” Where is the safest place to be they may be asking? Many are now being confronted with the reality that the ‘gods’ they have been serving all these years cannot save them?
Whether it is acquiring massive wealth, having a lot of material possessions, pursuing personal relationships or a pre-occupation with business, leisure, fleshly pleasures, theatre going and eating at restaurants or frequenting casinos and being obsessed with sports it is all being shut down. God is demolishing spiritual strongholds in people’s lives to save as many as He can from this present evil age and from the eternal fire that awaits the ungodly.
God Himself is trying to get the attention of the world. He has let sin and rebellion run its course to give people time to repent and turn back to Him because “He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) Now time is rapidly running out for the whole world because “God has fixed a day when He will judge this world in righteousness by the man He has appointed the Messiah our Lord Jesus.” (Acts 17:31) Are we ready for that day?
When it happens everything will change! In fact everything is changing now! According to God’s Word there is more to come before the Lord Jesus comes back. (Matthew 24:6-13) One just has to read about the judgements and plagues spoken of in the Book of Revelation to see what is coming upon the whole world before the end of this present age.
COVID-19 it seems may well be the beginning of “the birth pains” that will ultimately see the Messianic Kingdom birthed on earth. (Matthew 24:6-8) In all of this chaos there is only one safe place and that lies in finding and walking in the will of God. Only in the will of God lies the spiritual safety net. It is not found in religion or the vain philosophies of man or in humanistic endeavours or human governments but centred in a relationship with the Living God through a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus, the only unique, eternal and divine Son of God. (John 17:3)
You may ask, what then is the will of God? Where does God’s will begin for anyone? Many today even within wider Christendom are seeking the will of God for their lives and for their church but are they obeying what He has already revealed in His Word? If they are not then why should they expect any further guidance from God? Well God’s Word is clear on this matter. God has a will for every person born into this world but not everyone wants to know it or to do it because of the selfish, self-centred sinful nature which all of us are born with. (Psalm 51:5) This is why we need a new nature that only God can give us. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Unless people are spiritually reborn from above and receive a new spiritual nature from God they will never see the Kingdom of God for what it is, neither will they be able to enter into it to be saved from the power and penalty of sin, saved from this present evil age and from the eternal fire from which there is no reprieve. (John 3:3) (2 Peter 1:4) (Revelation 21:8) Where then does God’s will begin for any person?
Firstly; The Lord Jesus himself said; “The work (will) of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent.” (John 6:29) As the Apostle Paul writes; “This is a trustworthy saying, worthy of full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst.” (1Timothy 1:15) While God has a will for each of us which is good, acceptable and perfect, He requires that we turn away from our sins and turn to Him for forgiveness, and cleansing from them (Romans 12:1-2) (1 John 1:7-9) We must give Him permission to be our Lord and Master and desire to do only what pleases Him. “We turn from our idols to serve the living and true God and to await His Son from heaven whom He raised from the dead-Jesus our deliverer from the coming wrath.” (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10) An idol is anything we give more importance to than the importance we should give to God. Repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus the Messiah is where the will of God is activated in our life. (Acts 20:21) But there is more.
Secondly; God wants us to live a life set apart to Him for His good will and pleasure so that He might bless us and use us to bless others. As the Apostle Paul writes; ““For it is God’s will that you should be holy.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3) Holiness is the God given ability to love the Lord our God with our whole being and to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. This is the greatest commandment upon which hang all that is written in the law and the prophets and only possible through the power of the blessed Holy Spirit. (Luke 10:27) (Matthew 22:37-40) (Romans 5:5) We submit to God because He loves us and wants us to love Him back. It is a two-way relationship. (1 John 4:19)
Thirdly; we must be continuously filled with the Holy Spirit as the apostle Paul writes; “Be filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18) In the Greek text it is a command to be obeyed and is not optional. Added to this it is rendered in the present and continuous sense. It is to be an ongoing and continual spiritual experience. We are saved by faith and we are also filled with the Spirit by faith. We must be born again by the Spirit and when we are He comes to live down on the inside of us bringing us eternal life. (John 3:3, 36; 5:24) However, we need to also allow Him to empower us moment by moment as we walk under His control. We are saved and justified before God by faith but must also walk in the faith we profess and through this faith of obedience we receive the righteousness from God we need to make us fit for heaven. (Romans 3:21-24) (Romans 5:1) (Philippians 3:7-11) (Romans 1:5; 16:26) When we are filled with the Spirit we are empowered to work for God and to witness for the Lord Jesus. (Acts 1:8)
COVID-19 will be with us for who knows how long? Multitudes of people right at this moment no longer have direction in life. It is time now to consider the will of God which is good acceptable and perfect to those who submit to it. However, there is only one door into the will of God and that is the Lord Jesus the Messiah who said; “I am the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) It is a narrow door and only few will find it because it requires us to walk by faith and to love and to obey His commandments and statutes laid out for us in his Word the Bible and to forsake sin. (Isaiah 55:6-8) This is God’s spiritual safety net!
There is a broad path that many will take to their own destruction but a narrow path which only a few will take that leads to eternal life. (Matthew 7:13-14) The reason so many do not read the Bible is because they know it will read them. As it is written; “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it pierces even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight; everything is uncovered and exposed before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:12-13)
If we are seeking to obey what God has already revealed in his Word then He will lead and guide us in all of the changing circumstances of life. If we make a wrong decision or take a wrong direction, but keep seeking His will, then we have this assurance that “In all things God works them together for our good, to those who love Him and are called according to his purposes.” (Romans 8:28) Even our mistakes He will use for our good if we keep on trusting Him. If you have repented of all known sin before God and made Jesus the Lord of your life, and if by faith you are sheltering under the protection of His atoning blood and seeking to love and obey Him in your life, then you will be as strong as the will of God and protected from the wrath to come. (Romans 5:9)
While doing God’s will at first will be difficult for us in the end when we discover His will for our lives it will prove to be the sweetest and the best thing in all the world. It will be our joy and delight and bring us an eternal reward! Let COVID-19 and any other plague hit this world we have the assurance that He will be with us whatever happens. The author of Hebrews gives us some good advice; “Keep your life free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or abandon you.” (Hebrews 13:15) There is nothing more secure and satisfying in life than discovering the will of God!