This article was written by Maurice Hamel. His perspective resonated with me, so I asked him if we could share it with our friends at House of Good Hope. I pray this article also speaks to you.
What Does God Expect of Us
During the Coronavirus Shut-down?
In His great mercy, God has allowed this Coronavirus pandemic to get the attention of people throughout the world in a way that we have never experienced. Literally billions have been told to stay indoors in hope of stopping the spread of the disease. Much of the Church seems preoccupied with riding this out, with the expectation that it won’t last forever, and things will soon be back to normal. Few seem to grasp that God is doing something big here, that this is triggering a revival in every nation that has been forced to shut-down. Even fewer seem to grasp that there is work to be done in the hearts of the saints to enable that awakening to reach its full potential.
Instead, there seems to be the perspective that this will bring revival and that God is going to judge the world for its wickedness. But that is not how God’s promise to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 reads:
“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Consider how God used Jonah to bring revival among the Gentiles in Nineveh. Jonah wanted nothing to do with showing mercy to the enemies of Israel and needed to be disciplined by God, until he got with the program. Being in the belly of the whale was not pleasant experience, but he needed to be persuaded by God to not be arrogant and uncaring for the lost, even the lost who were wicked sinners and enemies to God’s people. Jonah needed to be brought to the place where he humbled himself. Even after preaching the message he was sent to give, he did not intercede on their behalf, but instead chose to be a spectator sitting in the shade waiting for evil to be punished.
There is some Jonah in each of us. Have you considered that we might be in the belly of the whale right now, and it is us whose attention God is trying to get? Yes, He wants to bring a revival, a Great Awakening, but each of us who decide we would rather be spectators, rather than seeing what God is doing and getting to work, will miss out on the eternal reward that He had planned for each of the workers in His field.
When Daniel realized that the 70 years of captivity prophesied in Jeremiah 25:11-12 had been fulfilled, he did not merely start watching the news to see what God was going to do in fulfilment of His promise. He took it upon himself to actively take the matter to God to ask that the promise be fulfilled.
You see, while God is going to accomplish what He has pre-ordained, it is left to each of us to decide whether we are going to participate in His accomplishing that plan. We are his ambassadors on earth, His people, and to some extent that we cannot only partially grasp, He does things through us as His ambassadors here. That is what prayer is about. He wants us to ask. He wants us to participate.
Our ultimate protection is not the vaccination that will be available next year. God is doing something much bigger here; something with eternal value. The Coronavirus pandemic may not be the judgment of God on sinners. It may be the warning to the lost to repent, because something worse is yet to come.
God has a plan and it is good. He is merciful, wanting none to perish. In His mercy, there a revival among the lost throughout the world is occurring. In His good pleasure, we are being allowed to participate.
God has work for us, for as long as He leaves us here. He has a role for us to play in enabling this revival. Yes, it will happen regardless of what we do, but if we participate as a laborer in His field, we will be given a share of the harvest.
There will be different levels of reward given to each of us depending on whether we build with wood, hay and stubble or with gold, silver and precious stones. In heaven there are mansions being prepared for us. Do you want a mansion with a view or a mansion in a trailer park?
Don’t miss out on this opportunity. Rather than being a Jonah sitting in the shade waiting to see what God is going to do, be a Daniel, humble yourself, confess your failings, and pray for His mercy. Ask God to fulfill His promises. Participate.
The portion of 2 Chronicles 7 promise that the story of Jonah shows us is that we must humble ourselves and that we turn from our wicked ways, even if we don’t seem that wicked in comparison to the things that the world is doing. How can we do this? Hebrew 13:20-21 explains it this way: “May the God of peace … make you complete … to do His will, working in you what is good and pleasing in His sight.” Instead of focusing on God’s laws, seek to live the heart and spirit of God. Then you will accomplish the works of God.
Listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to your heart and make the changes that are necessary. God will accomplish the great things He is trying to achieve through this pandemic. He needs our participation. Going out to share the gospel with other is good, but first do what He has asked you to do, humble yourself, seek His face the turn from your wicked ways.
By Maurice Hamel 5/13/20