2020-03-23 Light A Fire Under Me!

“Go your way; behold, I am sending you out
as lambs in the midst of wolves.”
Luke 10:3

I just can’t help but think God has something very big in mind for the world. I mean, think about it. We are all holed up in our homes, terrified at the thought of catching and spreading this COVID-19 virus. Our government is telling us daily to restrict our interaction, more and more. The National Guard has even been called out.

Is God trying to tell us something?

Take some time and look back at all the incredible things God has done to get our attention. So far, the death count is very low. I mean, honestly, we saved more lives with reduced commuter accidents than the virus has taken. Don’t get me wrong, I am not poo-pooing the serious nature of the disease. What I AM saying is that this is mild compared to what God COULD do. Look, he killed entire armies in the night.

Right now, it looks like it’s going to hit our pocketbook very hard. Perhaps this is exactly what God intends. Why? Because our wealth gets between us and God. In fact, it has become a god to us. One of many.

But, when God talks, do people listen? Yes, sometimes they do. I’ll get to that in a minute. Incredibly, most people don’t – and won’t. See what amazing things we will find in the end of the age:

Revelation 16:8-11 The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire. They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.

The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in anguish and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds.

So far, we have gotten off pretty light. What’s your guess? Will the world wake up and praise and honor God and give him thanks? If not, why not? Why does God do these terrible things if people won’t repent? The answer seems to be to leave us with no doubt that God was calling all to repentance. He is very patient in that he could have stopped wickedness long ago but chooses instead to give us every opportunity to repent. If you see evil in that rather than mercy and kindness, then I think you might tend to fall among those who curse God.

Thankfully, some do indeed repent and change their ways! That is God’s desire, the whole point of these plagues and judgments. Sometimes there are very few, maybe none, but sometimes great numbers repent. We saw the huge town of Nineveh repent in the book of Jonah, did we not? We’re going to see people come to faith in this pandemic, you can be sure of that. How many? Only God knows. We can pray for a great revival, right? You bet we can! We can even pray more specifically than that. Jesus gave us instructions.

Luke 10:2 And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.

Do you see that?

Now, what about you and me? Do you feel a nudge to be one of those laborers? My guess is you do because all of us have been commanded to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). The big question is whether you will obey or not. You see, COVID-19 is intended to get everyone to repent, including believers. We don’t share the gospel. Sure, some do, but we aren’t known for fearlessly proclaiming the good news apart from our “safe” friends. No, you and I have not gone out like the 72 in Luke 10.

How can you do that, you might ask, when everyone is quarantined in our homes? Simple. Everyone has a phone that they are glued to. Send out text messages. Make phone calls. Has God not taken away all your distractions and given you plenty of time to reach out to people who likewise no longer have distractions? Folks, this is the PERFECT scenario to share the gospel with EVERYONE you know!

Here’s what I started to do yesterday. I wrote up the following and started to text it to people in my phone contacts. I limited it to men, trusting God will have women send to women. Here was my message:

Hey, Friend!

This social distancing stuff has sure turned everyone’s world upside down, hasn’t it? We all seem worried for the safety of our families and for the inevitable economic hardship all this turmoil will cause. I hope it ends soon.

On the other hand, it gives us the opportunity to build relationships that desperately need attention. I know I’m trying to make up for lost time. I’m sure you are, too.

If I might be so bold, I would encourage you to spend time building your relationship with God. Think about this. Could it be that he is trying to get our attention? I think that’s exactly what is happening. Look, the ENTIRE WORLD is locked up at home. That’s never happened before. Not with the entire planet at once, it hasn’t.

What do you suppose God is trying to tell us?

I think it gets back to the first commandment – to love the Lord your God with all your mind, heart, and strength.

We don’t do that. We’re too busy with life to really consider what he has to say. We also don’t really like what he says anyway. Even our churches have changed their messages over time to adapt to the world we live in.

No, I think God is definitely using this to get our attention. I’m asking, as someone who cares about you, to consider these things. Just imagine if it’s true, and imagine if we don’t pay him any mind. Will he give us another opportunity if we blow this one?

Why risk that? Please feel free to respond, even if it’s to tell me to blow wind. I would love a change to talk to you about it. Seriously, I would. You see, I’ve been thinking about these things, too.

John 14:6

Feel free to copy this word for word if you wish and use it yourself. To be perfectly honest, I am positive that some, maybe most, of the people who get this will think I’m a nut-job. They are right. I decided that I don’t care what they think of me. The question is whether I care enough about THEM to share the gospel. Yes, I’ll find myself more isolated and shunned by some of my family, friends, and neighbors, but there will be some who will be grateful that I cared.

I sent this out to 28 people yesterday. Five people responded. Two were people who I did not know were Christians. They thanked me for the encouragement. Another was someone who considers himself to be a terrible Christian. I hope to encourage him, too. One guy no longer has the phone number I have for him. I have no clue how to get ahold of him anymore. However, the guy that does now have that number said he doesn’t believe in God but that he would consider the things I’ve said.

So, you see the potential. I know one thing, there where 28 people who got this message who were trying to make sense out of the world. This text points them in the right direction. Will they take my advice? Some just might. Wouldn’t that be cool?

Folks, all I’m doing is responding to the nudge I’m feeling. I know you have it, too. Please, do something about it. Take a chance. Take some risks. What have you got to lose? Don’t be so pre-occupied with your money and health that you cannot do the Lord’s work. And, if you can’t see the benefit of doing God’s work, then I pray that God opens your eyes. There is nothing better than doing his work.

Father, I pray for revival! Use this virus to forever change the spiritual destiny of countless numbers. Father, I pray earnestly for you to send out workers into your harvest. Wake up your church, Lord, and send them out to share the gospel. Start with those who receive this post, Lord! Use it to motivate us all! Amen.

Copyright © 2020 Scott Powers

Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash

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