April 7, 2020
He sends the spirit of fear to cause us to worry about whether we will be able to hang on to our job and pay the bills; whether we have accidentally come in contact with someone who will give us the virus; or whether we have entered into his Beast System and the Tribulation is not far behind. And if that's not enough, the devil is using this pandemic to intimidate the elderly with loneliness; the youth with hopelessness; and those in the prime of their lives with governmental tyranny. It's all part of his game plan.
But we don't have to play by his rules! We are children of God and citizens of His Kingdom. Our Father rules with Love and Righteous Power, not fear and intimidation! It's who He is and who He's always been! I am reminded of that as I consider the history of Passover, which begins tomorrow night at sundown. If you will recall, God sent plagues against Egypt in attempts to pressure Pharaoh to release the Israelites from their captivity and bondage. All of Egypt suffered through ten plagues: water turning into blood; frogs; gnats; flies; pestilence among the livestock; painful boils; hail; locusts that covered the land; pitch black darkness for three days; and the final plague, the death of all the firstborn of Egypt. The difference is those plagues were miraculous and authorized by God. This Covid-19 plague was manufactured by man.
There are other differences, too. We can actually compare that ancient plague [which instituted the celebration of Passover] with this modern plague. Although not welcomed by the Israelites, those miraculous plagues actually worked to free them from slavery. This plague feels like we're losing our freedoms and entering into bondage. God commanded the Israelites to remove all the leaven and non-holy food from their homes, and today we are hoarding food out of fear. The night of the first Passover, families huddled together in their homes, waiting for the Angel of Death to pass over their blood-stained doors. During this plague, we aren't allowed within six feet of each other, and are often separated from parents and children.
Yet the Love of God and His Righteous Power can still be memorialized and glorified as we watch our lives change before us. Both the sacrifice of the Passover lamb and the joy of being set free from slavery were part of that first Passover. And we are certainly going to experience the sacrifice of the Lamb of God tomorrow evening, and there will be more sacrifice in the coming weeks and months -- the sacrifice of our pre-Covid freedoms, as we surrender to a "new normal". But I believe we can also experience the joy of the Passover celebration as we enter into a cleansing and renewal of our faith life and relationship with the Lord.
We can write our own Liberation story -- liberation from the secular culture that divorced itself from God; liberation from the "busyness" of our lives that drowned out the Lord's voice; and liberation from all the worldly goods and comforts that drew our attention away from seeking God's will and purpose for our lives. What man created, through his evil partnership with the devil, God can use for His good. And this Passover season, we don't need to prepare in haste to leave our homes, because none of us will be going anywhere soon. As we consider Exodus 12:11 we can recognize that here, in the 21st Century, we have been blessed with time to fasten our belts [with God's truth], make sure we have our sandals [of peace] on, and have our staff [or shield] of faith firmly in hand.
But because we have been transferred into the Kingdom of God, we also have the rest of the spiritual armor of God that those Israelites fleeing Egypt did not have: We have our helmets of salvation, our breastplates of righteousness, and our swords of the Spirit [which is the Word of God, Jesus]. So, we can bemoan our situation, and live in the fear and intimidation brought on by the Enemy -- or, we can dedicate each new day to what the Lord would have us accomplish for His Kingdom. Our commission has not changed. The Kingdom of God is still being advanced towards that glorious day when all the nations will have received the Good News that the Kingdom of God has come to the earth. Believe that God is at work during these changing times. His Love and His Righteous Power will reign!
In the coming days we will celebrate Jesus's sacrifice and His resurrection. Let us proclaim that He sits on the throne of Heaven and He will overcome the evil of this World. Blessed be the Lord, our God, King of the Universe!
Romans 8:21 That the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.