I wasn’t planning on ever commenting on the coronavirus, mostly because there are already plenty of other well informed, faith-filled opinions out there, however, the level of chaos, crazy and fear that has arisen across the globe in the past week and increasingly over the past few days has caused me to really seek God about what is going on right now (I mean, seriously, I have a four pack of toilet paper to get my family of six through who knows how many days!). This morning in prayer He spoke a number of things to my spirit and I want to share them here to hopefully encourage you, because to be honest, it actually really EXCITED me for the future of the Church and this world.
HE HAS NOT BEEN TAKEN BY SURPRISE:
Remember when we were all getting really excited at the end of 2019 for the new year, new decade and the new era to enter in? I know I certainly felt the significance and manifest power of the crossover and the first few weeks of 2020…but then….this? I’ve heard so many unbelievers say how bad 2020 has turned out to be (Wait, what? It’s only March?!?!), but more surprisingly, I’ve heard so many believers agree and even saying how this year and decade was supposed to be about promises fulfilled, destinies delivered, calls and assignments made manifest. I don’t for one second believe that any of that has changed. I don’t for one minute think that God didn’t foresee this huge pandemic arising. Do we honestly think Coronavirus took Him by surprise? Do we believe He’s sitting up in heaven scratching His head in shock? Do we think He made a mistake when He spoke to His prophets and people the promises and prophecies leading up to this? It’s laughable to think of it that way, and that’s exactly what I see Him doing, and exactly what I was doing this morning when He showed me a mere glimpse of His perfect plans. I was laughing! Because HE is laughing! I wasn’t just laughing at the insignificance of it all in comparison to His majesty, glory, faithfulness and awesomeness, but I was laughing with JOY at what He is about to do in the world, in the church, in 2020 and in this decade and era!
Coronavirus has not taken God by surprise.
Coronavirus has not thwarted His plans.
Coronavirus has not stolen our purpose, call and destiny.
But it can, if we allow it to, by partnering with anything less than God’s Word, truth and promises.
HE IS UNVEILING HIS PEOPLE:
The Lord showed me that this is yet another line in the sand where He is revealing those whose hearts are truly on Him and those who’s inward lives are conformed to the ways of this world. We may claim to be believers, but if we don’t actually BELIEVE when it really comes down to it, then we’re no different than unbelievers.
Yet again in this season He highlighted to me the story of the ten virgins in Matthew 25. We cannot be found empty when our Groom returns! We cannot allow our oil to dwindle and disappear. We cannot wait until it is all gone before we run to the shops to purchase more. What He is revealing in this era is those who have been persistently keeping their lamps full of oil. In the quiet. Behind closed doors. In the hidden. In the everydayness of life. In the trials, tests, temptations and turbulence. In the difficult, disappointing and discouraging times.
“What He is revealing in this era is those who have been persistently keeping their lamps full of oil. In the quiet. Behind closed doors. In the hidden. In the everydayness of life.”
I believe this global pandemic is yet another awakening to the Church to arise from any slumber into our God-given identity as sons and daughters of the King of Kings. Who’s crown are we bowing to? Our heavenly Father’s or this virus and it’s paralysing fear? WE are the one’s who choose to crown either Him, or this pandemic. Our hearts position reveals who awe are crowning in this situation – if our trust is in the Faithful One then the fruit will be peace, joy, faith, wisdom and a sound mind. If our heart aligns with fear and chaos then we are found to be worshipping the wrong god.
HE IS INVITING US TO LIVE A LIFESTYLE OF PSALM 91:
His intimate and close friends are quietly being drawn out from their hidden, humble lives and they are about to be elevated in this time of heightened fear, chaos and crazy because they are the ones who have already walked through the fire and have come out purified, fortified, established and unshakable. They will lead the way in faith, strength and stability and will be a beacon of light to all around them, with the peace of God cascading from within them and quietening, calming and gently stilling the chaos around them with the presence and power of God. Their genuine, tested and proven faith will be far more contagious than any fear wreaking havoc at this time. They will huddle other believers and even unbelievers under their wings like a mother hen and protect them like a father eagle as they point the way to their Stronghold and Shield. They will comfort others in their realm of influence with both their faith and obvious unshakability. This new generation of spiritual mothers and fathers are being revealed at this time.
“A new generation of spiritual mothers and fathers are being revealed at this time.”
This is an invitation for all to enter into the lifestyle of living in His presence and protection at all times, not just extreme circumstances. It’s an opportunity to continue living this way even after the threat, fear and uncertainty has disappeared. It’s an awakening to areas of our own hearts and lives where we have been found slumbering or empty of oil. It’s His very grace and love that entices us into deeper encounter with Him and to continue strengthening our relationship with Him, our love for Him and our dependence upon Him.
HE IS SHAKING, SIFTING, SHAPING AND SHIFTING:
I believe He is taking what the enemy has intended for harm, and He is turning it for the good of those who love Him. Never before have we seen such a large scale, inter-continental, global situation like this. While fear and chaos may be rising, God is using it to shake the current systems of this world. He is shaking the world’s ways as Hebrews 12 describes, so that what is truly established, stable, fortified and built deeply on His truth and faithfulness will remain at the end of it all. This isn’t just the purging and purifying of hearts and the Church, but it’s the systems, structures, organisations, kingdoms, ruling domains, governments, ideologies, philosophies, ways, wills and works of the world.
“The earth was rocked at the sound of his voice from the mountain, but now he has promised, “Once and for all I will not only shake the systems of the world, but also the unseen powers in the heavenly realm!”
“Now this phrase “once and for all” clearly indicates the final removal of things that are shaking, that is, the old order, so only what is unshakeable will remain. Since we are receiving our rights to an unshakeable kingdom we should be extremely thankful and offer God the purest worship that delights his heart as we lay down our lives in absolute surrender, filled with awe. For our God is a holy, devouring fire!” Hebrews 12:26-29
He is shaking all that is shakable so that it falls away once and for all. He is sifting the sand and separating the dross from the gold. He is shifting the focus, the power, the influence and the people and He is shaping His Kingdom to do what He has already promised to do in this new era and beyond. Those established, fortified, purified, purged, humbled, matured, polished and prepared will remain unmovable in this seemingly unpredictable and unreliable time. The ‘old order’ is continuing to be shaken, so that only what is UNSHAKABLE will remain:
His unshakable faithfulness.
His unshakable Kingdom.
His unshakable truth.
His unshakable people.
HE IS OPENING OUR EYES TO NEW OPPORTUNITIES:
Again, He is taking what the enemy is trying to use for our harm and turning it around to use for the good of those who love Him. My husband and I run a film and multimedia company and even over the past few weeks our business has been heavily affected because of this pandemic. Many of our clients who are based in large buildings in the Sydney CBD have been quarantined and put in lock down, huge conferences and events have been cancelled, international travel has been limited and our entire business has been affected by this. Just yesterday we were hearing stories of friends and colleagues both here in Australia and overseas in our industry who have lost so much income, work, contracts and opportunities. And this is just the beginning!
I didn’t even have a chance to partner with fear or worry about our business, income or future. Immediately as I heard these stories God showed me that He is going to use this global economic disruption for the good of those who love Him. I saw brand new opportunities arising out of nowhere for His people who choose to partner with faith. I saw brand new realms of influence and doors or opportunities opening up for His people. I saw new avenues of revenue and new ideas, innovations, strategies and creativity in ALL industries and vocations opening up for His people. These are things that have never been thought of before, things never on our radars, things we never imagined we would do. Because the world has never been in this very place before. THIS IS the new era! THIS IS a brand new level! THIS IS the NEW! It is absolutely NOTHING like we imagined it to be, it is so left of field, but so are His answers and His ways! Am I suggesting that God is causing this? Absolutely not! But He is most definitely taking what the enemy is attempting to kill, steal and destroy and He is offering life in abundance to those who will have eyes to see, ears to hear and hearts to perceive if we take up the new wineskins and allow Him to pour out His new wine, however that may look.
“THIS IS the new era! THIS IS a brand new level! THIS IS the NEW! It is absolutely NOTHING like we imagined it to be, it is so left of field, but so are His answers and His ways!”
Can I encourage you to exchange old ways of thinking for new paradigms? Exchange old wineskins for new ones, because He is pouring out His new wine RIGHT NOW! This may not look like anything that we ever expected in this new era, but if we are open and awake, we will absolutely be able to be aligned with His ways and His will in this situation. Don’t be surprised if you suddenly see new ideas or business ventures. If you recognise a need and suddenly have a supernatural solution for it. If you notice a hole and know how to fill it. If you receive a revelation, dream or vision and get given the go ahead to deploy it. If you discover a new way for doing an old thing. This is not exploitation of a dire situation, this is the Kingdom lifestyle that we are called to live. Jesus is the answer to everything and He has an answer for everything. As the world is being shaken and the former things are falling away, God is lifting up His people to take the places and positions, to fill the voids and gaps and to rise up in the responsibility to restructure, reshape and reform.
“God is lifting up His people to rise up in the responsibility to restructure, reshape and reform.”
HE IS CALLING US TO REMAIN IN EXPECTATION FOR THE FUTURE AND HIS FAITHFULNESS:
If nothing else, I believe what He is urging us to do right now in the face of this global pandemic, is to trust in His faithfulness, sovereignty, providence and promises. He wants us to remain flint faced as we CONTINUE to walk towards His promises and prophesies of this year, this decade, this era and beyond. NOTHING HAS CHANGED!!! Because HE hasn’t changed! His Word hasn’t changed. His truth hasn’t changed. His promises haven’t changed. Everything around us may be changing, but we have an unchanging God!
“Nothing has changed! Because HE hasn’t changed! Everything around us may be changing, but we have an unchanging God!”
I was talking with a friend today who lives in Philadelphia and while we are both on completely different sides of the world we are all experiencing the same craziness no matter where we live on this earth right now. I shared with her that I believe God is using this as yet another opportunity to cleanse His Church, purify His people and consecrate His chosen ones. Consecrate means ‘to set apart for a holy use.’ Are we blatantly and obviously set apart like a light on a lamp stand in a dark room or a city on a hill in a dark world? Or do we think, speak, look and behave just the same as the rest of this world at this time? Are we available for a holy use or are we contaminated with unbelief, doubt and fear? Is this testing time proving our trust is truly in Him, or is our trust in the comfort of this world and conformity of its ways? Do we reside continually in the shelter of our God Almighty and dwell in His presence as a lifestyle (Ps 91, Ps 27), or do we quickly run to Him in a minute of desperation as a last resort? Is He really the LORD of our life? Does HE wear the crown?
I finished the conversation with my friend by saying that if THIS is the level and magnitude of arsenal that the enemy has to pull out at this time, then that absolutely excites me and infuses me with expectation, faith and anticipation of the unbelievable promises that God has for His people this year and beyond. What is he so afraid of that he has to resort to this level of attack, what is he trying to prevent, trying to hinder, trying to abort at this hour? If he is this scared then I am super excited! This isn’t folly or naivety, nor am I downplaying the seriousness of this situation in any way. Faith and wisdom are friends – administering common sense, adhering to safety protocol and being respectful of others is vital at this time. But when I can see the glaringly obvious tactics of the enemy to attempt to captivate and decapitate God’s people at such a time as this, it’s a huge signal that he is the one who is utterly petrified at the future of the Kingdom of God in this era and beyond.
“When I can see the glaringly obvious tactics of the enemy to attempt to captivate and decapitate God’s people at such a time as this, it’s a huge signal that he is the one who is utterly petrified at the future of the Kingdom of God in this era and beyond.”
Psalm 144:1-2 The Passion Translation
King David’s poetic song as he stood before Goliath (emphasis mine)
“There is only one strong, safe, and secure place for me;
it’s in God alone and I love him!
He’s the one who gives me strength and skill for the battle.
He’s my shelter of love and my fortress of faith,
who wraps himself around me as a secure shield.
I hide myself in this one who subdues enemies before me.”