It’s tempting to be frustrated with God when things go south, like they seem to be going during the covid 19 virus. For many this is more than a minor inconvenience. We all know God could put a stop to it all with a word. He hasn’t yet, and only He knows if He even will. So in the mean time, we all are taking precautions.
I just wish people would take as many precautions to ensure their spiritual health as they do protecting their physical health. Maybe we can learn something from what is going on in the world today.
Here’s what I see people doing to protect themselves from catching the virus:
- Hand washing
- Face masks
- Social distancing
Here’s what I find in the Bible about using those same techniques in our spiritual lives:
- Isaiah 1:16 – ” So wash your hands. Make yourselves clean. Get your evil actions out of my sight! Stop doing what is wrong!” I hope you’ll read this verse in Isaiah and continue through verse 20. This, and many verses in the Bible tell us to stop sinning. That’s as much a choice as washing your hands for 20 seconds while singing Happy Birthday. Stop sinning!
- James 4:8 – “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double minded.” How do we purify our hearts? The Bible has a lot to say about that. Paul tells us to think on these things: “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8) And Psalm 51:7, “…wash me, and I shall be whiter then snow.” God’s righteousness, His holiness, His purity are available to all of us who draw near to Him, who repent of sin and accept what Jesus did for us on the cross. I stand before God completely sanitized, because of Jesus.
- Psalm 150:6 – “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.” That’s what we should be breathing out – praise. Even in the hard times. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us what to breathe in: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.” Our spiritual health depends on our time in God’s Word, breathing in His breath, breathing out His praise.
- Matthew 5:30 – “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to to into hell.” Put down the knife! God is not asking us to mutilate ourselves. But during this virus crisis people are wearing gloves to protect their hands from touching anything unclean. Yet in our spiritual walk, so many of us expose ourselves to the filth every day. What if God asked you to turn off the TV? Or to delete those apps? Or stop thinking about that married co-worker, or getting drunk, or being jealous of someone? Would you cut that off completely? Your spiritual health depends on it.
- Ephesians 5:11 – “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” 2 Thessalonians 3:14 – “If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame.” Luke 17:3 – “Be on guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.” We’ve all heard that we are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. God’s been asking us to spiritually social distance for quite some time now. Come out from among them and be separate. He tells us. Yet, like some people are doing these days, we tend to get as close to the forbidden as possible. We have the idea, it can’t touch us. But I believe God tells us it can and does touch us when we rub shoulders with the diseased, whether people infected with the virus, or infected with sin.
- Psalm 46:10 – “Be still and know that I am God…” During this covid19 quarantine, I have spent additional time alone. What a beautiful opportunity to sit with my God, to read His word, to just be still and be in His Presence. No distractions. No deadlines. Just my Savior and me.
The people came to Samuel and asked him to “Pray to the Lord your God for your servants so that we will not die…” (I Samuel 12:19a) Samuel told them not to be afraid. Don’t turn from the Lord, he said. Don’t look to useless idols. Then he told them this in verse 24-25:
But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away.
We as Christians are called to pray for our world so that people won’t die. Hear God say, the most important thing isn’t the virus. The most important thing is that you fear Me, serve Me faithfully with all your heart, and remember all the blessings that are yours because of Me.
So let’s continue to pray for an end to this virus, for God’s protection and healing on people all around the world. But let’s not forget to pray that those same people will fear God, turn to Him, serve Him, and take precautions to protect their spiritual health. There is nothing more important.