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Ministry Perspective

As I reflect on the impact of isolation in the lives of many over the last 3 weeks, I can’t help but conclude that we have forfeited much more than just our routine. I have close family and friends who literally suit up every day and take their position on the front lines of this latest 'threat' in life. They do it because it’s what they’ve been assigned. And they’re giving their best in a difficult time. Question is, are we? Are we, the members of His body giving our best when it counts most?

The unfiltered truth is this, there is no vaccine or cure for Covid-19 currently. There is no magic bullet. And there won’t be by all accounts for several months, if not years. So, we’re left with an important decision. Knowing we can’t isolate ourselves from Coronavirus forever, wouldn’t it be wise to get back to living with it? After all, that's how we as a nation have approached every other 'threat' of disease throughout our history.

It is right and responsible to take the necessary precautions of interaction. It is wise to build both healthy physical and spiritual immune systems. We do this for others as well as ourselves. It is best for those who have weakened immune systems take extra precaution. But even with those precautions in place, at some point human beings will have to resume life or they will certainly die in their own houses. And that threat is just as real and impactful. Proverbs 18:14 reads this way in the Message translation--"A healthy spirit conquers adversity, but what can you do when the spirit is crushed?"

Satan is stealing much more than just our freedom. He's in the process of destroying the spirit. Have we any alternative? Yes! And we find it in God's word.

Psalm 34:4 says, "I sought the Lord, and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears." Not some, not even most. ALL my fears! Psalm 68:1 says, “Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered.” Truth is, as God arises in our hearts as THE Priority in life and for life, He will put our enemy to flight on our behalf. In the words of Warren Wiersbe, “we fight from victory NOT for victory.”

David understood that when he faced the giant of Gath, Goliath. However, before David took on Goliath, he had to first face possible a greater enemy in the camp of Israel. That enemy was paralyzing fear. And some of the most fearful were those from his own family, his brothers. After being scolded by his brothers, David was not deterred. David responded, 'is there not a cause?" 1 Samuel 17:29 (That question needs to be asked every day we are faced with living life on this earth.) By choosing to trust the word of God rather than the word of a king or his generals, David goes with God into the valley to face the enemy of God's people. And upon his arrival Goliath mocks David for his size and apparent unpreparedness. And David once again responds with a word from God. Read carefully what David said to his enemy that day in the valley of Elah. It will help us face the giant that produces fear and cause us to want to flee instead of fight. David said to his enemy BEFORE God delivered the giant into his hand, "Then (after God deals with you and you're dead) all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword or spear; for the battle is the Lord's, and He will give you into our hands." That's not a threat from a small shepherd boy, that's a fact from the God David knew. David believed because God had intervened before and delivered him in past 'threats' upon his life. Is that not worth remembering in the current battle we face? Can you recall a time in your life when God delivered you from a 'giant' problem? What makes that circumstance any different than this one?

If there was ever a time in our country and community when the church needed courage to face the enemy, both within and without, it’s now. It’s not after things clear up enough so we can 'be safe' to resume normal activity. There’s nothing normal about these times. Life may well never be normal by the old definition again. Our response shouldn’t be either. Get outside the camp today and pray for a neighbor who stands behind their glass door in quarantine. It will matter to them and it will make a difference going forward. Offer to help them in the ways they will permit. Offer them hope in Jesus Christ! This is the day that the Lord has made, and this is the time when what you and I have read or heard at church for the better part of fifty years or more needs to be put into practice. Even more when you understand that 155,252 human beings die every day without a personal relationship with Jesus and go into the holdings of hell. If I may borrow David's words to his brethren, 'Is there not a cause?'

Regardless of the 'GIANT' circumstance you're faced with today, this week, this month or this year, remember that you're never alone with God. As the song says, the God on the mountain is STILL God in the valley. David got that! Do you?

"Be strong in the Lord in the power of His might." Ephesians 6:10 It’s time to face the real enemy behind all this and pray fervently and faithfully in the power of Jesus’ name that Satan and everyone aligned with him ‘get behind us.' That’s what Jesus did. Matthew 4

That’s what Jesus’ people do, as well! Fight the good fight with faith in God's word every day and you'll experience His victory in the valley!

Pastor Keith 1 Corinthians 15:58