STOP. Take a deep breath . . . and turn off all your electronic devices.
God, the God who created the universe and all that is in it, wants to speak with you. Will you listen?
All that you are longing for deep in your heart – true, lasting peace and hope – cannot be found on social media or in keeping yourself busy. You won’t find it by immersing yourself in the news, in worldly pleasures, or by probing the wonders of new technology. You are looking in the wrong places.
To find true peace and hope, you must look beyond the things of this world to the sure promises of the one, true, Living God. Only He can provide what you really need.
Let’s face it – what’s happening right now in the world is completely beyond our control. Even if a promising vaccine were to suddenly appear, we would still be faced with multiple serious issues that have been with us for years. Poverty and hunger. Joblessness. Racial and political hostility. Wars. Anger-hatred-fear-terror . . . and a deep sense of hopelessness.
If we are honest with ourselves, we will admit that these issues will only intensify as pressure in our world continues to build.
We shouldn’t be surprised at what is happening. After all, these events were predicted in the Bible thousands of years ago. This is what the Bible said would happen before the return of Christ and God’s final judgment on the world (Matthew 24, 25).
So what has God been speaking to us? To those who don’t know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, God is both warning you and offering hope through Jesus Christ.
Yes, there will be a terrible final judgment for sins (Acts 17:31). But God doesn’t want you to perish. He loves you so much, He sent His beloved Son Jesus to pay the penalty for your sins. God raised Jesus from the dead, proving His Son truly is the promised Savior of the world and His sacrifice was accepted. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
Repent – turn away from your sins. Trust in Jesus! Accept Him as your Lord and Savior. Your sins will be forgiven and you will receive new life in Christ, empowered by God’s Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; 2 Corinthians 5:17).
What has God been speaking to those who DO know Christ as their Lord and Savior? Many Christians have sensed God urging, “Wake up! Return to Me!” (Romans 13:11; Isaiah 55:7) One Scripture quoted often during this pandemic is 2 Chronicles 7:14. This Scripture instructs God’s people what to do in times of disasters such as drought, locust swarms, and pestilence (devastating epidemics).
“[If] My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Through 2 Chronicles 7:14, God is calling us to:
Humble ourselves – We must recognize that we need God’s help. We can’t succeed in our own strength. God calls us to humbly follow Christ, to trust in His wisdom and salvation.
Pray – The ACTS Prayer Model begins with Adoration (praising God).
Then Confession (as we draw closer to God, we become more aware of our sinfulness and the need to confess it and ask for forgiveness, 1 John 1:9).
Then Thanksgiving (thanking God for what He has done, is doing and will do).
Last, Supplication (ask God’s help for yourself or others, humbly and earnestly).
Seek God’s face – The Hebrew word used here for “seek” has a very strong meaning: to search with all your heart to “find what is missing”. Seek to truly know God, to experience His presence, to build a close relationship with Him. James 4:8 assures us that if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us.
Turn from our wicked ways – God is calling us to repent, to turn away from our own ways and from what He defines in His Word as “wicked”. (Warning: the world may consider these ways “good”.) God has called us to pursue holiness (1 Peter 1:16). By the power of the Holy Spirit, we are to turn away from sin and turn toward God.
God is calling us to Himself. He has predestined us to be “conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29).
Humility. Prayer. Seeking God’s face. Genuine repentance. If we heed God’s call, we can expect “revival”. He will draw near to us and we will know His love in a deeper way. This will lead to an increase in our love for Him, and also for others, including the unsaved.
With God’s love filling us, we will be prepared to meet Christ at His return – without shame, without fear. We will be prepared for a wonderful eternity with Him. And we will be a powerful witness of the love of Christ to a desperate sin-sick world headed toward disaster.
Isn’t that what we desperately need today?
Please pray this with me: Dear Father, stir my heart to desire You. Help me throw off spiritual lethargy and make the effort to come closer to You. As I read Your Word, give me revelation by Your Holy Spirit, so that my appetite for Your Word will increase. Show me anything that is keeping me from having an intimate relationship with You. I want to know Your love. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.