Now that we’ve gained the correct perspective on fear, faith, and trusting God, let’s talk about the doors God is opening in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Don’t bemoan what we’ve temporarily lost. Rather, look around and see what God is doing during this time.
We are in an unprecedented time, and, therefore, it is an unprecedented opportunity for the Church and Christians to step up and fulfill our calling to be the hands and feet of Jesus. To be the place where truth is proclaimed and hope is given. To be the people of faith who rise up and say, “Our God is in control and is calling all people to Himself.”
The Church and kingdom of God are advancing like never before as people are confronted with their mortality. As panic grows in the world, people are looking for hope, security, and truth. In this time of crisis, people are turning to the ones who are calm in the midst of the crazy. The world is dying—and it has been dying for years—but now, unbelievers are aware of the plight. So we, as bearers of good news, need to get out there and share it!
It’s exciting to watch churches around the world lean into the opportunity God is giving them, using the full force of their church to reach out and touch people with truth and love. And while it may seem like we—in the midst of our homes—can’t do much, you would be surprised at how much you can do. Remember, don’t focus on what has been taken from you, but look for how God is directing you in this season.
The people of God need to rise up and seize the day, stepping forward in faith and allowing the Spirit of God to lead them into deeper places. Therefore, don’t hide under a rock for the next month. Don’t get too comfortable hunkering down in your own home, sitting on the couch, or watching TV. Leverage your spare time to further the Kingdom of God. Here are a few simple ideas:
Call a friend. If you can, do a video call over Skype, Google Hangouts, or FaceTime. Even though people can’t meet together, it’s fun to be able to still see another person as you chat. However, if you’re like me, I also enjoy talking on the phone with head phones or earbuds so I can multitask. This past week, I’ve called a few friends. One friend was in Texas; yet, we still went walking “together.” Another friend was local, but we were both cooking while chatting, so we baked “together.” I also WhatsApp video called another friend.
Get creative! You have time, so connect in a personal way with someone. While texts and emails are nice—I’ll touch on them next—a phone call is the most personal. So build those friendships! Reach out to your friends and see who might be available to chat with you. It is a great way to mutually encourage one another and fight back depression and loneliness.
Text or email someone you haven’t connected with in a long time. You know those people in your life. The ones you haven’t connected with in years. Now is a great opportunity to reach out and reopen that door of friendship. I recently did this with someone I graduated from high school with, and it has been such a blessing! You never know who you might encourage or brighten their day. So text or email someone in your contacts with whom you haven’t been in touch with in a while.
By the way, with texting, emailing, and calling friends, don’t just limit yourself to same-age friends. Reach out to that older lady in church who you haven’t seen for the last couple of weeks. Send a “thinking of you” text to the teenager that you say “hi” to once in a while. Call that young mom who would love to chat with another adult. Even though our culture has defined “friends” as typically being peers, don’t conform to the mold. Expand your horizons by building friendships with people of all ages and seasons of life. You will find great benefit and encouragement in doing so.
Many of my dear friends are not of my generation, but that’s what makes the friendship more meaningful in some ways. So think outside the box, and see what dear brothers and sisters God will bring into your life if you just take that first step and reach out.
Use your digital platforms to build up—not to spread fear. This is a big one! Social media has been used to spread so much fear and panic over the last few weeks. If you have a digital platform—social media, blog, podcast—please don’t use it to spread fear or your own opinions. Use them to build up the Body of Christ and give hope. Use them to encourage and exhort, to point people to God and the eternal.
Sometimes, we get busy using these tools to promote our own lives, our own opinions, our own interests, that we leave God out. The world doesn’t need more human wisdom or information on what your latest project has been. They need hope. They need the gospel. They need truth. And you possess it! So share it! Use your digital platforms to build up the Kingdom of God and further the work He is doing right now in drawing people to Himself. It’s your big opportunity. So leverage it!
Equip yourself. No one knows what the future brings; however, that’s nothing really new. We’ve never been able to know the future with absolute certainty. Right now we’re just more in the dark than usual. However, you can use this extra time to equip yourself for the future. You might not know what that future may be, but God has given you abilities, interests, and hobbies for a reason. So equip yourself in those things. Learn more about your field of interest, become more knowledgeable, practice and hone the skills you have.
There are many classes and online courses being offered for free. So capitalize on it! Look around and see if there may be a class or course that would teach you some new skills, give you increased knowledge in something you already know, or build your abilities in other ways.
But most importantly, use this time to equip yourself for the spiritual battle in front of us. While it is good to learn more in your field of study, interest, or occupation, it’s more important to become more knowledgeable about God. We must not fill our days with extras before filling up with more of God.
Right now is a wonderful time to deepen your relationship with God, grow in your knowledge of Him, and become strengthened in the truth. So make sure you start your day by devoting yourself to the Lord. Order a Bible study or start a reading plan to help give you structure and accountability. But hands down, this is the most important thing you can do right now. It will help set the course of the rest of your life, and will help you step into the divine opportunities and doors God is opening during COVID-19.
Pray. The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. This can be difficult to do in our normal busy schedules and routines. But now that life has slowed down and a society that is constantly on the go has been locked down, we have plenty of time and space to pray. So let’s do it! For years, people have been praying for revival and many think (myself included) that the time could be now. COVID-19 could be laying the foundation for a new awakening in America. So let’s pray for it! Let’s ask God for it. Let’s seek God’s counsel and seek His face. Let’s get on our knees and humbly seek His will and His way.
There is so much God is doing and so much potential for Him to work. But we won’t know the way He will move unless we seek Him. Therefore, pray. Pray for your family. Pray for your country. Pray for your leaders, both political and spiritual. Pray for this generation. Pray for the future generations. Pray for revival. Pray for one another. Pray for God’s work to be done. And finally, pray for God to show you what part you can play.
I challenge you to step into the opportunities God is putting in front of you during this season, and, in the days and weeks to come, to leverage your time, abilities, and resources to join the move of the Spirit and take part in the work God is doing in the midst of a panicked world. The time is now! God is moving. The question is: are we going to be a part of the work He’s doing amidst COVID-19? Are we going to seize this opportunity and use it for God’s glory and kingdom? What will you do right now to further the Kingdom of God?
Only you can answer that question.
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