Consecration in Isolation
This post is about my personal response during the COVID-19 epidemic.
While driving down the road, trying to go to sleep, or while in prayer I felt God give me these words I am about to write. I jotted them down in my notes over the course of several days, He kept adding to it until I finally took the time to set down and compile my thoughts. I don’t claim to be a writer, but every now and then I do feel compelled to put my thoughts in a post for others to read.
Prior to COVID-19 I was earnestly praying for God to send a great revival, the ones I’ve read about in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Preachers have been preaching about a mighty move of God, and I wanted to be a part of it. I felt anticipation and excitement stirring inside at the possibility of a Great Awakening, then the COVID-19 crisis began and I seen fear strike the hearts of men and women to the point it seemed the news was the only thing capturing the attention of many.
I felt fear and uncertainty, therefore I am not judging.
President Trump issued guidelines for us to avoid social gatherings of 10 or more and I knew what those guidelines would mean for our church gatherings and I felt panic, how could we go for two weeks and not be able to gather for a normal worship service? Did it also mean that my hope for revival was over? I went up to our church to gather my thoughts and pray, but felt so much sadness – the church sat empty, the anticipation for revival was gone and was now replaced with fear of the future. We canceled four church services with the hopes we could return to normal gatherings after that time. That first week I found myself searching for online church, preaching, a good song to lift my spirits, listening to the Presidents speech, or reading the latest news article – I felt overwhelmed with it all.
I told myself I needed to stay connected to the news because I needed to stay informed of what was going on, so I read enough to keep me informed, and became less consumed with prayer for revival.
During prayer many times I have asked God to take COVID away, but when I do I feel checked about my motive. Is it for selfish reasons such as having my normal life back where I can freely do what I want, live my life with ease, or keep my plans for vacation? What if COVID-19 is the launching pad for a great revival? Am I so consumed with the latest developments or the online social world that I fail to seek Him like He desires for me to during this crisis? Without great prayer, we will not see great moves of God. Has COVID caused us to become more connected to the online social world, and less connected to Him? My husband and our Sunday school teacher touched on some of these things at our drive-in service last Sunday. We can watch or listen to online preaching all day, or watch as many services as we can find to try to fill the void of gathering to worship, but neglect time with the only one that matters.
Is God desiring me to shut most everything off in my life during this crisis and spend this quieter, slower paced time with Him?
I am not against the online services, I think it has been great and I feel it’s been a wonderful opportunity to reach out to people that might would never come to a normal worship service. The preaching and singing I have heard online has been a blessing to me, and I have drawn strength from it, but have I spent to much time engaging in online avenues of worship while missing precious times of worship and quiet time with God. What if the time I’ve spent reading the news, watching the Presidents speech, or searching for online worship services had instead been spent alone with God? What would have been the most valuable to me at the end of the Day? Two weeks into the social distancing I got up and I texted my Husband and said things are changing around here – for the next 30 days (it being our latest guidelines issued by the President) I wanted to pray more instead of regularly reading the news, or searching for uplifting content online.
I didn’t quit praying those two weeks, but my fervency had weakened and my hope for revival had been replaced by uncertainty about the future.
I gathered my children together that morning and we thanked God for His goodness, we worshipped together, read God’s word and prayed. We have done that on a regular basis since that Monday morning. I found my secret place again and have felt the anticipation for a great move of God return with the expectation for revival alive again. I feel so much more peace since I disconnected from the news, and tried to connect more to Him. He is all we need. What if we as a group of Christian people would start seeking God as much as we have debated COVID-19, or try and figure out where this epidemic falls into end time prophecies? I believe we are in the last days. I’ve been looking for the coming of the Lord my entire life, and I say that with reverence, but I don’t want that to consume me to the point that I fail to seek Him and lose all hope for a great revival. Do I say this is it, it’s over and quit praying for a Great Awakening, or do I use this time to pray for God to use this crisis for the start of one – I want to choose the latter till He comes.
What if we wanted revival as much as we wanted our normal life back?
I’m not asking anyone to ignore this epidemic, we can’t and we shouldn’t, but I am asking us what our response has been to it. Have I let my standards down for COVID-19 and let online social avenues replace my special times with God? Have I become more connected to the social world and less connected to God’s Word? Have I become more consecrated in my isolation, or have I used the extra time to add more hobbies to my life. I’ve seen this as a great opportunity to become more engaged in my children spiritually, and have more quality time as a family, but have I? I don’t want to get to the end of this crisis and the only thing I gained from it are more friends online, a new hobby, a prettier yard, but I want to feel like I know Christ better, have read His Word more, and I want to be prepared for revival. I want to be able to go back to church with more of God than I’ve ever had before, I want to prepare my heart for worship. I want to use this crisis as my own launching pad for a personal revival. Let’s have a revival, and let it start with me.
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV