We are in the vortex of surreal my friends. I pray this morning finds you in a good place in terms of the basic essentials, as well as good physical and spiritual health. There was a time when these simple things were all that many if not most of us required to live a happy life. I’d like to try to tie some things together in this morning’s message, connecting the past two tune-ups to the one today. The picture becomes clearer to me with each passing day. The “spirit” I introduced last week, made its way into our lives on the slippery slope I wrote about the week before. I will come back to that later.
Last week I wrote about seeing this lock-down as a “great opportunity” to go to the video tape, reflect, do the “gut”-check, get our bearings…to “conquer ourselves”, which really means to conquer that which the enemy wishes to fill us with, our fears. And a couple of days later a friend sends me this wonderful video produced by a Christian combat journalist named Scott Kesterson, entitled Learning to Listen. Kesterson does an amazing job identifying the enemy and offers great insight into how God is speaking to us and preparing us for the greatest battle in our lifetime. I encourage you to watch. I received more than a few calls this week from those of you who had taken the time (What else do we “non-essentials” have to do? 😉) to view the What in the World Is Actually Happening video I sent, thanking me and expressing how it confirmed what their “gut” had been telling them all along…
Which brings me back to the “spirit” that has invaded our lives and is killing us softly, sapping our spirit and poisoning our soul. The spirit I introduced to you last week had introduced itself to me the week before when it attacked me in anger for my having invited it to Prayer & Fast Wednesday that week. The very thing it fears most. “This kind does not go except by prayer and fasting.” What else do we know about “this kind”? We know that it sees our emotions as our greatest weakness, and therefor its greatest opportunity. We know that it doesn’t want us to trust our “gut”. We know that it wants us distracted from the things that matter most to the people God made us to be. And we know it causes us to bow down to it, and guard against those who mean it harm…say through the encouragement of prayer and fasting. In other words, it hates the sheepdog in us. It’s presence in our governments, schools, and churches is why so many of us are sick and suffering in our bodies, mind, and spirit. I shared with a friend just yesterday, I had seen this very spirit a couple of years ago when I had first attended the monthly prayer breakfasts held in Goshen. It was manifest in a woman who sat across from me, a Unitarian as I recall. Thinking back on it now, I believe that it could feel that I was able to see it and so it moved on to seek out weaker openings.
Speaking of weaker openings, my April 17 John C. Maxwell “Count on Character” read fits perfectly into this morning’s message. ESPECIALLY in light of the circumstances we all find ourselves in at this particular moment in time.
A thick bankroll is no help when life falls apart, but a principled life can stand up to the worst. ~ Proverbs 11:4
Maxwell goes on to say, How a leader deals with the circumstances of life tells you a lot about their character. Crisis doesn’t necessarily make character, but it certainly does reveal it.
God has plenty to say if we are willing to listen. He is revealing so much. What we do with it will determine the legacy we leave behind. From top to bottom we are far better people than who we’ve allowed ourselves to be…just when it matters most. My prayer for each and everyone of us in this STOP is for us all to take the proper breath, listen, and come out on the other side wiser and stronger than before. Our Community Preparedness Teams of America Motto is as good a beacon to follow as any, Trust in God, Strength in Unity. God Bless, stay safe, stay healthy, and stay free. See you at the Turn.