Whoever imagined that an unknown, microscopic virus could have such a crippling effect on our 21st Century world …bringing it to its knees and confronting entire populations with an unknown future?
As this Coronavirus ‘earthquake’ has gained momentum and grown in magnitude, it has triggered a growing tsunami of fear in the hearts and minds of billions of people – as it threatens to sweep away many of those structures which our society has built and clung to for its own security and well-being.
While many across the world struggle to come to terms with it all, I’d like to share with you what it is really all about …and, more importantly, where it is all going.
To begin with, this phenomenon is not an act of God. Yet He is right here in the midst of it, moving by His Spirit to accomplish His purposes for this world and its people. And those purposes are always personal. He made us, He loves us with His whole being, and He longs to share His life with each one of us …personally and intimately. So while the people of this world are transfixed by what is happening around the globe, God’s eyes are scanning the earth, seeking out those whose hearts are open to Him.
And for good reason – because these unprecedented events and their massive impact on this world, are not of this world.
Whatever its earthly origin, this pandemic of fear has a spiritual source:“the prince of this world”. He knows just how fearful and insecure the human race is, because he made it that way when he seduced Adam and Eve away from God. From then on, fear has been one of the devil’s most powerful tools, and he uses it with great effect to control and manipulate people everywhere.
…these unprecedented events and their massive impact on this world, are not of this world
Today, as he deftly manipulates the entire world system which he controls, Satan is demonstrating his ability to bring it to a standstill and reduce it to helplessness – despite everything that Man (who loves to think that he is in control) has built into it for his own well-being, safety & security
So what we are actually experiencing is a global demonstration of the devil’s power such as no one could have imagined. Which gratifies him no end, as he watches us cowering in fear, locking ourselves down, and pouring massive efforts and resources into saving ourselves from the threat posed by this microbial foe.
But that’s not the end of the story. Far from it. Because the day is soon coming when “…The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.” (Zechariah 14:9)
Yes, right now, Satan is flexing his muscles in this blatant demonstration to God’s people of his power and control over this world. Yet, even as he does that, his end is fast approaching, because God is preparing to flood this world with His Spirit.
But why is this demonstration of Satan’s power aimed at God’s people, when in fact it affects the whole world? Because the rest of the world neither sees nor recognises the devil for who he is …anymore than the sheep, in Jesus’ parable, recognise the intruder who breaks into the sheepfold as a thief whose only purpose is to steal, to kill and to destroy.
The prince of this world can hoodwink those he rules, but when it comes to those of us who belong to God it is a different matter. Our relationship with God and our awareness of the devil and his evil schemes make us a potential threat. So his tactic is to neutralise and demoralise us by fear-inducing demonstrations of his power, like the one now playing out across the world. Rather like that fearsome Philistine warrior-giant in the well-known story of David and Goliath.
Each morning and evening for forty days, while the Israelite and Philistine armies faced each other across their battle line, Goliath strode up to that line and shouted his challenge: “Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us!” But whenever the giant issued his challenge, every Israelite soldier from the king down cowered in fear. Goliath was just too big, too strong, and too impossibly formidable for anyone to take down.
Our relationship with God and our awareness of the devil and his evil schemes make us a potential threat
It’s not that different today, as so many Christians look on in helpless dismay at an enemy who: “…prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”. Like Goliath terrifying the Israelite soldiers, our enemy knows exactly how to keep most of God’s people just where he wants them!
How that Philistine must have gloried at the sight of those Israelite soldiers quaking with fear every time he confronted them with his challenge! But it must not be so for us. Satan will strut his stuff and hurl his challenges — as he is doing right now — but if our concern is for God and His glory rather than for ourselves and our welfare, we, like David, have all we need to bring him down!
When that shepherd boy witnessed Goliath challenging the army of God’s people – and, to his dismay, saw that no one was willing to respond – his thoughts were not for himself. Had he, for one moment, paused to size-up the foe and weigh-up the odds, he would have abandoned any thought of taking him on. Instead, his only consideration was: “this man is defying God, and he must not get away with it!”
And so, because one man – no more than a boy – cared more for God’s glory than for his own life, the mighty Goliath’s fate was sealed. That day, he lost his life …and his head.
Our enemy, Satan – whose one great victory against God was to bring down that first man, Adam – knows full well that it also takes only one man to defeat him. In fact, that has already happened, because that man was Jesus, whose death and resurrection sealed the devil’s ultimate fate.
But now, it is we who have before us this immense privilege to join with Jesus in bringing His victory over the devil to its triumphant conclusion! Then, like David bringing down Goliath, we will not only see God’s victory. We will be instrumental in it!
So don’t be afraid, because what you are witnessing today is nothing more than Satan’s last, desperate attempt. Instead of being fearful about the present or the future, yield yourself wholly to God, focus on Him rather than on your enemy, and go forward with Jesus to victory!
“On that day there will be one Lord, and His name the only Name!”