Happy Resurrection Sunday! He is risen! Though the church building may be empty, God’s Church is not. We are still full of breath, we are still full of power and we are still full of praise. This pandemic may have brought restrictions on us meeting together physically but we are still connected spiritually. There is no distance in the spirit. I believe the Lord is using this time to push us to a sincere, authentic, personal and intimate relationship with Him. True relationship OVER religion. Those who used to only seek Christ through traditions in church on Sundays now have to seek Him for themselves...in spirit and truth. (John 4:19-24)
We can’t hide behind a pew. We can’t hide behind a praise team. We can’t hide behind a pulpit. We can’t hide behind a preacher. We can’t hide behind a pastor.
We have to pray for ourselves. We have to read for ourselves. We have to praise Christ for ourselves. Our relationship is no longer confined to a geographical location. It is no longer dependent on what others in the church are doing. It’s totally dependent on our hunger, thirst and dedication to God. Can I seek Him outside of church? Can I praise Him with no praise team? Can I worship Him with no musicians? Can I talk to Him without having to go through a pastor/prophet? Christ has brought us to total dependence on Him.
I truly believe some of us had begun to idolize the church building. We limited our relationship with Christ to those four walls when in reality, it is limitless.
I also believe we became arrogant. We felt like we were in control of our lives. We only went to Christ with areas of our lives that we thought we couldn’t handle but excluded Him from everything else. We‘d say we fully lean on God because it sounds good, but in all honesty, we’d been leaning on our jobs, our money, our education, our good health, our friends, etc. We had become preoccupied with these things and placed our hopes in them.
God has stripped all excuses, all distractions and all false hopes. No job. No school. No internship. Nowhere to go with friends. He can finally be the center of attention like He deserves - if we will focus on Him instead of the media.
PS. We love to quote 2 Chronicles 7:14 and tell sinners/unbelievers to “repent and turn to Christ.” I’ve seen people recently on social media say that “this plague is a punishment for America’s sins,” but what if I told you God wasn’t speaking to the heathen/unbeliever in this verse? What if I told you He was speaking to HIS PEOPLE, the Israelites? What if I told you that 2 Chronicles 7:14 is God’s response to Solomon’s prayer on Israel’s behalf in chapter 6? This was a call to humble themselves. When we are humble and acknowledge our humanity, we become obedient to our Creator. When we turn from our sinful ways, we face our God. We acknowledge Him for Who He is, we reverence Him and we seek to please and follow Him instead of our flesh, our family, and our friends. (2 Chronicles 6:31)
This pandemic is another chance. It’s a chance for the Church to humble ourselves. It’s a chance for self-reflection, self-evaluation, humility, repentance and total submission to Christ. Don’t leave this season unchanged.
Christ is looking for His church to be without stain, wrinkle or blemish. (Ephesians 5:27)
We must be humble and obedient just as Christ was.
READ 2 CHRONICLES 6:12-42.
2 Chronicles 7:14 is God’s response.
“Hear the petitions of Your servant and Your people Israel, which they pray toward this place. May You hear in Your dwelling place in heaven. May You hear and forgive.”
2 Chronicles 6:21 HCSB
“Then if My people who are called by My Name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to every prayer made in this place.”
2 Chronicles 7:14-15
“While Jesus was here on earth, He offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud Him and tears, to the One Who could rescue Him from death. And God heard His prayers because of His deep reverence for God. Even though Jesus was God’s Son, He learned obedience from the things He suffered.”
Hebrews 5:7-8 NLT
“He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”
Philippians 2:8 NLT
Some may say, “why are you talking about this? Why are you bringing up the pandemic and restrictions on Resurrection Sunday? We need to just focus on glorifying Christ.” Well...we glorify Christ when we follow His commands and do what is pleasing to Him. Our public praise means nothing if our hearts aren’t pure and our private lives don’t bring Him glory.