The world has turned upside down over the last couple of months, we’re now getting used to the ‘new normal’ during the coronavirus lockdown. It’s challenging and I’ve felt I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster.
Our safety nets of our regular routines and rhythms have been completely ripped from us. None of us have been unaffected by this.
I believe that there are three decisions you can make every day during this lockdown period to help us navigate this season and beyond.
1. Choose faith over fear
First of all I’d encourage you to choose faith over fear.
“For we live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7
For followers of Jesus, we’re called to walk in faith, not just in the easy times, but in the difficult times as well. We’re instructed to live by faith which means overall our lives are not dictated by our emotions and not by our circumstances.
Of course, walking in faith doesn’t mean we neglect wisdom. There’s a whole book in the Bible called Proverbs. Faith and wisdom are needed.
So, wash your hands. Follow government advice. But don’t live in fear.
Faith and fear are the same as they reveal where our trust lies. Who or what are you trusting in?
The problem with fear is that it’s a great demotivator. Fear cripples us from living confidently and with purpose.
I know that we’re out of our comfort zones right now in the coronavirus lockdown. That doesn’t mean it’s all bad, whoever grew in their comfort zone?
“Peaks are nice, but you don’t see many farms on mountain tops. Why? Because things grow better in valleys. Your time in the valley may not be pleasant, but it’s in the valleys of life that you grow closer to God and stronger in your faith.” Craig Groeschel
You’ve heard it said that ‘you are what you eat’. What we consume will be a large factor in living by faith or fear.
We grow in faith primarily through hearing the Word of Christ. If you haven’t already, spend quality time each day reading the Bible. Feast on it. Social Media and the news can grow our fear if that’s all that we ever hear. It’s important to connect with others, and it’s important to know what’s going on, but how is it affecting your soul? So feast on the Word and focus on what will help you build your faith and restrict time spent on the news and social media.
2. Choose worship over worry
If I’m honest I’ve worried about many things over the last six weeks.
There’s plenty to be worried about isn’t there? Finances, job security, exams and assignments, family and friends, worried about ourselves and how we’re coping. There’s plenty to be worried about.
During lockdown, I’ve been impacted by the story of Mary & Martha in Luke’s gospel.
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’”
You see, Martha did the right thing! She invited Jesus into her house. We can do the right thing and invite Jesus into our lives, yet we still live worried. We need more than just doing the right thing. We need sitting at His feet time, like Mary.
Don’t social distance from Jesus.
Worship cannot be rushed. Mary chose what is better, she knew that at the feet of Jesus is where she’d find what she needed. That’s where Mary would find peace, joy, and hope.
In a recent sermon Pastor Pete said “If you’re finding it hard to praise, it’s not because of your circumstances but because you’ve forgotten who He is.”
If you’re struggling with worry at the moment, then you’ve lost sight of who God truly is. You need to regain that vision.
“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
“The first step to winning the war against worry is understanding that God is really greater than whatever we are going through.” Perry Noble
Worship restores our perspective, worship heals our hearts, and worship calms our soul.
Worship may look different in this time. Take some time to have an evening of YouTube worship by listening or watching worship songs to help you sing and engage with God’s presence. You could try writing your own psalm. Try expressing love for God through art or another form of creativity.
3. Choose purpose over passivity
It’d be easier to sit back and watch Disney+ for the next 6 months and let this whole thing pass us by. Yet God is calling us to be His followers IN this.
“If you are a Christian, you are not your own. Christ has bought you at the price of his own death. You now belong doubly to God: He made you, and he bought you. That means your life is not your own. It is God’s.” John Piper
“… A woman in the crowd called out, ‘Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.’ He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.’” Luke 11:27-28
Jesus shows us how to be blessed, through engaging with God’s word and stepping out in faith.
You’re still called to follow Jesus during the COVID-19 crisis. You’re still called to be follow His plan in this. Well, what does this look like?
We live in an intense time. I know many people are tired and some feel busier than before while others are feeling bored and wondering how to spend your time.
You can start by asking God how to spend your time. Ask Him what your week should look like. I think He cares, I think He wants to be involved in your life right now, He’s not taking a break.
Choose purpose over passivity. Don’t just do what you feel like but be intentional. Live with purpose.
One of the best ways is to love others in this time, rather than focusing on ourselves.
“One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”” Matthew 22:35-39
How can we love our neighbours in this time?
Thank you so much for reading, I’d love to hear from you, what is your advice for lockdown? Please leave a comment or let me know on Instagram or Twitter. If you found this encouraging and helpful please share it with friends, Dan 🙂