As the COVID-19 pandemic plods on, people are anxiously looking forward to when we can go back to normal — back to our church programs and grocery shopping and regular schooling and everyday jobs. But does God really want us to “go back to normal?”
Ron Hutchcraft with Ron Hutchcraft Ministries says, “If God really liked our normal, why did He shake it up so much? Is it just to tweak it? Or is He wanting to transform some things actually by throwing on the brakes pretty hard?
“I think God is saying, ‘I have your attention because I want you to ask some questions you wouldn’t have asked otherwise. I want you to consider some changes that you otherwise would not have considered.’”
Hutchcraft’s theme verse for 2020 is Proverbs 19:21. He says, “‘Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.’ Well apparently, God’s purpose — which is right on schedule — doesn’t need our plans right now [and] hasn’t needed our plans because His purpose is prevailing even though our plans are not.”
If we are to abandon “normal life” as we know it in favor of a life surrendered to God’s purposes, Hutchcraft outlines four imperatives that we as believers can embrace for the future.
1. Look Up
It’s easy to get settled in the dependability of routines and schedules and generally knowing what’s coming. But when everything in our world is turned upside down, that’s especially when we need to look right-side up.
Hutchcraft says, “A good question to ask if you’re in Christian leadership is, ‘Have I been depending maybe more than I realized on events, programs, the church schedule, systems, people, [and] donors? Has my dependency been God plus something else?’ God wants to take that ‘plus’ away. One way He has done it is to make it impossible for us to depend on some of the things we normally put some of our trust in.
“The way you do that is to daily ask the Lord for His message for that day from His Word; not to go there for an emergency. It’s a little late then. These kinds of things are like final exams, and you can’t cram for them. You have to be with Him on a daily basis and depending on Him regularly.”
2. Look In
Next, Hutchcraft says believers should take this opportunity to look inward.
“A lot of us with more time at home, more time with family, less of our escapes, less of our coping things have found maybe we’ve got some relationship damage to work on. Maybe we’ve got some anger to work on, some fear, some panic, some anxiety, some unbelief. It’s a good time to find out you’re a control freak because when you can’t control, how are you?”
As we observe our own responses to pandemic uncertainty and fear, it opens the door to let the Holy Spirit convict our hearts.
“Look in and say, ‘Lord, see if there be any offensive way in me.’ Don’t carry what’s broken inside you into a new normal. Deal with that. It’s really a time to repent.”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Lyndsey Koh
CALL TO ACTION
- Pray for the Church to embody Jesus’s love, grace, and peace in this time of uncertainty.
- Find ways to serve your community in the Name of Jesus.
- Pray for creative vision for the future as believers spread the Gospel.