It is not an exaggeration to say that we are living in historic days. As I write this letter, the COVID-19 virus is spreading rapidly around the world, and never in our lifetime have we seen something quite like this. It is having a personal, economic, and spiritual impact. I am currently working from home to help stem the spread of the virus.
Although I am out of my normal routine, I am pressing in to hear what the Spirit is saying. Life as we know it has been disrupted, and we have a choice in how we will respond. While there is an abundance of practical information about what to do and what not to do, our most important choice is in how we will hold our hearts and engage with God in the present moment.
In the book of Joel, the Israelites found themselves in a time of great difficulty. Through the voice of the prophet, a message straight from God’s heart came forth in blazing clarity. God called out to His people, “Return to me with all your heart” (Joel 2:12, NIV).
This present disruption to our lives gives us a window of opportunity to renew our commitment to loving God with all our being (Matthew 22:37). Our first response should be to fully align ourselves with Him and His Word. As things are stripped away and we are confronted with fear, we are reminded of our deep need for God. This is ultimately a gift — if we can see it and receive it!
This current moment is also giving us an opportunity to share — in word and deed — the love of Christ for the Body and the lost alike. As I have shared in previous letters to you, prayer is love on its knees. This is a time to pray like never before and to share the peace we have in Christ with a world that is reeling in fear and uncertainty. This should be our finest hour as the Church!
At the heart of the OIKOS Initiative is a conviction that every person matters to God. So we fight through every obstacle that stands in the way of people hearing this truth. Right now, this virus is an obstacle — but it is also an opportunity. Our leaders on the field are shifting strategy in this season, yet they are unmoved from their conviction and passion to reach the least and the lost. They still need your prayers for the work.
Brothers and sisters, fix your eyes on Jesus and hide yourself in His peace and unfailing love today. Pray like never before. For personal peace. For bold creativity in sharing the Good News. And for this situation to drive the lost to know Christ. Reach out to those in spiritual and physical need. And above all, put your trust in the Lord who is sovereign and good and loves you today more than you will ever know.