During this Covid-19 shelter-in-place, I have seen many posts on social media encouraging people to defy their government order to shelter-in-place. At first I did not understand why this troubled me. After all, God does promise us protection (Isa 46:4, Psa 91) and that He will come with healing in His wings (Mal 4:2). There are also plenty of promises in scripture that God will heal us (Isaiah 38:16-17, Isaiah 53:4, Jeremiah 33:6, Exodus 23:25, Mark 16:17-18, James 5:14-15, 1 Peter 2:24, Mark 11:24, and much more). Of course, I can draw from my own journey with God since I have seen many people healed of all kinds of diseases, injuries, disabilities, and spiritual oppression. Everything from people walking their own wheelchairs away, to cancer dissapearing in peoples' bodies, to demons being cast out/off of people.
It seems clear, Jesus still heals and delivers today. Today is the day of salvation. Why should we obey the shelter-in-place order when God promises to protect us against diseases like Covid-19? It wasn't until my alone time with Jesus, did I understand what was troubling me about it. The whole attitude reaks of pride. At first I didn't see it. It didn't seem like pride since I was choosing to trust in my God and exercising the faith God has given me. However, when that "faith" starts belittling other people who lack faith, or even seeing your point of view as superior to everyone elses' (propping oneself above others), the faith has been converted over to a self-righteous pride. Don't agree with me? If it was truly because of your faith, you would have no need or even umption to justify yourself, or your point of view before man. You would simply do what your faith inspires you to do. There would be no need to lecture others, and no need for others to agree with you or do it the way you think is the right way. Now, if someone has invited you to disciple them, this is a different story. However, in most contexts, you have not been given permission or access to other people's lives to try to disciple them without their consent. Look at the way Jesus discipled. He is the model. He never forced His opinion on others. He always allowed other to disagree and to keep living the way they wanted, if they so choosed.
True faith in Jesus comes with humility, never belittling others for any reason. Jesus Himself, never required someone to think correctly or even agree with Him before He approached them to heal them and deliver them from their oppression. Humility is the true mark of a leader in the body of Christ (Matthew 18:4, Mark 9:33-35, Luke 9:48, Luke 22:24-27). Some call themselves apostles, but to truly be an apostle of God requires the utmost humility. The apostle Paul, arguably one of the greatest apostles of all, went through great hardship, laying his life down for the sheep just as Jesus did. He went from calling himself the "least of the apostles" to the "greatest of sinners" by the end of his life. Was he being too overly conscious of his sin? No. The closer He got to Jesus, the more starkly aware he as of His dire need and desire for Jesus. When you are with Jesus, you can't help but be humble. There is no veil hiding your wretchedness before the Lord when you are with Him. You come to the full realization that, without Him, you literally are nothing, regardless of what position, title, or authority He has bestowed upon you. A true apostle is one who has laid his life down for the well-being of the sheep (Jesus' sheep). The apostle Paul even submitted to government authorities for the purpose of reaching the lost (as we should do when appropriate). Jesus never forced something down someones' throat, and neither should anyone who calls themself a leader in the church.
What that means for us now is, meeting people where they are at (disiples and leaders in the church). You may have the faith to go out and heal the sick regardless of what is happening in the world, but perhaps not everyone has been imparted the same measure of faith as you (Romans 12:3). Humble yourself, just as Jesus was humble and minister to the lost and the church with a servant's heart. As a leader we should be ministering to their well-being with love, meekness, and gentleness. If you do truly speak the anointed Word (Rhema) of God, there would be no need for anything you do towards other people to be condescending, loud, or even forceful. God's word speaks for itself and will penetrate peoples' hearts with very little effort. When the rhema of God comes out of your mouth, very little needs to happen in your own efforts to have great impact. Any forcefulness directed at anyone except maybe the devil is most likely not God, and you trying to get a result in your own strength. Jesus is humility personified, and if He is our model, why do some church leaders need to lecture the rest of the church?
If any of this rubbed you the wrong way, I apologize. I suppose this is what one could consider one of my venting blog posts. I would be interested for any constructive criticism as long as you feel it is Holy Spirit inspired. If you have any, contact me on Facebook.