With An Unveiled Face (part 2)
by Jennifer McAlister – 12/5/2020
Continued from the Tuesday issue…
Worry is a choice and when we choose to elevate fear over faith, it will kill joy, steal peace, and destroy relationships. Whether we realize it or not, we worship what we fear. When we worship worry, it will demand that we trade our life for existence, the opposite of what Jesus wants for us. He came to give us life, and life to the full! (John 10:10). God alone is worthy to be feared.
THE WORLD OR THE WORD?
The Bible says not to neglect meeting together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near (Hebrews 10:25).
The world tells us if we really cared about people we would stay home, keep our distance, quarantine, and isolate.
It’s important for us to be together and according to the words of Jesus, He agrees –– “for where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20). We were created to need each other and 2020 has proven that we don’t do well when we are isolated. Suicide, depression, and substance abuse rose dramatically when the world was on lockdown. This gave us empirical data that the “cure” was as dangerous as the virus.
Now, more than ever, we need to remind each other of the good news. Words are powerful and when we encourage others (like the Bible tells us to) we are, in effect, adding courage to another person. A solitary ember in a fireplace will burn out, but when embers unite, a powerful flame is the result. The same is true when God’s children gather together. Satan doesn’t want us united because he fears being exposed by the light. He will fight to make sure we keep our distance from each other because an atmosphere of fear and loneliness better suites his evil agenda.
The Bible says that it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. We are to stand firm and not let ourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1).
The world demands we give up our freedoms and rights in the almighty name of health and safety.
When I read the Bible, I see a God who proved that freedom was more important than safety. Hebrews 2:14-15, tells us that Jesus died in order to break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. Both then and now, people are being held captive and are willingly sacrificing their freedoms for the illusion of safety. As Christians, we don’t have to fear something that Jesus has already conquered.
Ronald Reagan warned, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
The Bible encourages us to examine everything carefully and search matters out to see if they are true (1 Thessalonians 5:21, Acts 17:11).
The world wants us to blindly trust the government and their appointed experts and just “do what we are told.”
We constantly hear that we should “follow the science.” It doesn’t say research, question, or even investigate the science. Since that’s the case, the last two words don’t really need to be in the sentence, since following is the only word they want us to hear. If the science isn’t adding up, we should be allowed to question it. In Acts 17:11 we find that the Berean Jews were considered to be nobler in character because they took the time to examine the scriptures every day to see if what they were being told was true (see Acts 17:11). With this in mind, we should question why we’re being discouraged to ask questions. God Himself tells us, “Come now, and let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18).
HOW DO WE FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT?
I’m very thankful that God gave us the Bible so that we can know His heart. The Bible makes it clear that God loves justice. When evil seems to be prevailing, we become very impatient and want immediate justice. We need to remember that the law of gravity is as true as the law of reaping and sowing. The only difference is the timing–one is instant and the other makes us wait. From experience, I know that God is never early, He is never late… and, did I mention, He is never, ever, early! Why? Because His timing is perfect. We can rest knowing that the truth will always prevail and what is hidden in the dark will be revealed in the light. When we find ourselves in a season of “wait” training we can rest assured that God is equipping us for our good and His glory.
In order for conflicts to be resolved and peace to reign, we need to remember what Ephesians 6:12 tells us;
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”
We can’t be victorious by fighting each other because people aren’t the enemy. The Bible tells us that Satan has blinded the eyes of unbelievers causing them to walk in darkness, not even knowing what they stumble over (Proverbs 4:19, 2 Corinthians 4:4). You wouldn’t get angry at a blind man for stumbling and you wouldn’t argue with him over the color of the sky. In light of the divided world we are living in, let’s consider the following verse:
Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed…
– 2 Cor 3:12-18
There is a sickness far scarier than Covid-19 and all of us have been infected with it. The disease is sin and the consequence is death. No amount of mask wearing or social distancing can prevent it or stop the spread of it. There is only one way to be cured and it’s available to all who put their trust in Jesus alone to save them. He is the only cure and the only One who can remove the veil that blinds people to the truth. Eternal safety should motivate us to get out of our comfort zones and speak the truth in love while we still have time.
I read a quote years ago that said, “the found should always seek the lost.” As believers who have unveiled faces, our job is to pray for, love, and introduce everyone in our sphere of influence to Jesus with the urgency and awareness that the gas in the tank is running low!