For Such a Time as This...
We are living in some interesting times right now. Toilet paper is impossible to find, the stock market is going up and down on a daily basis, gatherings of more than 10 are now prohibited, sports has been brought to a halt, and schools have closed their doors. Fear is running rampant around the world as no one knows what to believe about COVID-19 and it’s worldwide spread.
Regardless of what you think about the Coronavirus and the manner in which the governments around the world are responding to it, we are currently living in a unique moment where the body of Christ can rise up and make a profound impact around the world. Remember what Mordecai told Esther? "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?"
Yesterday, I was sitting in my backyard reflecting on Esther and the events of the day when God brought to my mind the story of Moses and how he often prayed and conversed with God to impact the nations of Egypt and Israel. In Exodus 8, the Egyptians were suffering from a terrible plague of frogs when Pharaoh asked Moses to intercede and bring an end to the plague. Moses and Aaron then cried out to God and in verse 13, we read that the Lord did according to the word of Moses. In Exodus 10, we find the plague of locusts covering the land when Pharaoh once again asks Moses to intercede. God responded to the prayers of Moses in verse 19 by shifting the wind and driving the locusts into the Red Sea.
Today, as I continued to reflect on these stories, I was reminded of the story of Jonah. Nineveh was a town where sin had gotten so out of control that God was going to have to release judgement upon the land. He initially sends Jonah to Nineveh with the order to “cry out against the city.” We all know the story of how Jonah refused to go, got thrown overboard from a ship, and was swallowed by a great fish. However, most do not realize that Jonah did finally go to Nineveh and proclaim through the streets the coming judgement. It is what happened next that caught my attention.
As Jonah walked the streets, the people began to respond and called a fast. Word finally reached the king of Nineveh and he does something that no one would have expected. He arose from his throne, laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat on ashes! Here we see a king take himself off his throne and humble himself by taking the place of one of his servants! He then issues a proclamation that no man, beast, herd, or flock can taste a thing. They could not eat or drink water and must all be covered in sack cloth. They were then asked to turn from their wicked ways and from the violence in their hands. The king then says in verse 9 of chapter 3, “Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish.” The story ends with God seeing their hearts and their deeds, that they had turned from their wicked ways, and relents from the disaster that He had declared He would bring upon them.
Church, prayer and fasting is a gift that God has given us to shake the spirit realm and turn dark situations around! We are living in an age when truth has become relative to what is good for the person who believes it. It is a time when a kangaroo embryo is protected, but a human embryo is not. It is a time when the relationships are considered “disposable” and when commitments are only valid as long as it is profitable for both sides.
It is a dark time that we are living in, but there is HOPE! We can and will make a difference if we take the stance of Moses, of Elijah, of the people of Nineveh, of Daniel, and of the many heroes of the Bible. We need to humble ourselves, fast, and pray! “if My people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek My turn and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sins and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
This is our season to make a difference and to show the world that Jesus is Lord! It is our season to come humbly before Him, acknowledge and repent of our sins, and pray! God will always do His part and respond to our prayers. The question, will we do our part so that He can do His?