Is This our ‘Come to Jesus’ Moment?
Yesterday, the Christian Post reported that “more than 60% of American believers of all faiths feel that the novel coronavirus pandemic is a sign that God is telling humanity to change how it is living.” It stated further that, “thirty-one percent of Americans who believe in God feel ‘strongly’ that the virus is a sign of God telling humanity to change.”
I was disappointed that the number wasn’t 100%! Can any of us be living through this pandemic without believing God has a message for us in the midst of it? Would God allow such a crisis without using it to deepen the contours of His likeness in us as His image bearers? Be it for repentance or instruction, testing or correction, we must believe that God is not silent in this moment in history.
If this is so, what might He be saying to us? What outcome might He be wanting for us? What change might most please Him? Let me offer one suggestion.
In our pre-pandemic days (remember those?) we were a people and a culture, and perhaps a church, preoccupied with trying to control the things in life that assured our happiness and guaranteed our security. Do we need proof? Think how fixated we were on growing our businesses and ministries, advancing our careers, building our financial security, furthering our reputation and securing our future. Be honest, can’t we each admit that we viewed life and work – at least at some levels – through the lens of a deep desire for control? This is an ownership worldview, and in it we learn that what we own we seek to control. Before COVID-19, our entire culture, including us Christians, were trying to live as if we were owners, believing if we could just direct the means of life, we could secure our desired ends.
Now, just weeks into this pandemic, how much of that has been stripped away, perhaps never to return? The new abnormal is already demonstrating that the level of control we once thought we exercised over the fundamental things in life is gone. Ownership as a lifestyle is dead. The coronavirus killed it. So, what’s left?
Well, may I suggest the life of the steward. This pandemic just might be a wake-up call to God’s people to acknowledge His authority, His sovereignty, and His absolute ownership of everything. This might be our global ‘come to Jesus’ moment when our Creator wants us to, well, ‘come to Jesus’ and surrender our life more wholly and completely than we might ever have dared. As a result, can you imagine a growing tidal wave of people who lose their lives so completely for Christ that the Holy Spirit begins to work in them the kind of revival where true life is found?
I pray for it. And I invite you to join the journey of a steward seeking that deeper, sweeter surrender that brings revival. I invite you to pray that we will see millions experience Jesus’ call to the amazing, abundant life in Him. To help us all on that journey, here is a prayer that might help us emerge from this COVID pandemic as new people, ready to be stewards of life on a journey of freedom and joy. Pray this every morning, before your feet hit the floor. May it be the start of a new era of crazy, radical obedience that God will use to bring a sweeping revival to our nation and our world.
Lord, as I look across the totality of my life – every second and every hour, every relationship and every love, every thought and every desire, every dollar and every doubt, every fear and every hope – I proclaim that it’s all yours! All of it!
Lord, my health is yours, it is not mine. It never was. I work hard to stay healthy, practice social distancing, wear masks and wash my hands again and again. I’ve done all I can to keep from getting this virus or passing it on to others. But Lord, my health belongs to you. I surrender it fully into your hands, trusting you to be the great physician in my life. I surrender any anxiety I may have, and I will find my peace in your love and provision.
Lord, my work is yours, it is not mine. It never was. Every day that I work is a gift from you. I have trusted you in the past with my livelihood and I will trust you now. You know my need, you know my desire to work in a meaningful way, to earn a living and support myself and my family. I trust you to meet my need, to engage my hands in the work you have prepared for me. I will wait patiently secure in your loving kindness and sustaining will for my life at work. I trust you Lord, and I will remain confident in your providential care.
Lord, my finances are yours, they are not mine. They never were. You have provided for me in abundance, and regardless of how my bank account or investment portfolio looks today, you are the same faithful God yesterday, today, and forever. You promise you’ll never leave me or forsake me, and I lean into that blessed assurance every minute of this crisis. You know my need, and that is enough for me. Lord, I rest sheltered in you as my sole source of security.
Lord my future is yours, it is not mine. It never was. As hard as I work to plan everything out and set a clear course from my life, these days have shown me that I have no final control over anything. I pray that you would help that truth become a source of freedom in my life. Help me exchange my desire to control my future for the joyful surrender of a steward, looking to you to guide me down the path you’ve chosen for me. Lord, the future is yours and I claim that affirmation as a source of freedom and joy as I steward every minute of it on my journey.
Lord, my life is yours, it is not mine. It never was. You gave me life from the moment I was conceived, you’ve sustained me with every breath, and you will take me home at exactly the moment you’ve prepared for me, not a minute too soon or too late. Until then, every day is a gift, my life is a gift and I treasure it and thank you for it. In your ledger, not a minute is wasted, not even in waiting, in quarantine, in isolation. My life counts because it is your gift to me, now help me to make it our gift to others. Lord, let me not fear one second for my life, but invest it lavishly in worship to you and service to my neighbor. And grant me your deep peace until I meet you face to face, when I will be eternally, truly, fully yours.
 According to the study by the University of Chicago Divinity School and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. https://www.christianpost.com/news/coronavirus-poll-most-us-believers-say-god-is-telling-them-to-change-how-theyre-living.html