Sometimes we can quickly get anxious and frustrated about circumstances. When I saw Kentucky’s “Guidelines for Places of Worship” on Friday evening and it specified that we were to avoid congregational singing, I was surprised, frustrated, and uncertain about what to do about coming to worship and being unable to sing to the Lord. After loosing some sleep over the guidelines, I decided to do what I counsel others to do, namely, think about what I know to be true and cast my cares upon the Lord. I thought I would share 10 particular truths/realizations that helped me.
- I need God’s wisdom. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” I’m thankful for that promise and am already asking for His wisdom.
- I need to Love God and love my neighbors! Jesus was pretty clear about the greatest commandments (Matthew 22:37-39) and my challenge is determining how that looks during this pandemic. (I need God’s wisdom here too.)
- I am not to judge the motives of others (Matthew 7:1). It’s easy to want to judge the motives of those with whom we disagree. In regards to COVID-19, I think President Trump, Governor Beshear, and most other officials have a desire to protect lives and livelihoods. Nobody has all the answers. The same is true of pastors, church leaders, business owners, and our neighbors. I need to replace judgmentalism with grace.
- I am to honor and obey government unless there are clear biblical grounds for disobedience. Romans 13:1 says, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” While it is hard to obey governing authorities when I disagree with their decisions, if I believe government and government leaders are ordained by God, I must practice what I preach.
- Nobody can stop me from singing praises to the Lord today. “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name” (Psalm 103:1).
- I need to remember that there is an enemy who wants to divide and destroy (John 10:10). Satan is chomping at the bit to divide us and we must pursue love and unity above division and personal preferences. Colossians 3:14 says, “Above all these, put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” People disagree about a lot of issues right now but we can all agree that we must love one another.
- I must remember that God really can use all of this for good. Romans 8:28 isn’t just a verse to quote but an assurance to believe. Paul was able to say that his imprisonment “really served to advance the gospel” (Philippians 1:12). God is at work all around us and doing so much more than we can imagine.
- I am to look to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). It is easy to get distracted. There are needs and opportunities all around us to point people to Jesus. Remember, now is the time to be the church on mission until we can gather as the church in worship.
- I should pray more and worry less. Philippians 4:6 says, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Why worry when I can pray. So, I’ve confessed my angst and am getting ready to pray some more.
- I sure long for the Lord’s return. I realize not everybody I know and love is ready for His return so we must continue to live out the great commission. Yet, it is ok to cry, “Come quickly Lord Jesus. Come quickly.”
(Saturday afternoon, the guidelines were modified and the requirements to avoid congregational singing were loosened.)