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Joshua 3:3–5 (NKJV) “and they commanded the people, saying, ‘When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests, the Levites, bearing it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it. 4 Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before.’ 5 And Joshua said to the people, ‘Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.’”
On Saturday, April 12, I awoke and went into prayer. It was during this time that I heard in my spirit the phrase “The New Normal”. This time of quarantine has brought many changes to the American way of life. It has affected businesses, schools, jobs, social gatherings, sports events, conferences, government operations, the home, and the church. People are now asking, “What will be the new normal after this is over?” Obviously, things will be different. The trauma brought about by this pandemic has scarred the American psyche. People will approach social interaction in guarded ways, at least in the beginning. What about the church? Church life has been affected. What have we learned about being the church? What should we do differently, if anything? We cannot afford to simply go back to things as they were before. This has been a time of spiritual reset for the church. We are realizing what the church is about relationships and Christian community. Christian community is the new normal. May we embrace the new normal when we come back together not “in” the church but “as” the church. I look forward to a renewal of Christian community. I look forward to the new normal!
Currently our church is adapting to a different way of worshiping and communicating as a church. This was in some way forced upon us by a little microscopic virus and the recommendations of our government. We are cooperating. We will not have physical gatherings but will live stream our services on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings on our website and church Facebook page. We will also have a live conference call prayer/share meeting on Sunday evenings. Be involved! Get others involved! Check our church Facebook page and website for details. I don’t like change. I know you don’t like it either. But change is sometimes required. We like our “customary” worship venue and often believe it is required. Can we worship God outside of the “building”. Can we adapt? Will the Lord bless it? The Lord is reminding us that the church is not the building. It is not even the Sunday morning worship hour. The church is you and me. It is about relationship with God and one another. Relationships can grow outside the building. Paul and Silas had to learn to worship God in a prison cell. They worshiped and others noticed. Sometimes our worship has become so customary that no one notices anymore. But now, what will these “Christians” do when they can’t be in their “building”? Does the church die or thrive? Because Paul and Silas were willing to worship in a different setting, those outside the church were impacted. We must learn to adapt with the season and let our light shine. The world is listening. The world is watching. A harvest of souls is waiting.
NOTICE: All Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening meetings are CANCELLED until after the first of April. We hope to meet again on Sunday, April 5th. This difficult decision was made by the Elders and me, not out of fear but, in cooperation and submission to our President’s and the CDC’s recommendations for no gatherings over ten people which are intended to curb a spike in the COVID-19 virus. We will continue to have Live Stream Only services on Sunday mornings at 10:30 am and Wednesday’s at 7:00 pm. We will have a conference call prayer/share meeting on Sunday evenings. If you would like to be included in this call, please email me at email@example.com. We hope everyone will be involved as a church family. We encourage those who have internet to gather in groups less than ten in order to watch and worship together. We believe under these unusual circumstances this can be a unique time to strengthen our relationships with one another and with the Lord. Be sure to remember and reach out to those who need our extra love and attention. God is in control and we are expecting His work to be done through this in Jesus' name! Thank you!
We are soldiers in Christ’s army. (2 Timothy 2:3-4) We are not called to be passive; we are called to engage in war. This war is spiritual. Our war is not against human beings. It is a war with demonic powers controlled by Satan who deceive and imprison the souls of men (Ephesians 6:12; Revelation 12:9). Our enemy is strong and the battles are often fierce. God has given us spiritual weapons (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). We fight to deliver lost souls out of the prison of darkness. We are sent forth to declare and defend the truth that sets men free. (John 8:31-32) Those for whom we fight will often oppose us being under Satan’s control. We must not take their opposition personal. We must not allow Satan’s evil to get inside of us lest it win. The LORD taught David how to fight to win. We need to ask the Lord to teach us how to fight also. The LORD will teach us how to engage in spiritual warfare in order to overcome the enemy’s power and to win souls. We must not fight evil with evil; we must overcome evil with good. It is time to learn how to fight spiritual battles. It is time to learn how to win. “Lord, teach our hands to war!”
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