Thoughts from Quarantine

Thoughts from Quarantine

I was in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. In consultation with my doctor, I am in quarantine. What does that mean? It means I am sitting at home and doing as much as I can without coming in contact with other people.
I will admit that my initial reaction was frustration. Even frustration with God. I was thinking, “God, I was doing what you called me to do! How could you let me be exposed to this thing!?” That way of thinking is what is often referred to as the “prosperity gospel,” and, to be clear, it is no gospel at all. Nowhere in Scripture does God promise us good health for all our days. That kind of thinking (and whining) are the rantings of a child who is upset that his parents are not working the way he wants them to work. Yes, I am admitting a moment of immaturity here.

Why would I call it a moment of immaturity? Because right on the heels of thinking that way, some Scriptures came to mind.
• “… For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45, ESV)
• “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:28–29, ESV)
• “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11, ESV)
• “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16–17, ESV)
I am taught, reproved, corrected, trained, and comforted with God’s Word. The Holy Spirit brings to mind verses that I have memorized over time. Honestly, I knew all of those were in the Bible, but I had to look a couple of them up to get the address right!

So, why am I writing this article? Because I am convinced that there are some Christians who do not know God’s Word. They are living out what they think is right, but they are doing so from a sense of right and wrong, not from the clear teachings of the Bible. That is a bold statement, I know. But think about the last time you had an issue with someone. Was your disagreement about interpretations of God’s Word? Or about thoughts, feelings, and opinions? If we are honest, we get the most upset when our own feelings are hurt, not when someone twists (or ignores) Scripture.

What we need is a more concerted effort to hide God’s word in our hearts. Every Man a Warrior and Cultivating Holy Beauty are very intentional about memorizing Scripture. I would encourage everyone to be part of this kind of accountability group. Memorizing the Bible is one aspect of these groups, but there is much more involved. It is a weekly accountability meeting for 9 months. It is weekly homework beyond memorizing. It is a rigorous process. Some might say it is too hard. If you belong to Jesus, tell me how this is any harder than His death for you. We are called to die to self and to live for Christ. What’s holding you back right now?

Update: I received a negative COVID-19 test result. I have no symptoms. Praise God! I may still contract the virus at some point in the future, but I have learned. If I do come down with it, I will trust God. If I don’t come down with it, I will trust God. And I will work to not whine either way.

Until all have heard,

Pastor Tony