SEVEN TESTS OF COVID-19
Seven being God's number for completion in the Scripture, I provide 7 key areas where God's people will be tested during this time. It will also what we’ve learned for more intense times to come. COVID-19 has visited itself upon the earth on a scale most of us have never experienced. I experienced 9/11, and it’s the aftermath that brought sweeping changes that followed. Indeed, that seemed to be the end of America's innocence. The real estate debacle and the collapse of Wall Street, followed by a Great Recession, were seen in some more severe ways than even the Great Depression.
This plague has the potential for an economic 9/11. It will destroy small independent businesses and is killing thousands. It has created an international societal sequestering of millions and is showing no signs of exhaustion. But what the exact toll will be, God only knows. But in such times, we must focus on absolutes, and constants, since everything is quaking as earthly and human foundations are being pulled up from under us. These 7 areas are purposed to plant our feet firmly and ensure that our souls are not in turmoil. It will also determine how God's people come out on the other side.
1. THE SMELL TEST: WHAT IS YOUR SCENT? (2 Corinthians 2:14-15), For we are the aroma of Messiah to God among those who are being saved and among those, who are perishing. There is a fragrance reserved for God's people in and out of seasons. Its fragrant scent distinguishes the Holy from the common. The consecrated from the profane (Exodus 29:7; 30:22-33). This fragrance, called Shemen HaMashiach (The Anointing Oil), Mashiach scent of the anointed one.
This oil was reserved for the priest, king, and prophet. On the other, we are His priests that carry the aroma of Messiah to those who are being saved and among those who are perishing (2 Corinthians 2:14-15). Notice both categories of people: The saved and the perishing. Hence, we are now the spiritual first responders of God’s Holy scented oil. May we be known by our actions, words, and deeds to every person and situation we face throughout this COVID season.
2. THE BLAME TEST: Matthew 7:1-5 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, `Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.”
During this time, I have witnessed the blame of the COVID directed on New Yorkers, Californians, and any place that is unsupportive of President Trump. I have heard the “Deep State” behind things as if they have the power to hold back the wind against God’s power. We have people blaming China, then our Government for their handling of Covid.
God is bigger and larger than we make Him!
God doesn’t look to get back at someone. He is not vindictive or manipulative. He does not get back at those that refused to vote for President Trump! Really! If that is so, we are all in trouble! God is not political, ideological, denominational, and ecclesiastical. Heaven is more glorious than we can imagine. But man looks to consign blame, like a blind man showing you the way. A man knows only in part and sees in part (1 Corinthians 13:9-1.) Man is not to judge, be critical, or over-step.
During this time, shepherds should be shepherding their people through this storm. Prophets should be awakening the people and focusing their vision towards end-time horizons. Evangelists should save the lost and seize this once in a lifetime opportunity because we are on the precipice of a modern-day Jesus Movement concerning salvation opportunities. Apostles should bring the big picture aiding the body to operate in its optimum function. God is righteous and just. He is unswerving in truth, longsuffering beyond our human abilities. His ways are not our ways. So let us resist the spirit of judgment, and rather, let us show the world how big, and large, and grand our Lord is.
3. THE OBEDIENCE TEST: "Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God." (Romans 13:1) Let me be clear and remind us all that we are first citizens of heaven than our earthly government. We are citizens of the Kingdom of God (Philippians 3:20). That's why Peter says, in 1st Peter 2:13, “Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution.” Consider the following!
Are we obeying state and federal rulings for social distancing? I have seen Christian leaders flaunting their liberty and others mocking those who have chosen to be obedient to our President and governors' rules. By obeying these safety rules, we lead by example for the younger generation prone to rebelliousness. Scripture states, "Be careful, however, that the exercise of your personal perceived rights and liberties does not become a stumbling block to the weak" (I Corinthians 8:9). Who knows what innocent sheep becomes in trouble s a result of your disobedience?
4. THE PROPHECY TEST: "The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets" (I Corinthians 4:32).
Living in such times, prophecy intensifies. Some see COVID-19 ending at Passover or September. More predictions will come forth with every passing month. How do we avoid a spirit of confusion when the prophets both in the land and upon the earth lack agreement, which comes from a spirit of confusion.
Paul makes clear from the Corinthian believers that the Holy Spirit does not force Himself upon anyone. If there is disorder, our adversary is the cause. Prophecy is to stabilize, inform, lead and is one of our anchors in such times. One of the reasons so much of today's alleged "exercise of the gifts" is not of God is the disregard of Paul’s injunction on the topic.
Where there is no accountability, it can lean toward prophetic anarchy. When Jeremiah desired to prophesy to the people, he had to wait upon God: Peter declared, "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Pt 1:21).
5. THE FEAR TEST: "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love" (John 4:28).
The essential discipline we can take against COVID is to reign in our soul and stay away from conspiracy theories. At the end of the day, it is of no consequence. We are on a battlefield fighting a war. Wake up! Don’t allow your soul to get lost in these things. It will only compound the worry and fear in your soul.
During such times, both the spirit of death and fear is running rampant. It seeks God's people to host them. At the same time, millions of people live in unbelief, and each one will either rise gloriously to heaven or crash land in hell. So many have no hope! Remember, there is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love as the children of God, so let's show the world our difference.
6. THE KNOWLEDGE TEST: In such times, man thinks he knows more than he does. He looks to heaven but cannot see beyond the clouds that cover the heavens. He cannot
hear the voice of the angels singing or hear the conversations that take place at the throne of God. He can be as the blind leading the blind or as a mouse trying to find its way out of a maze. I have also found that we are less involved than we would like to think, and God is more involved than we think. Therefore, keep God large and man small. God is in control! Our Father has this! You see, the right knowledge will be our anchor in such times. Each day fill your own cistern that you have a spiritual drink in the duration of this storm.
7. THE LOCATION TEST: Everyone can remember where they were when President Kennedy was assassinated or when the Trade Towers were attacked. Where will you remember having been spiritual when this is all over? When this is over, you could remember two places that will define your future to come.
• One comes from Psalm 91:1; “He who dwells in the shelter of the Highest, and rests in the shadow of the Almighty" Something glorious occurs in this shelter and shadow. But it is not for all believers, rather for those who live in close fellowship with God. Like every child of God looks towards the inner sanctuary and the mercy seat, yet all do not dwell in the Most Holy Place. They run to it often and enjoy occasional approaches, but they do not habitually reside in the mysterious and glorious presence.
The Psalmist implies this idea of a lifestyle and discipline. It comes from the word dwell and the Hebrew yashab, meaning to sit down. The implication is to abide. We can apply, “Be Still and Know that I am God.” Apply the ancient Shema, “Hear O Israel the Lord
Your God, the Lord is One, Blessed Be Your Kingdom Forever.” In Hebrew, the word hear is to hear, coupled with action. Hearing is seeing, hearing is learning, hearing is doing, hearing is living in such a way that our life demonstrates that we are under the headship of God. Covid-19 can help all of us to find the secret place as never before!
• The second place is Isaiah 26:20, which the Lord gave to us in November 2019 and that we have put into action since, “Come, my people, enter your chambers and shut the door behind you, hide yourselves for a little while until the fury has passed.” Remember, this is a season! Jesus is not returning yet! Although the rapture can happen at any time, it is imminent. There are more prophecies to fulfill before the Second Coming, but grow stronger and closer to your Father for the duration before us.