Our greatest danger right now is wasting our isolation, by stewing in fear and numbing ourselves in streams of entertainment. God causes all things to be for our good, but that doesn’t just happen automatically. We need to act to ensure we don’t waste our isolation.
Two passages come to mind; first 1 Cor. 7:5:
5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
The context is about marital sex, but the principle applies now.* We face a season when we will be apart – we will not be able to meet together on Sunday or for smaller Bible studies or small groups for at least this week, if not a few. We will be “deprived” of one another’s fellowship.
There are two ways to waste this time. The first is if we allow ourselves to spin out of the church’s orbit, out of the life-giving influences of God’s means of grace. The second is by missing the opportunity the time affords us to draw closer to God.
We are such busy people. I challenge you to receive this time of isolation, and reflect, and bathe the time in prayer. Pray for each other; for medical personnel; those under shelter-in-place orders; government officials; your family; your elders and pastors; for repentant revival in our church and our city; the other churches in town; your neighbors.
And then feast on Christ. When things really hit, I and many others ran to the store for staples. But John 6 reads,
32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
Even the heavenly manna pictured Jesus – he’s the staple that we cannot live without.
To not waste this time means
- Coming to Jesus, through his Word, and your faith being thereby built
- Spending this time in fruitful reflection
- Bathing this time in prayer
- Loving your brothers and sisters
- Letting the deprivation of each other create in you a deeper mutual affection
*This is a good way to read Song of Solomon – it is about sex, and therefore it’s about the church. But explaining that will take other blog posts.