The world and the news are talking so much about Coronavirus during this times, it’s almost like a continuous song. Even if you have to listen to the news, try to listen to the minimum necessary, maybe just the headlines, but do not continue browsing through your social media and listen to every little thing, every piece of news. There’s a lot of fake news out there. And if you do have to listen to them, end up with focusing back on Jesus, talk about Jesus to your family, sing to Him, worship Him, and declare His word over you. When the people of Israel were in the wilderness and they needed water, Moses just hit the rock and water came out abundantly, rivers of refreshing waters in the middle of the dessert. Who is that rock for us? Our Lord Jesus Christ. Another time when the people of Israel came to the bitter waters of Marah, the Lord showed Moses a tree that he cast into the waters, and they became sweet. There God made a covenant with Israel telling them that He will not put on them any of the diseases He brought on the Egyptians because He is the Lord that heals them. On another occasion, serpents (Corona serpents) came on them and Moses told them to look at the bronze serpent and they were healed. Imagine that they had to keep their eyes focused on the bronze serpent while the venomous little serpents were still crawling on their bodies and feet. In the same way, we do not know for sure how this virus hit the world and the world is now literally on its knees by something that cannot be even seen. And I am here to tell you that this virus will not reign. It seems like it’s reigning because it’s on the lips of everyone, people are talking about it, but let me tell you this: The Bible says that we reign in life. Romans 5:17 shows us the way we reign in life:
Romans 5:17 (NKJV)
17For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
If this sickness, COVID-19, reigns through the one, much more they who receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness (right standing with God) reign in life over any circumstance or sickness. When you are righteous in God’s eyes, all the blessings pertaining to righteousness belong to you, they fall on you. On one that is righteous, sin or death has no right or claim. This righteousness is a gift. How do you receive a gift? You just say thank you. Do you earn a gift? No. Do you have to pay for the gift? No. Someone else paid for the gift. Is this gift a reward for good deeds or for something you do? No. It is a gift.
Jesus said that before He returns, what is going to happen? There will be plagues, pestilences, that are not caused by Him, He just said what is going to happen. The devil is the one doing them because he knows the end is near and he is trying to increase his aggression towards humans ahead of his time. Our job is to lift Jesus high, because the world needs Him. Death is behind us, it’s not a factor. The Bible tells us in Luke 21:28 that when all these things begin to happen, we are to look up and lift up our heads, because our redemption draws near. What redemption? The redemption of our bodies, because our spirit has been recreated and our soul and mind is being renewed here on earth. We will have bodies of glory like Jesus, bodies that never grow old or die. Now, what age will our bodies have? Maybe the age at which Adam was created or the age of Jesus when He started His ministry, but for sure we will not be old, because aging and sickness is part of the curse. We will not be able to die anymore, but live forever. All these signs are the birth pangs of the coming of the Messiah. When the world is so afraid, we look at them and we do not have to fear what they fear. I will say that again: do not fear what the world fears! We are protected. This is one of the most repeated phrase of Jesus towards His disciples: do not fear, do not let your hearts be troubled. We have no need to fear!
In the meanwhile, be kind, be wise, of course, because we live in the world. Do not go on purpose and shake people’s hands and go crazy because you have faith. You might have faith and be safe, but others might not have the same faith as you and cause them harm. For example, I believe that Jesus could not die even when He was a baby because He was sinless. He had to voluntarily give up His life so He could be killed. In John 10:17-18 Jesus said that He gives His life to take it back and that no one takes it from Him, but He gives it Himself and He has authority to give it and has authority to take it back. Even though the baby Jesus could not be killed, yet the angel told Joseph to take the baby and flee into Egypt and wait there until the king dies. The king Herod was out to destroy this child. The thing is this: even if ten thousand soldiers had come upon the baby Jesus, He could not have died. Death can come only on someone who has sinned. The Ark of the Covenant could not be destroyed, even in the enemies’ hands. If anyone tried to destroy it, got destroyed. So, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the fulfilment of that Ark of the Covenant, could not be destroyed. Yet, there is a humility about Him, He has become a man, and God allowed Him to go through these human processes, to go here and there, to get tired, sitting at the well, etc. And His parents took Him to Egypt instead of fighting the king or calling for myriads of angels. They did it like any other man. So, there are times when God will tell you: do not go there. You might say: “no, no, no, psalm 91 is with me”. My friend, the God who wrote psalm 91 is the same God who prompted you not to go there and gave you no peace. You need to let yourself guided and led by the peace inside!
Luke 14:15–17 (NKJV)
15Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!”
16Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many,
17and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’
A great supper is not just a 10 courses meal, but probably 30. God’s servant, the Holy Spirit, was sent to invite everyone and tell them to come because ALL THINGS were ready. When God told Israel to go into the promised land, there were enemies in the land. Forty years earlier, ten of the spies gave a bad report about the land and as a result, the majority believed them and never entered the land. And all the while, God had already defeated the enemies, He had put fear in the enemies’ hearts, and the enemies were wondering how come it took them forty years to come into the land. We know that from the lips of Rahav. She was wondering what took them so long. Just a shout brought the walls down and they could have done that earlier. But fear stopped them from entering in. What’s consuming the world right now is fear, people are making decisions out of fear, people are so afraid. Listen, even if you get the virus, you will not die in Jesus Name! Believe God! Believe God not to get it, but if you do get it, believe God for complete healing and restoration! There are 2 ways of conquering this thing. First, God’s way and will is that you walk in divine protection and not be afraid. If God tells you to go somewhere, except for those places where they advise you not to go, then go and do not be motivated by fear. Be led by the Holy Spirit and follow the witness of the Spirit. Second, if you got the virus, God’s will for you is to be healed and not die.
So, everyone is invited to this great supper where everything is ready, and you do not have to pay anything for it or work for it, everything is prepared for you and it’s free! You only need to come. That’s all! What was their response?
Luke 14:18 (NKJV)
18But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’
Now, who is so dumb to buy a ground and then go see it? It’s a lousy excuse. Imagine the God of heaven spreading a feast and man does not have to buy or put in labor. All things are now ready!
Luke 14:19 (NKJV)
19And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen (or in our days – five cars), and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’
He already bought the cars and then he does the drive test. It’s a lousy lame pathetic excuse! This is man’s reaction. When God says it’s free, they do not want it. They would rather earn, sweat, suffer, fast, pray long, do things, instead of taking. Salvation is what’s on the plate for us at this supper. That brings me to something else I want to say.
You may or may not have heard it yet, but there are people who will tell you: How can you claim Psalm 91? On what basis can you do that? And the idea is that you are you and I am me, a bishop, a pastor, a reverend. I can claim Psalm 91, but you, how can you claim Psalm 91? It’s almost like there are some loops for you to jump through. There are some hurdles for you to jump over. There is always something. There is always a BUT when God says something and you cannot really enjoy anything that He gives. They say psalm 91 is only for those (and here is where they fill in the blanks based on their ignorance) who have not sinned and dwell in the secret place of the Most High. You would be amazed how many ignorant people supply a lot of answers! You would be surprised to know how many people that know nothing, talk the most!
Psalm 91:1 (NKJV)
1He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
There is a secret place. What is that secret place? They will say: “It’s a special place of intimacy with God.” Correct? The problem with intimacy is this: how intimate is intimate before you know you are intimate and intimate enough to qualify for Psalm 91:1? Usually they will try to tell you when you are ready. How are we to understand this secret place in Psalm 91:1? The Hebrew word for “dwell” is yashav which means “sit”. In Ephesians 2, the Bible shows us that is already the reality for the new creation.
Ephesians 2:4–5 (NKJV)
4But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
5even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
God is rich in mercy. All these religious ideas that we have in our head about God that He is angry, revengeful, cannot coexist with what the Bible says here that God is rich in mercy. Can you find anywhere in the Bible a passage where it says that God is rich in wrath or rich in anger? Does God have anger? Yes. For the believer, no. Jesus exhausted all God’s anger at the cross and He delivered us from the wrath to come. From the beginning, God’s heart was full of mercy, even in the Old Testament, He is rich in mercy. Not only He has mercy, but He is rich in mercy, wealthy in mercy. Then the passage we read says: because of His great love with which He loved us. Not just love, but great love. He loves you with a great love. This whole plan of redemption was motivated by love. God loves you personally.
Ephesians 2:6 (NKJV)
6and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
At the cross we were crucified with Christ, that’s where our identity started, we were buried with Christ and raised up together with Christ. We were in Him. We are no longer outside of Him, but in Him. Whatever it was done to Jesus, it was done to us as well. Just as what was done to Adam, whatever Adam did, you shared in it. Whether you like or not, because of what Adam did, death came in to all mankind. God hates death and He calls it an enemy. The last enemy to be put under foot is death. At the cross, God gave us a new ancestor, a new federal head instead of Adam: the last Adam, Jesus Christ.
After He raised up, He made us SIT together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. So we are there already, in the secret place. Would you agree with me that there is no greater secret place than Christ Himself? In the Old Testament, there was a secret place, because Christ had not come yet. Would you agree with me that you cannot be in a better place than the risen Christ? We are now seated in Christ. And before warfare, which is in Ephesians chapter 6, you have to learn to sit. How well you sit is how well you overcome the powers of darkness. How well you sit is how well you walk as a believer on earth. When the devil wants to affect your walk, he does not focus on your walk, but on your rest. When a new challenge comes, what do I do? I sit down. The faith perspective is: I am not trying to overcome this, it has already been overcome for me. And my posture of faith is REST. The more you rest, the more you see the result.
John 15:5 (NKJV)
5“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
Simple, abide in Him means rest in Him. You are in Him already. Stop trying to get in Him, when you are already in Him. Stop trying to get into a room, when you are already there. So, every fresh challenge, even the COVID-19, what does it mean?
Ephesians 1:20–21 (NKJV)
20which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,
21far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
In this passage, the Bible says that Christ has been seated at God’s right hand FAR ABOVE all principality, power, might and dominion, and every name that is named, in all ages. How far is Christ from COVID-19? FAR ABOVE. But you are in Christ. So then, how far are you from COVID-19? FAR ABOVE, that’s right. The risen Christ sat down, and you are seated with Him. You do not sit until your whole work is finished. The Old Testament priests never sat down. They were always serving and their work would never finish. Jesus offered one sacrifice for sins forever and He sat down. His work is efficacious for all eternity. What are we waiting now?
Ephesians 2:7 (NKJV)
7that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Jesus tells you: “sit down with Me in this cinema because I am about to give you a show. The show is about to start.” What is the show? The exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us (you and me) in Christ Jesus. Even though there is a day of vengeance coming for the world at the second coming of Christ and a judgment day, we are in Christ and what we look forward to in the ages to come (including this one) is the show of the exceeding riches of His grace. So, as a principle, if you want to see grace in front of you, sit down first.
Now, let’s go back to Psalm 91. If someone tries to tell you that you need to do something to be in that secret place and qualify for God’s protection, you can tell him that you are already seated in Christ. “Unless you tell me that the secret place is Christ, then I do not want to sit in that place.” What the psalmist dreamed of is our reality.
During this time of challenge and anxiety, you do not have to cling on to protection and struggle to get it. Realize that God loves you with a great love.
2 Thessalonians 3:3 (NKJV)
3But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.
What keeps me from evil is not my smartness, is not avoiding people who are coughing, is not making sure that I have all the knowledge about the places where I am going to, but it is the Lord’s faithfulness. It is not even my faithfulness. People say: “Are you sure you are faithful enough to qualify for Psalm 91’s protection?” It is not my faithfulness that keeps me from evil, but His faithfulness. The Lord is faithful to keep you from evil. Thank You Lord for Your faithfulness! Rest in His faithfulness! It’s amazing: when you see Him being faithful, you also have faith. But you are not conscious of your faith, because your eyes are on His faithfulness.
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