COVID-19, Joe Exotic & Jesus

It was extremely humid and the air was electric. The sky was a blood orange color which was fitting for the storm to come. My phone was going off every thirty minutes with a warning to take cover, which for most of us Okies means grab your mattress and hunker down in the bathtub. Almost like clock work the sirens were blaring every hour on the hour. This night seemed different than most, there was something about the thickness of the air that you could taste what was going to happen. We didn’t know where or at what time of night it would happen but we knew. We knew that a tornado would touch down, almost like a sixth sense, we knew. We knew because it was different than the many warnings before. Late that night a tornado tore through a trailer park by the river. Uprooting trees and damaging homes. Lives were changed in a moments notice. This storm gave birth to a force so strong that it would destroy anything in its path. A storm needs almost perfect conditions for it to give birth to a tornado. It needs just enough cold and hot air to clash to create the vortex of rotating winds. This night the conditions were right and our little town would wake up to the destruction of this natural phenomenon.

Last night, as I sat up praying and reflecting on the current COVID-19 medical crisis, the restrictions that have forced the church out of it’s comfort zone and the current political environment of our country, I felt God speaking to my heart and declaring the coming revival. I felt God in a way that I can only describe to be like the moment I met Jesus for the first time at the age of 22. In my shame he reached out his hand to a sinner like me and said to me what he said to the adulterous woman “neither do I condemn you, now go and sin no more.” I might sound crazy, some might even say that I sound like Noah predicting the flood. The enemy wants to paralyze us with fear of this virus so that we do not see the move of God that is in the making.

In a privileged country like America, it is almost assumed that we will die of old age in our bed with our beloved spouse. This leads to an illusion that we do not need God because we have medicine for sickness and do not have to worry about parasites in our water. We forget that our lives are like a breath, here today and gone tomorrow. The problem with this is, we get comfortable and do not see a need for God because we can fix anything with science and medicine. That is until COVID-19 showed up. This virus destroyed many lives and the death toll grows day by day and this has exposed the illusion of guaranteed long life because this is a virus that medicine has not been able to fix. There is a saying that goes like this: “you can tell who is skinny dipping when the tide goes out.” Well the tide has went out and now there is panic, fear and anxiety that is like a plague flowing through the streets. I am not saying that God unleashed this sickness on our country but I believe he will use it for his glory in the end. People are starting to understand that death is real and while death is scary, it fails to compare to death without Jesus. A key condition to the birth of the next revival is the understanding that life is short and this is what COVID-19 has taught us.

Church as we know it has come to a screeching hault. Sunday mornings went from packed pews to ghost towns, you would almost expect a tumble weed to roll on by the sound booth if you stare long enough. Restrictions by the government to control the virus has forced churches out of their comfort zones. This has brought forth a new era for the western church. It has forced Pastors and church staff to think in a new way. They are almost like baby birds being pushed out of the comfy nest so that they can sore to new heights and share the gospel on a new level. The people of God will no longer be focused on getting to the church building early so that they can sit in “their seat” that they hold so dear, almost like a golden calf, this seat is idolized. As I scroll through social media, where not so long ago all I saw were bikini pics and #instagood, now I see the people of God crying out to our creator 24/7. I see the church experience shifting in a way unlike it ever has in the history of the world. Churches renting out drive in theaters so that people can hear the word of God from the safety of their cars. Pastors literally shouting the gospel from the roof tops of their churches. Leaders leveraging technology in a way they would never consider if it wasn’t for the current situation. It may seem we are living in uncertain times to most but I believe the stage is being set and the curtains are about to open as if we were at intermission between massive moves of God. The people of the world are in their seats and the lights are beginning to dim as we anticipate what will happen next…

Out of a great obstacle God brings great resolution and healing. We are in a culture that is offended by everything. After posting this, I can almost expect someone to get offended that I said people get offended. We live in a society that you can’t be friends with someone who votes a different way than you. The left is attacking the right, the red is verse the blue and there is an epic showdown between the donkey and the elephant. We live in a torn country almost as if we are in a civil war. The political climate is so thick that you can cut it with a knife and spread it on your morning bagel. In the bible there was a time where Jews and Gentiles hated each other, almost like the republicans and democrats. A perfect storm has been brewing for a long time, almost like a pot of stew. Split religion and politics is what has been established but what some people don’t know is that God established authority and governments. But we have the free will to do what we want so the country has chosen to take prayer out of politics and now we are reaping what we have sown. We have a split country and there is no unified front because, as a country, have tried to play God. The test of time has reviled how unity is not possible when God is not the center. The disunity has forced the leaders of the country back to the one who spoke unity into existence. Country leaders are holding days of prayer and reaching out to the local church to pray for our country. As a nation we are like the Israelites, we have strayed away from the source of life and the results are not what we expected, they are much worse. We are dying. Like a tree branch cut from the trunk, we are dying. We need the source to sustain us, we need Jesus to revive us and resuscitate us. When we try to play God, we put a weight on our shoulders that we cannot hold up and our nation is feeling that weight. As humans when we feel that weight, we come back to the father because we realize we can’t carry it.

As I sit here writing this, I feel a lot like I did on the night of that tornado. The conditions are right and the stage is set for a revival that has the power to destroy the camp of the enemy and bring unity in the name of Christ to our nation through the church. People will band together under the banner of Christ and his glory will shine through this darkness. The army of God will be added to daily and the enemy will flee back to its dark hole in the ground and God will triumph over evil by standing on the head of the snake. Darkness is losing. I repeat, DARKNESS IS LOSING. Revival is coming, are you ready? We are about to see exponential growth in the body of Christ that is more drastic than the growth curve in the popularity of Joe Exotic.

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