What a difference a day makes.
Just 24 hours ago, we had not yet gotten the news that an Ebola-infected “patient zero” had been diagnosed in America.
Up until that moment, many of us prayed and hoped that this devastating plague would not find its way to our land. Others artificially preserved their optimistic take through an ignorance-is-bliss approach to the subject by simply choosing not to think about it. Sadly, the latter approach has become a popular path to reality avoidance in America these days.
But now that we’ve heard the news that Ebola is here, what do we do?
More specifically, what are we as Christians to do?
How do we handle and contribute to the conversations unfolding everywhere? How do we respond to panic? What advice do we have to offer What do we propose as solutions? What are we actively doing in our own homes as a good example for others to follow?
Before considering any of these and other worthy, related questions, we should first acknowledge and embrace the fact that we, as Christians, should be leading the way in this dark time, both in our homes as well as in our public, professional, and civil interactions. If we have actually been supernaturally transformed by the very Spirit of God living within us, and we have also been equipped by Him with His perfect, sufficient Word, the we full well ought to be the ones with the best answers and responses to the challenges posed by Ebola (or anything else).
In other words, this is a “put up or shut up” moment for professing Christians in America.
Lord willing, I hope to cover things like preparation and prevention as related to Ebola in some detail in future posts, but, in the meantime, I would like to take this opportunity to encourage and remind (both readers and myself) of a few beautiful truths that we have an incredible opportunity to demonstrate and display as Sons and Daughters of the King here and now in the midst of this storm:
Faith Dispels Fear
First, we must demonstrate our faith in action by remaining balanced, calm, and reasonable.
True faith is both the antithesis of and cure for fear.
God is on His throne.
All things – including Ebola emerging in Texas – “work together for good, for those who are called according to God’s purpose.”
God has purpose in this happening. It is not a surprise to Him. It is not the least little bit outside of or apart from the perfect plan that He established for His creation before the foundation of that creation.
So let’s act as though we actually believe these things.
While taking an extremely chill or relaxed approach isn’t necessarily appropriate either, the last thing we should be known for is our nervousness, anxiety, or unease, all of which are symptoms of fear. These symptoms, when allowed to flourish, both fuel existing fearfulness in ourselves and serve to ignite or amplify fears in others.
Whether we like it or not or believe it or not, we are each presenting the “faith vs. fear” model in each and every waking moment of each and every day. And the world will be watching…so let’s thank Him for this opportunity while praying for the grace to seize it fully for His glory and our benefit.
Faith Seeks the Wisdom of the Lord
As supernaturally transformed New Creatures in Christ, we have been given an appetite for truths that we once hated. Truths that we could not even see, much less acknowledge or understand, are now available and beautiful to us by the grace of God. We have been given the desire and passion to feed on the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ.
One meaning of this oft repeated but not so often “fleshed out” concept, is that we actively desire to learn and apply what Christ has revealed of His nature in His perfect Word. We strive to seek and submit to Him as our source for truth and understanding in every realm of life. In this, He is our bread. He is our nourishment. He is our life.
This is not some wishy-washy, vague and watery flower lingo trick being played here. It is truth, and one practical opportunity that we have here and now to demonstrate that truth is to actively seek His Word as the basis upon which we pursue or avoid any particular course of action.
Again, the world is watching.
Do we have a coherent worldview? Do we mean what we say? Are we regularly and happily going to the Word of God as our explicit starting point for the serious contemplation of any consequential subject?
Or are we not?
Are we just “winging it” like everyone else?
Are we just another flavor of pretender?
The world will find answers to these questions by simply watching and noting how we regard the Word of God in action.
Faith Inspires Godly Action
Our goal in seeking the wisdom of the Lord is to faithfully apply that revealed wisdom in everything that we do here and now in His creation.
Learning truth is a good thing, of course, but knowledge without application is foolishness. Moreover, it is a particularly egregious form of foolishness, as it pursues the path of the ignorant without the excuse of ignorance.
Christians are filled with the Spirit of God and equipped with the Word of God for the express purpose of proclaiming and applying God’s nature throughout His creation.
That. Means. Action.
Talk is cheap, laziness is for losers, and apathy is just plain pathetic.
Christ is not lazy, He is not apathetic, and He is anything but cowardly.
We are called (and equipped) to be more and more like Him…all by His grace and for His glory.
Each and every one of us are here and now for great purpose, having been placed here by our King for the purpose of proclaiming and applying His supernatural Gospel to every realm and area of His creation through our faithful pursuit of His Great Commission.
Supernatural Faith Inspires Supernatural Peace
Here we come full circle, centering again on the supernatural peace that He has given us through His Spirit placed within us.
As I mentioned, I hope to add some detailed thoughts as to exactly what and how we might prepare, prevent, and otherwise tackle the specific challenge of Ebola. But, for now, I hope and pray that these reminders as to who He is and who we are in Him are as encouraging to you as they have been to me.
God is completely in control.
He has each and every one of us exactly where and when He wants us…and we shouldn’t want it any other way.
May the Lord give you peace, confidence, and boldness to faithfully apply His Gospel and pursue His Great Commission in every realm of His creation…all by His grace and for His glory.
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© 2014 Scott Alan Buss – All Rights Reserved.