Friends, these are strange times. In some measure, all of our lives have been affected by the present crisis of the coronavirus. Sadly, this past Sunday was one of those times. Not meeting together on the Lord’s day seems odd, feels weird, and is surely dangerous. Sure, we recognize that it is necessary for the moment. However, we should also be aware of the danger that comes with not meeting.
The danger that comes with less exposure to God’s people, especially the Sunday morning service, is that our straying hearts are not kept in check. To make matters worse, there is also confinement to our homes, restricting our free access to society at large. These are times for the perfect storm so to speak. Here is what I mean, there is a real danger when we do not receive the necessary checks to our hearts (like Sunday services, contact with God’s people, etc.) and there is further danger when our hearts free-reign is restricted (through confinement to homes, continual contact with the people we are closest to, new expectations, etc.). That danger is that our sin would be exposed and our hearts unwilling to repent of it.
In these times our personal walk with the Lord is of the utmost importance. There is no doubt that our sin will be exposed in these days. Let’s be honest, most of you are now home all day with your students and by this point find yourself in an extremely redundant and confined routine. We are often not even able to go outside due to weather. This makes our desire for “relief” all the harder, all the more needed, and all the more exposing of the way we actually think and what we actually desire.
Make no mistake, this present crisis we find ourselves in will expose our desires, both the good ones (desiring to be back at church) and the bad ones (impatience and selfishness). If our personal walk with the Lord is weak or non-existent, we will respond to these circumstances sinfully. It is only a strong personal walk with the Lord that will provide a means for us to respond righteously, pleasing the Lord.
So, do not be discouraged when your sin is exposed; but rather, be encouraged to strengthen your walk with the Lord and address your sin as He would have you to—remember Colossians 3, Hebrews 4:14-16 and Psalm 32. But please, don’t respond like Cain and refuse to fix what you know is wrong. For in the moment your sin is exposed there is the graciousness of the Lord’s words recorded for you, “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it (Gen 4:7).” If we want to please and be accepted by the Lord, we must deal with our sin.
The sin that we must deal with in these times is not new; it has always been there. It is simply that the normal outlets for our sin and callouses toward our sin have been removed for this moment. Therefore, we must not miss these opportunities to address our sin and repent of it before the Lord.
Friends, I call you faithful parents every week not only because you bring your students to church every week, but also because you live out what you profess before them every day. These strange days are no different. They may be harder; but they are no different. We must exemplify, now more than ever, the pious act of repentance, because our families are presented with the same danger. Our families know the same lack of fellowship and exposure of the heart. How will they know the salvation granted to us is true, unless we demonstrate it before them as an act of worship to God? Friends, these strange times are a marvelous opportunity for us to display what we profess; furthermore, it is guaranteed to display what we believe. So, in these moments let’s watch our lives and strengthen our walk.