I attend a church within eyeball distance of the hospital that treated the first patient to be diagnosed with ebola in the United States. Two nurses there have now been diagnosed with the virus as well.
This disease is in our zip code. We are a diverse church with people attending from all over Dallas. We have the privilege of ministering to refugees, many a part of our family.
I’ve watched our church leadership respond with wisdom and love. We take precautions. Lots of precautions.
We are at ground zero.
It isn’t always a bad place to be.
You see, ground zero can be a dark place and that’s where light shines its brightest.
“You are the light of the world.
A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)
So what do we do with this as Believers? As followers of Christ?
The Scriptures are pretty clear on this.
God did not call us to be cowards. He called us to let our lights shine.
There are people who walk in fear of GMOs, cancer, big government, no government, weather, the economy, and now EBOLA.
As followers of Christ, we are not given a spirit of fear.
God gives us power, love and a sound mind.
The Greek definition of sound mind here basically means acting in a sensible way that fits a situation; acting out God’s will by what He calls “sound reasoning.” (WORDS Help)
I firmly believe that part of having a sound mind is not being stupid. Eat well, vote, stay informed, come in out of the lightening, take care of yourself.
This may offend some people but walking around saying that you are “covered in the blood of Jesus” is arrogant and unscriptural when it comes to bodily health. The blood of Jesus covers our sins and grants us eternal life. (Matthew 26:28) Nowhere in Scripture are we told that it protects us from disease. And it dishonors many brave and honorable Believers who are in Heaven today to say so. To quote “by His stripes we are healed” from Isaiah 53 to someone who is sick is a bastardization of a beautiful passage on the redemptive work of Christ on the cross.
So as followers of Christ, perhaps we should look at the facts without fear and pray.
Never mind your opinions on protocol, the CDC, healthcare workers, etc. That isn’t what this is about. This is about the spirit within.
See, it is kind of funny. It is really hard to be afraid when we love people enough to pray for them. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)
Wow. How many times have I been tormented by fear? How many times have I had to go to God, asking Him to still my thoughts, giving me “sound reasoning”? And when it involves other people, oh, how many times do I actually remember to pray? To love?
I just came across a really powerful reminder of what was accomplished by the death and resurrection of our Lord:
“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – the Son also became flesh and blood.
For only as a human being could He die, and only by dying could He break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.
Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying. (Hebrews 2:14-15 NLT)
“Slaves to the fear of dying.”
Pray for us in Dallas, my friends.
Pray for the Church, the Body of Christ,
that we will find ways to love rather than fear,
ways to be light,
ways to be the hands and feet of Jesus.