June 10, 2020
Have you ever had your television watching interrupted by a crude noise? Then, you heard an announcement declaring, “This is a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. This is only a test.” I wonder if we need the same kind of announcement. “This Corona Virus is a test, only a test, of the church and its faith and preparedness for the next move of God.”
Before God delivered Israel from the Midianites, He gathered and army of willing fighters. Then, He tested them to reveal both their faith and their aptitude. Days like the ones we are going through right now will do the same for us. They will reveal our true motives, our true faith in God, and our preparedness for the coming victory.
The “selfish” pastor quickly fires his staff before the money really runs out because his real concern is himself. His thoughts are about his own house. “How will I make it?” His actions say, “Every man for himself.” He will be disqualified! As his faith is, so be it unto him.
Then there is the “my church” centered pastor. He drops the missionaries just in case the money doesn’t keep coming in. He huddles the church into a fortress, behind locked doors, hoping to wait out the storm unaffected. He, too, will be disqualified from carrying the lamp and trumpet into battle because he drank with his head down.
Then there is the “others centered,” Christlike pastor. He cares for his staff even if it costs him something. He pays the missionaries because he knows they deserve a pay day just as much as he does. He leads the church into the new opportunities of ministry created by this interruption. He believes God is still a miracle working God and that his call is still to win the city and the world. He believes that it’s not the size of the army but the size of God. He believes that it’s God’s power not the offering, or the kinds of weapons, or the skill of the warriors. He believes completely in the working of the Holy Spirit and His anointing. He believes God alone will supply all our needs and, therefore, that giving is more important than hoarding.
Before the test, all the warriors looked the same, but after the test, we could clearly see the differences.
Those who pass the test will be given a trumpet and lamp. They will be placed in the right place around the enemies camp, and when the time of the Lord comes, they will break their pitchers and all the other barriers that conceal the light of truth and declare, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!”
Pray you don’t fail the test because the best is yet to come!
Assistant General Superintendent
The General Council of the Assemblies of God