Don’t Waste Your Shelter in Place!

  • Randy Karlberg

It would not be a good thing for us to waste our COVID 19 Shelter in-place!  If you are like me when God brings a challenging time into your life, you quickly resort to a mindset that says, “Okay God I learned that lesson, now make it go away and give me back the life I had.”  God does not teach us lessons quickly, and He loves us too much to allow us to be content with life as we know it.  Our comfort is not God’s main concern!  Rather His children becoming the people of God that He calls them to be is the course He has us on.  He is doing His work on us for His glory!

So telling God that we have learned what we needed to learn and are ready to move on is worse than telling a master teacher “let’s pick up the pace in our lessons.”  The teacher is the one who decides when it’s time to move on.  Should we mentally be focused on getting through this Shelter in-place mandate?  Yes, of course.  We need to be not only open, but even more so, actively seeking the lessons God is desperately trying to teach us.  In fact, God wants to teach us so severely He has brought our world to a screeching halt and forced us to face some of the idols or at least distractions in our lives. 

In Jeremiah 29:11 we read,

“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

I am sure you are very familiar with this passage and quote it to yourself in trying times, but I would ask you to read that whole passage of Scripture.  It is easy to take the “plans God has for us” thought and move to a mindset that we should not struggle in our lives. Just two verses later in Jeremiah 29:13 we read,

“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”

What? You mean that I need to put time into this relationship with God and not just let everything come to me?  Yes!  Again, our comfort is not God’s main goal.  He desires us to become His Righteous people. 

I am going to mention just two passages from the New Testament where I see God doing His Righteous refining in people.  The first involves the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8.  The Holy Spirit sent Philip to meet this Ethiopian man who was reading from Isaiah 53.  By the way, Isaiah 53 is a perfect place for us to focus on who Jesus Christ is and what He has done for us especially considering we are celebrating His resurrection this weekend.  So this Ethiopian man asks Philip whom the prophet was speaking about?  Philip told him of the good news of the Gospel of Jesus and this resulted in the Ethiopian’s faith in Christ and his baptism (a step of obedience).  This is an amazing miracle that the Holy Spirit did in his life.  Acts 8:27 tells us that this Ethiopian man had come to Jerusalem to “worship.”  He was actively seeking the Lord, and the Lord did the mighty work of reconciliation in his heart.

If you turn to Acts 10, we find the incredible story of a Roman centurion soldier named Cornelius.  When you read there, you will find that The Holy Spirit presented Peter with a vision which gave him directions to go with Gentile men to meet Cornelius at his house.  Eating and staying in a Gentile’s home was not in line with current Jewish laws.  We learn that Cornelius is a Gentile but a “God-fearing” man.  He regularly prays to God and gives God “alms” or money for His work.  The Holy Spirit tells Cornelius in Acts 10:4 that  your prayers have been answered.  The outcome is that Cornelius and his household have a conversion to faith in Jesus Christ.  This miraculous leading of the Holy Spirit is an amazing work of God and God only.   My point though is Cornelius was actively seeking God and His work in His life.

So what?  Those were times in the early Church, and I already have faith in Jesus Christ.  That may be true, but God desires that we invest in Him, finding our Joy in Him!  As He strips away things in our lives, are we seeking to see what He is teaching us?  Are we spending time focused on submitting the collated list of importance in our lives to line up with His list?  Are you getting a clear picture of what life on this earth is all about?  Are you looking at life with eternal eyes?  Have you come to realize that life with Christ is enough for you?

Don’t waste your Shelter in-place!