Last week, I wrote about an interview I did with Roger Shouse of the Charlestown Road Church. This article also originates from that conversation. One of the things he said the Elders and preachers there were considering is the question, “was the old ‘normal’ good enough”? The old normal was comfortable, that is typically agreed upon. Throughout the Bible when things become comfortable God does something to shake up the status quo.
We do not like to consider scriptures like Hosea 11 where we read about God leading with “cords of kindness” and “bands of love” only to have the children of Israel “return to the land of [bondage]”. And we are told why in verse 7, “My people are bent on turning away from me, and though they call out to the Most High, He shall not raise them up at all”. Why don’t we like this? Because it points out the Israelites were going through the motions of righteousness while not being righteous. Certainly, if you asked these worshippers about their relationship with God, they would respond that they are doing fine; that their relationship with God is in a good place. Yet, repeatedly throughout Israel’s existence we see God telling them they have wandered off.
Striking to me is the remnant’s response to hearing the Word of God. (See Nehemiah 13.1-3) These are the good Jews! The prophesied remnant! This is the A-team! And you can nearly see the light-bulb moment on their faces as they learn~ ‘we need to fix this’. All of these interactions are written to be a warning for us. So, was the old normal good enough?
Perhaps this pandemic is a call to God’s sleep-walking children to wake-up. We were not called to new life to be purposeless. We are called to be like Him, and He wants all people everywhere to be saved. I am fond of the question, “has COVID killed you Christianity”? While I make no accusations, I do ask you to consider your daily walk. How Christ-like are you? Have you been raised to walk in newness of life? Maybe that old normal saw a Christian walk that was so encumbered by death in sin, that your daily walk more closely resembled a Zombie’s stagger. Zealously take the name of Jesus with you. Sinners are counting on you.