Are you panicking because of the current worldwide pandemic, yet? I know that’s a silly question to ask in these times but hear me out…
But before I continue to make my point, this thing is real and downplaying it only puts your life and the lives of your loved ones at risk. I have had recent rendez-vous in which nobody was using hand sanitizers, gloves or masks. I get that we might want to put a brave front for our loved ones to avoid panic but let’s be real here; that’s like a parents who are in the process of a divorce but won’t tell their kid(s), in attempt to apparently shield her from (an inevitable) pain.
That said, let’s stay alert in prayer, be well informed and do what needs to be done to stay safe.
Allow me to elaborate…
In this era of the internet where we’re infinitely connected regardless of geographical boundaries, I strongly believe that “where two or three are gathered” is not restricted to physical meetings because I’m sure at creation, God wasn’t sitting in His heavenly places wonering; “But wait! What if they evolve, how will they stay connected to each other?” Nah-ah! He knew that we would, at some point in our existence here on earth, find ways to “gather” albeit through apps.
Social media platforms/apps have made virtual realities possible for those of us introverted extroverts with tools such as YouVersion where we can pray for and with each other as a community and the God of heaven and earth would hear us, especially now that we face a “huge army” (COVID-19) much like the Israelites under Jehoshaphat’s rule (read your Bibles, people!).
I’m sure at creation, God knew that we would one day “gather” through apps on the internet
What did the ancient Israelites do instead of panicking? They began praising and worshipping God while charging at the “huge army”, because they now had total confidence that the battle wasn’t theirs but the Lord’s, because God had spoken through one of them and said so. Did He deliver them from the “huge army”? Of course He did! But did it cost them? You’re right: action.
They, at the expense of looking and sounding totally ridiculous, obeyed God’s command to charge at the army in praise and worship. Action preceded victory.
If you break the word “predecessor” to its Latin roots, you get “pre-” which means “beforehand” and “decessor” which means “retiring officer”.
With that in mind, this meditation from Matthew 18 is therefore about the presence of God being especially near when His people “gather to meditate” on how He wants us (me and you) to live in these times as He works in and through us.
It isn’t time to cower in fear of this “huge army”. Rather let’s show this “huge army” how big our God is.
In this meditative scripture, Jesus tells us of the importance of gathering, praying, and meditating as a group in order to discern the will of God.