In the past couple of weeks, I have watched as a wave of panic and fear has taken hold of the globe in the face of the coronavirus. Store shelves have been empty, large gatherings are cancelled, school has been cancelled, and people are fearing even to leave their homes. Even I had begun to catch the panic that has been surrounding our lives everyday for the past week. What am I going to do? What if school gets cancelled for the entire semester? What if? What if? The fear of the unknown was causing my anxiety to build.
But the Lord has been reminding me that as a child of God, I am called to live by faith, not fear. Fear is simply one of the tactics the enemy uses to try and keep us down. It’s no surprise to me that the enemy is using fear of a virus to keep us isolated and throw a wrench into our plans. He wants us to give into fear and panic.
But fear is a lie. A straight up lie from the mouth of the Deceiver. You know what it’s meant to convince you of?
He wants you to doubt God's sovereignty. That He doesn’t care, that He’s not in control. That God isn’t able to protect us from the plague. That He’s not powerful enough to stop a virus. That He doesn’t love us. That God isn’t able to protect His people.
The enemy wants us to distrust God. To doubt Him. Ultimately, to doubt His love for us. But it’s all a lie. We have forgotten how BIG our God is. We have forgotten how God protects those who love Him.
He is the God who parted the Red Sea for His people when they were chased by the Egyptians. The God that protected His people from the ten plagues when they were in Egypt. The same God that walked on water. The same God who caused a virgin to give birth. The same God who healed people with His words. The only God who, from beginning to end, has dwelled in the midst of His people. The same God who stopped the rotation of the earth for a day, the same God who made the walls of Jericho fall. The same God who spoke the universe into being. He is Provider, Healer, Way Maker. That’s just who He is. And He is all these things because He loves us.
If He didn’t love us, He wouldn’t protect us. He wouldn’t have died for us. He wouldn’t have defied time and space to cross the boundaries and make a way for us to be united with Him again. He has promised that if we love Him, that if we dwell with Him, if we strive to follow Him, He will protect us. A good God protects His people, and He has shown Himself faithful to do that time and time again.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you make the Most High your dwelling-- even the LORD, who is my refuge-then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.” -Psalm 91
He protected His people from the twelve plagues of Egypt. When Daniel was in the lion’s den, God sent an angel to close the mouth of the lions so that he would not be eaten. When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into the furnace, ten times hotter than normal, not a hair on them was singed. They walked out of that fiery furnace not even smelling of smoke.
God protects the people who are faithful to Him. If we make God our dwelling place, if we are faithful to Him, and trust that He is able to save us, He will protect us. When we walk closely with God, so closely that we are constantly under His arm, so consistently that the world has to work to pry us away from His presence, that is when we receive His protection. His presence is like a coat of armor. The enemy runs from Believers who wear the presence of God like a robe. His presence is protection. And the enemy can’t help but fear that.
He is able to protect us because He is the Lord. We do not fear, because we know we serve an all-powerful God. It doesn’t matter if someone throws us into a furnace because we know our God is on the throne, and that He in control. We know that He loves us, and that He protects those He loves. Don’t give into the lies of fear. Don’t let panic steal you away from the love of the Father. God is in control, despite how desperate it looks. And He will turn all of it for good.