Since we know that our battle is against Satan and his forces, and that the COVID virus seems to be an attack, or at least precipitating an attack, on the church, the big question is “How does God want us to fight back?” I believe the Bible is clear on what we should and should not do.
We badly need to spend more time praying for our own spiritual journey. How much time have you spent in prayer this week? Today? Prayer and the Word of God are the two weapons God has given us to fight the spiritual battle against the devil and his forces. Equip yourselves correctly!!! Do not neglect the weapons needed to properly fight. Also, do not just pray for your needs, quickly, then go on with doing life your way. We must spend time in Christ-like prayer: praising God for who He is, thanking God for what He has done, asking God to provide for your needs and the needs of others, confessing to God the sins in your life, seeking God’s will and God’s kingdom.
Colossians 1:9-12 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
Do Not: Protest
Our protest and our fight are not against humans, or even the government, but against the devil. Therefore, our focus and prayers must be directed at God, and our offense must be directed against the devil. Protesting against people and governments is the opposite of the submission we have been called to. When we are focussed on God and prayer, then we are not too concerned about what the government does or what others think. Our influence on society is supposed to be positive and starts with individuals.
Romans 13:1-7 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
We must not let our faith become stagnant! Never become satisfied with where you are at in your faith, nor should you think that all is good. As you spend time in God’s Word and in prayer, you grow in your understanding of your sinfulness. You also learn the process (sanctification) by which the Spirit of God in you changes you to make you more like Christ. Your growth in faith and maturity never stops, even in eternity!
2 Peter 1:5-9 Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
Do Not: Ignore the Problems
As you grow in your faith, God will reveal to you the problems that you need to deal with, people you need to forgive, and events that you need to leave in the past. We have often heard the phrase “Leave the past in your behind.” This is true, but only if we have dealt with it! Sweeping problems under the rug, pretending that they didn’t happen, makes matters worse. If someone has offended you, forgive. If you have wrong another, repent and seek forgiveness. If you have wronged God, receive His forgiveness. Doing all this will help, but keep in mind that the devil will attack you and accuse you. Thankfully, if you have been forgiven, you can remind the devil of that and send him running with his false accusations.
Ephesians 4:29-32 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Do: Battle for Souls
We fight not against flesh and blood, but against the one who would steal your soul! You fight for your own soul, and the souls of others, not for rights according to governmental constitutions (which change). Remember the Christians who live in other countries and do not have the rights that you have enjoyed. Those circumstances of persecution and oppression may be coming. Again, we must remember that people are not the enemy; Satan is, and he is battling for your soul. The fight we have, no matter where we live, is for souls. Pray hard, know your scripture, and live in such a way that people are attracted to Christ.
1 Peter 5:8-11 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Do Not: Battle the government
We may think that the rules are not moral, or that the government is overstepping their authority, and you may be right, but God has called us to submit to the government and seek to live in peace.
1 Peter 2:13-17 Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
So ... attack! But make sure you are attacking the right enemy, and using God’s methods.