Red means STOP! That is what we learned from childhood. When you get to a stop light, there are really two options: wait for it to turn green (with patience), or turn right. During this time of Code Red in Manitoba, we are told ‘Stop meeting and stay home to protect others!’ Again, we have two options: wait patiently at home for the government to allow us to meet, or turn right (look for options to keep ministering). The devil loves to put obstacles in our way to stop us from serving God and encouraging each other, but we don’t need to be stopped by the red lights that the devil keeps putting in front of us. There are options; we can turn right on a red.
Right Direction: When I say, ‘turn right on red,’ I am not referring to your ‘rights’ according to the Charter. This is like turning left at a red light; you will get t-boned by an oncoming vehicle. Control is the wrong direction: controlling your circumstances, or controlling other people’s behaviour is only going to get you in trouble. Way too often North Americans get caught up with our rights and freedoms, forgetting about our responsibilities. I covered that topic before, so I won’t dwell on it again, but we must be reminded of where our focus should be: on Christ, not on our selfish desires. The Christian life is about serving others, not serving ourselves; it is about ministering for Christ, not about maintaining our rights. If you are focussed on where we draw the line, then you are not focussed on the gospel. Sharing God with others is our primary directive, not maintaining traditions. For sure, we like to meet together on Sunday mornings to sing songs, pray, and hear God’s Word, but let me ask you a few questions: Why is this so important to you? How can we learn from God if Sunday morning services are not allowed? Can we accomplish what God has called us to do in different ways? The answer to that last question is a resounding YES! We need to turn right on red.
So, what are our options?
Right Attitude: It depends on what you think are the priorities. Like I have said previously, Christians are primarily to be sharing the love of God with the world, and building each other up to accomplish this mission. Remember Hebrews 12:1-2? In order to run the race of life, we start by getting rid of the hinderances. Some things in life we cannot control, but the one thing we can control is our attitude towards the things we cannot control. Our attitude towards circumstances and people is often the biggest testimony that they see in us. Are they seeing Christ, or are they seeing you? When they see how you respond to life, can they tell that you are a follower of Christ, or do you look more like the world?
Right Options: Accomplishing the will of God is easy to do when you rely on the power of God, keep in communication with God, and realize that there are many methods of doing it. We are to share the gospel. This does not mean we need to confront all people face to face with their sin and challenge them to accept the free gift of salvation given to us by Jesus Christ (some people need this, but not all). We can share the gospel by our life, guiding discussions to godly principles, encouraging people to look for the hope that God wants to give in life’s challenges. We need to meet together with other believers to encourage, exhort, and build up. Sunday morning services is our traditional method of doing this, but when that is stopped, what else can we do? There are many other ways we can do this: phone each other, skype others, go visit people (small groups are allowed) in safe ways, briefly encourage others when you encounter them at the stores, participate in online options. With online church, we often think it is one sided as it is a video, but you forget that there is opportunity to comment below. Participate by praying. Participate by commenting what God is teaching you. Participate by asking the pastor how you can be involved in the online services. There are options.
Red may mean STOP, but we can always turn right on a red. God always provides ways for us to accomplish His will. So, what are you going to do about it? Let us put away complaining and be thankful. Let us put away the political talk and bring hope. Let us put away the fear by bringing joy and peace.