Spiritual Distancing?

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Painting by Greg Olsen

Spiritual Distancing?

The world is shut down to save us from a terrible disease. and we are told to distance ourselves from each other. Some may even distance themselves from God believing it is His fault. I do not believe that God has caused this covid-19 virus to harm others or to punish sin. Yet, it is interesting to think about the following that is circulating the internet:

“In three short months, just like He did with the plagues of Egypt, God has taken away everything we worship.

God said, “you want to worship athletes, I will shut down the stadiums. You want to worship musicians; I will shut down Civic Centers. You want to worship actors; I will shut down theaters. You want to worship money; I will shut down the economy and collapse the stock market. You don’t want to go to church and worship Me, I will make it where you can’t go to church”

Maybe we don’t need a vaccine, maybe we need to take this time of isolation from the distractions of the world and have a personal revival where we focus on the ONLY thing in the world that really matters. Jesus.”

It it God’s punishment? It is easy to say that when bad happens the reason is a punishment for sin. There have been those in Jesus’ day who said ALL illness was due to sin. Is that true? No. (otherwise, I would be sick every day.)

There are those who believe in a judging God who is out to bonk us on the head. Some have rejected that kind of a God and don’t believe in God at all. Is that true? No. I believe God’s judgement for sin is eternal death. And I believe that Jesus took that judgement on the cross so that instead we can have eternal life. Yes, there are natural consequences for sinful acts. But not all bad comes from God.

Many believe in a Quid pro Quo God. If I do this, then God must do that. If I tithe, pray, attend church, etc. then God will bless. Is that true? Sometimes I have done all of that and not received expected blessings. Sometimes I didn’t do anything and was blessed anyway. (God even blesses those who are not Christians.) Our relationship is not having Him bow to our every demand because we DID something.

There are those who see God as a Santa Claus where if they sit on his lap and tell them what they want, they will get it. Is that true? However, many times, my prayers have gone unanswered.

God is so much more than those incorrect ideas.

The statement going around says that we should “focus on Jesus.” He is the exact representation of God after all. But most Christians don’t really know what focusing on Jesus means. For me, it is NOT seeking his blessings by the things I do, but in having a close intimate relationship with Him.

The Apostle Paul said he wanted to “Know Jesus.” I too want to know Him. I want to spend time with Him. Talk with Him. Listen to Him. Become friends with Him. Enjoy Him. You see, I believe God doesn’t want us to blame Him, or seek reasons for our troubles, He wants us to walk with His Son in those troubles.

Paul said he had learned to be content no matter what the situation was. How could he do that? What did he learn? He learned Jesus.

Don’t live your life to seek blessings or comfort or removal from pain and trauma because those things are never guaranteed. But seek Jesus and “focus on Him.”

What does God want in this time of difficulty? To make us negotiate for blessings, to hurt us for our sin, or to withhold blessing? No, He wants us to know His son. That is what it means to me to “focus on Jesus.”

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