Why are American Christians afraid of a virus? The answer is sobering.Scrolling through Facebook I happened upon a simple yet interesting post. One of the comments was even more intriguing. “Show me the verse in Scripture that says God heals everything but coronavirus.” A sharp-witted respondent typed: Matthew 13:58.
58 And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief. Matthew 13:58 (ESV)That's the sobering answer I alluded to. Instead of boldly standing in authoritative opposition to a wicked threat, the common reaction of so many of today's American Christians seems to be unbelief. Those who are to be driven by fearless faith are instead shaken by the winds of the world.
AN OFFENSIVE MESSAGE
56 …Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at him…” Matthew 13:56-57 (ESV)A lack of faith most certainly results in a lack of mighty works. Matthew 13 makes that clear. The preceding verse reveals the root of their unbelief: offense. In our current crisis I'm stunned and saddened by the reaction of supposed Christians to the few who are rallying the troops to arise in faith and healing. These cries for the church to confidently confront the spirit of the age and to believe without wavering in the healing power of Jesus are being met with resistance. How can that be? Where did this man get all these things? That's the question being asked by doubters when people of great faith proclaim the Word of God. Just who do you think you are? What type of hocus-pocus are you communicating? Don't you realize how scary this virus is? Your lack of concern is foolish. Your so called faith is dangerous to our nation's health. It's true, we are living in a day when many in the church are quicker to trust in science and medicine than in the Word of God. Facts trump faith in today's secularized society. It would do us well to learn from the test that King Asa failed.
12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but sought help from physicians. 2 Chronicles 16:12 (ESV)The next verse displays very clearly what this strategy of healing results in:
13 And Asa slept with his fathers, dying in the forty-first year of his reign. 2 Chronicles 16:13 (ESV)If we allow fear to drive us, we will have no choice but to defer to the physicians in our search for health and safety. Fear destroys faith. The only way we can approach God for healing or anything else is by faith. Unfortunately, it's obvious that many in the church haven't learned from King Asa. Calls to stand in confident faith are rejected as a nonsensical threat to their safety. What they don't realize is a refusal to believe sets them up as easy targets of the enemy.
A SUPERNATURAL CHURCHIt truly is shocking that many Christians today don't live in the supernatural realm that is so obvious in the Word of God. As Believers, we have access to mind-boggling benefits that few take advantage of. In fact, many fully reject these spiritual realities. They become offended when faith-filled Christians challenge them. “Where did you get all these things” is the question they ask. Where did you get these bizarre beliefs that are contrary to common sense? The Bible. That's the answer to their strange, humanistic question.
17 …“He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.” Matthew 8:17 (ESV)The truth is that the blood of Jesus is sufficient for coronavirus. If we are afraid and default to human wisdom as we fight against it, we will lose. There will be no protection beyond what science can provide. If we live as supernatural people and expect miracles and wonders to surround us, we will thrive no matter what plague may befall us. Healing, authority, power, freedom, joy and absolute victory are all ours as Believers! Fear, worry and defeat cannot stand against mighty, supernatural faith! The church should be sounding a universal proclamation that Jesus heals and that fear can't stand! The world should be amazed and provoked by a joyful, fearless and faith-filled Church. Life for Christians is radically, wildly, supernaturally different than those who haven't surrendered to the Lord. No weapon formed against us can prosper! Instead, so much of the church is nervous, afraid and campaigning for worldly potions, provision and protection.
LIVING IN A NATURAL WORLD
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (ESV)Wash your hands. Wear a mask if called for. Go to the doctor if needed. Do your due diligence. But don't put your faith in such things. Our faith is in the miraculous. It's in the invisible wonders of a loving, omnipotent God. Don't get offended when someone challenges your response to the threat of a virus. Instead, admit your unbelief, repent and determine to live in a realm entirely different than where the world lives. As Christians, we should be experiencing supernatural power and incredible miracles regularly. The authority we have over the enemy is extreme. The promises of God open up a world of wonder to all of us who walk in the mysterious realm of faith. To think we are limited by science and human wisdom is silliness at best and blasphemous at worst. It's time for the supernatural, fearless church to arise!
6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6 (ESV)Originally published by The Stream.
Only two things can eradicate a powerful and strategic spirit of witchcraft that's kneeling on the neck of our nation: Deliverance or judgment.
“One purpose common to all forms of witchcraft is control.” ~Derek Prince, The Seeking of ControlIt shouldn't be surprising that Derek Prince also reveals that the fuel to the power of witchcraft is, in part, sacrifice. Animal sacrifice. Human sacrifice. With that in mind, we should not be at all shocked with the events of today. Human sacrifice in the form of abortion has given power to mighty demonic schemes in our nation. The sacrificial blood of innocents is flowing from sea to shining sea. The church has been given a chance to lead our nation in repentance in this time of testing. Instead, Christians are clamoring for church and life to return to normal. It doesn't seem mass repentance is going to happen in our nation. At least not yet. As people who are expected to understand the spiritual realm, Christians should be clearly discerning what's happening with the upheaval. We should be living, walking and praying in the Spirit, cued in to what wars invisible entities are initiating and what their end game is. Instead, a large percentage of blood-bought people are mostly seeking natural remedies just as those who have no advocate in Jesus. They would probably admit to “trusting God's will” while having no idea what his will is. Their relief doesn't come from knowing the Word of God or standing in their authority. It comes from closely adhering to the advice of media, medicine and magistrates. The obvious retort, especially in secularized, humanistic America, is to accuse me and others like me of overspiritualizing the crisis. After all, natural solutions will work just fine, right? Ridiculous. Don't overspiritulize? I'm dismayed at how underspiritualized COVID-19 and the rest of the 2020 crisis has been. All too often, Christians are mirror images of the world in terms of their response. The truth is that this leviathan will only be defeated in the spirit realm.
WITCHCRAFT IS DRIVING THE ASSAULT IN OUR NATION
There are three ways the desire to control expresses itself: manipulation, intimidation and domination. The goal is domination. ~Derek Prince, The Seeking of ControlIn his excellent article, Derek Prince says, “A main tool of manipulation is guilt.” The enemy will speak into our souls, convincing us that guilt will overwhelm us if we don't respond to his specific directives. The only obvious solution for those who haven't correctly discerned the source of the command is to obey the voice. We are watching manipulation, intimidation and the end goal of domination play out before our eyes every day during the pandemic and social uprising. Groups are intimidating through protests and riots. Politicians and reporters are manipulating their audiences. As Believers, we cannot allow ourselves to be seduced into seeking natural resolutions instead of (or ahead of) spiritual ones. We can attempt to treat the symptoms, but the wicked evil that has been unleashed upon our nation will not be deterred. In my decades of ministry I've had some intense encounters with witchcraft and one of the prime factors when under its influence is the feeling of suffocation. You can't easily breathe. Additionally, fevers, confusion, fear, sickness, hopelessness and other manifestations are common.
GEORGE FLOYDWe all know that George's life tragically came to an end shortly after he uttered the infamous words, “I can't breathe.” He was suffocated.
MASKSThe enemy clearly desires to control the people of our nation. I do believe, spiritually speaking, that the masks are absolutely symbolic of his scheme. As I've shared, key indicators of witchcraft are control and suffocation, and masks are physical manifestations of both. (Keep reading for my opinion on whether we should wear masks or not.)
VENTILATORSThe virus attacks the respiratory system. Suffocation is the goal, and a last gasp (almost literally) effort to save the patient from having the airflow stopped comes in the form of ventilators. They are simply another reminder that witchcraft is behind this deadly assault.
CHURCH CLOSURES/SINGING BANNEDIf you know anything about the strategies of witches you know they target churches. They infiltrate them, pray against them, curse them and do all they can to destroy them. I've had dramatic encounters with witches when leading churches. Threats of death and destruction were hurled at my family, my church and myself. Further, in certain places, the government has mandated singing in church to cease. While people must be physically muzzled with masks, this ventures into the spiritual, muzzling voices of worship to God.
PROTESTSWitchcraft and rebellion to authority go hand-in-hand. While respectful peaceful protests can bring appropriate attention to a matter, riots and violence cross far over the line. Interestingly the “I can't breathe” storyline continues as Mayor Ted Wheeler of Portland confessed yesterday, “It’s hard to breathe, it’s a lot harder to breathe than I thought,” Wheeler told The Washington Post after he was tear-gassed. “This is abhorrent. This is beneath us.”
SOME PROTESTS EXEMPTEDAs outlandish as it sounds, mayors and governors have actually admitted to exempting certain protesters and rioters from mandated masks and social distancing. If the agenda matches theirs, they turn a blind eye. So hateful aggressors can spit and shout as a massive mob, but Christians can't sing? Do you see the enemy winning the narrative as Believers stand down? It's happening. Witchcraft has intimidated, manipulated and controlled and few are rising up in opposition.
FACEBOOK/TWITTER SPEECHAgain we see the suffocating muzzles, this time covering the mouths of people online. Shadow banning, deleted posts and cancelled accounts have become the norm as social media leaders are exerting control. The stranglehold on free speech is tight enough to threaten the very life of one of our nation's most sacred rights.
LOCKDOWNSSuffocating people's livelihoods and forcing people to shelter in place is further evidence of the restrictive, constrictive nature of this year's crisis. This has been an easy sell to a fearful people.
CANCEL CULTUREBe sure to read my article on this topic on The Stream. Manipulation is on display as people curse others who don't measure up, or who have failed at some point in their past.
THE RESOLUTIONWe must understand that our battle is mostly spiritual, not natural. This is a very important point to consider as it will directly impact our response to the crisis. For example, I don't believe the answer is to refuse to wear a mask. Sure, make your voice heard and your arguments clear in whatever setting is most appropriate. Stand opposed to mandated mask laws if that's what you desire. Communicate with your lawmakers. But, at the end of the day, a rejected mask isn't a tool in your spiritual tool belt. I personally wear masks when necessary. It's not a sign of defeat or compromise to wear a mask. My strategy against the spirit of witchcraft in our nation isn't natural. It's spiritual. Further, while it can be argued that lockdowns aren't (or are) necessary in a pandemic, the answer isn't to fight that fight in the natural. Opposing the symptomatic laws and social pressures will not result in victory against a very powerful, intelligent, wicked and invisible enemy. We must fight in the Spirit.
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 (ESV)So, just what is the resolution? I believe we have two choices: Deliverance or judgment. Deliverance of this suffocating, controlling, manipulating, intimidating demonic force on a national level will require mass repentance. I'm talking about full-blown revival from California to New York. This principality must be cast out. If revival and deliverance don't come very quickly, judgment is the next viable option. We can trust God's loving judgment to make wrong things right. His deep love for his people demands he take action when wickedness overtakes the nation. Remember, I firmly believe, at least in part, child sacrifice is to blame for the plague and protests. You can add to that the rampant, deviant sexual sin that has infected so many and blatant rebellion against God (which, as we know, is as the sin of witchcraft). I prefer deliverance over judgment, but if judgment comes, so be it. I trust God to take care of business and to bring justice to a people who have been cursed, manipulated and muzzled.
How could the NFL's decision to play the Black National Anthem at games promote unity?For many Americans and die-hard sports fans, outrage to the NFL's decision to include the Black National Anthem in the pregame ceremonies during week one of the season was immediate. Ted Cruz was among the outraged, calling the decision ‘asinine.'
“How many national anthems do we have?? “Is there an Hispanic national anthem? “An Asian-American national anthem? “This is asinine. We are ONE America. E Pluribus Unum,” he wrote.He isn't wrong. In fact, if we are going to slice and dice our nation into its various subcultures at sporting events, I propose another anthem might make more sense. A song for the millions of slaughtered unborn children should resound in stadiums all over the nation. Or, how about songs of justice for abused children and spouses? Victims of human trafficking? After we finish singing songs to, for and about all of the maligned people groups, and handily created sharp division between them all, many hours later we could finally play some football.
THE DEEP GRIEF OF RACISMIt should be terribly grieving to every American, and certainly to every Christian, when any person is the target of hatred. My family and I live in Branson, Missouri, a stunningly beautiful tourist destination that's filled to overflowing with people of great character, faith, love and old-fashioned morals. Out of any place in the nation we could have chosen to live, we chose Branson, and we'd do it all over again. This is home. I was saddened recently when a small, peaceful protest produced hate speech from one impassioned lady. Her disgusting message has since been blasted over media all around the world. This lady doesn't represent the legacy and culture of this supremely family town. Yet, her squeaky wheel received the attention. She wounded our town. She misrepresented Branson and the amazing pillars of our community. To her credit she did later apologize, but the damage has been done. The point? The feelings, beliefs and actions of one person, or a subset of people, do not, by default, represent the whole. What we have in our nation today is barrels full of grease being shot super-soaker style toward those with the loudest voices. This is no way to defeat racism, division, hatred, inequality or any number of other negatives.
MANIPULATION AND CONTROLProtests, when peaceful, can be fully appropriate. The problem comes when people start carrying a spirit of protest. (Read more about this in my article An Unholy Spirit of Protest is Overtaking our Nation) This spirit of protest is overtaking our nation, manifesting in a diabolical cancel culture that seeks to defame, defund and destroy anybody who doesn't affirm that agenda. The problem is, while people can certainly attack and assault those who don't step in line with their viewpoints, they can't change their hearts. Manipulating people into buying into agendas and attempting to control the narrative will never produce good fruit. I've heard it said that the horrible killing of George Floyd was initially resulting in at least a measure of solidarity and empathy between the races. Then the riots hit. People aggressively attempted to force the nation to grease their wheels. The result? Greater hatred, division and years of progress toward racial reconciliation lost. Just as a Christian can't force an unbeliever to understand the love and power of Jesus, we can't force or manipulate others to buy in at a heart level to what is important to us. It's impossible.
SHOULD WE TAKE A KNEE DURING THE BLACK NATIONAL ANTHEM? METAPHORICALLY, YESThis is where the twist in the article comes. I agree with Ted Cruz that playing the Black National Anthem may very well end up creating more division. It's possibly presumptive as it grabs attention away from other worthy societal ills. Many Americans are very probably going to become more stubborn in their positions as a result. However, I'd like to propose something that many seem to be missing. The Black National Anthem is, at least in part, a cry, a prayer to God. It's a heart-wrenching plea for the Almighty to guide them and for them to stay true. First, a little history on the song, “Lift Every Voice and Sing”:
Created by James Weldon Johnson, it was performed for the first time by 500 school children in celebration of President Lincoln's Birthday on February 12, 1900 in Jacksonville, FL. The poem was set to music by Johnson's brother, John Rosamond Johnson, and soon adopted by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as its official song.And now, the lyrics from the end of the song:
God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, Thou who has brought us thus far on the way; Thou who has by Thy might Led us into the light, Keep us forever in the path, we pray. Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee, Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee; Shadowed beneath Thy hand, May we forever stand. True to our God, True to our native land.It's a prayer. So, while on a political and cultural level, the playing of this Anthem may prove to be a colossal misstep, I believe we all can embrace the cry to God that will be sung by millions during week one of the 2020 NFL season. Should we take a knee when the Black National Anthem is sung? I don't believe so. We should stand with the wounded Black community. By doing so we are, in effect, kneeling in prayer for them, for us and for our nation. Originally published by The Stream.