The Leaf

My wife and I went shopping.  We were “greeted” with signs declaring… stay 6 feet away from other peopleif you’re sick, don’t enter our store.  The store provides natural medical supplements and food.  If one is sick or hungry, maybe they can get someone medically up to par to pickup supplies.  But, what if they can’t?  Are they out of luck?

(Why 6, and, not 5… 7… 8 feet apart?  Three people “social distancing” equals… ?  Just a thought, maybe no significance… but, I think it can show the reliance is upon man’s wisdom… not, the Wisdom of God.)

In our state, the baby killer (abortion), marijuana, and pet supply businesses are still open while the clothing stores, furniture stores, and banks are shut down (Conducting our finances is not essential?).  Does the type of product or service dictate the degree of threat of exposure to viruses?  Is murder, mind altering drugs, and pets more important than clothing, shelter, and finances for people?

Is not… keeping you safe… the government’s stated mantra parroted by the news media?  In some areas, prohibiting the sale of firearms while releasing criminals or forgoing the penalty for theft defies this logic, doesn’t it?

How about the assembly to practice one’s faith i.e. church?  Is it lumped with “non-essential”, a business, a sport, or leisure activity?  Really, is going to church nothing more than this?  Maybe this is the world’s view… because many in the church are increasingly embracing the world’s view.

Is going to the doctor, the grocery store, or the mechanic of greater importance that meeting to build one’s faith by worshiping and petitioning God?  Is not the God of Israel all-powerful, sovereign, who has the only power to turn a disease, or more important… save a soul?  What’s more important… the grocery store or the assembly of the Saints… the charitable handout or the Gospel of the Kingdom of God… freedom from physical (including medical) maladies or freedom from the power of sin?

Water, food, and other necessities are important.  No one likes to suffer hunger and thirst—it’s a real threat to our body, we feel it.  But, there’s also a threat to our soul (sin) that has lasting consequences.  Isn’t the assembly of the Saints involved in addressing this?

John 6 26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. 27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

Matthew 10 28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Yes, I understand the concern for those at risk.  But, are they not also created in the image of God with a mind to determine what they need to find strength in the hardship?  Does Christian worship and fellowship provide this, or not?  As Christians, what will be our testimony during this time?  Do we offer something not only valid, but exclusive, that’s not lumped with “non-essential”, “not Life bearing”?

Do we hear something somewhat similar to the following with our discussion, as Christians, among ourselves, with civil authorities, and other non-believers in response to current mandates?

Mr. President, Mr. Governor, Mr. Mayor, Mr. Leader of Country xyz, with all due respect… we, as Christians, believe the God we worship and serve is all-powerful and He is the only True God.  He has the only power to turn away calamity from us.

We believe worship and prayer, individually, and collectively in a gathering that what we know as the Church, honors God and petitions to Him.  We believe we have the Holy Spirit who brings us before the Throne of the Father God, in Heaven… where Jesus Christ intercedes for us as our High Priest.  What troubles our heart, we can share with Him… calling out for His grace and compassion upon us.  If we’ve sinned, we can cry out to Him… Lord forgive us!  In our trouble and pain, we can cry out… Lord save us!

In His Wisdom, God may not give us the answer we immediately want in regards to our suffering, but, we have the assurance He hears us if we’re faithful to Him.  The answer He does give is the best for us, for our own good, if we’re truly seeking Him.

Mr. Leader, we also pray for our leaders and our country… and, those that hurt us.

Mr. Leader, do you really want “shut down” all of this for yourself, and all the people you’re responsible for?

Mr. Leader, we don’t believe we’re a non-essential business, a sport, or a leisure activity.  We believe we’re essential for quality of life (a free society) and revealing Life Eternal… to share that Jesus Christ died for us to forgive our sins.  If we reject Him, the current situation will seem like a pleasure-walk compared to the eternal torment in the Lake of Fire.

Will some say something to this effect as… testimony when brought before leaders?  Is this part of… sharing the Gospel of the Kingdom of God unto all nations?

I’m going to get off this about… the assembly of the Saints.  These are the thoughts I’ve been thinking about for the last few days.  You may have different ones, as the Holy Spirit leads.  I don’t want to cause strife.

[If what I said, in regard to Mr. Leader, is causing some discord, it was not, and is not, my intention.  I’ve added an addendum (click to access) to explain better.]

Leaving the store, I had some thoughts after experiencing looks of suspicion… stay away from me… I need to avoid you, etc.  The scary part… I was starting to react the same way.  I was becoming conditioned by words and behaviors around me.  God did create us to be in a relationship with Him, His Family, our natural family, a community, and a nation.  We’re designed for “social contact” and “contract” (The New Covenant and the Covenant of Marriage).

I wondered…

Is “social distancing” conditioning the heart for… because of iniquity , the love of many will grow cold (Matthew 24:11-13)?  What do I mean?  Male and female created in the image of God… have the need for relationship, or fellowship, with other people… the human touch.  Some prayer is associated with “social contact”… i.e. laying-on of hands.  I believe there have been studies that show babies that are not held and coddled with words of comfort and love, either suffer medical problems or die.  As humans, we need human contact to not become “dehumanized”.  Isolated, we become callous and cold.  We’re reduced to “just a number”.

[Seems, replacing humans with dogs and cats for main-companionship warps a person. They become the un-relatable seclusionist “cat lady”.  She can be a little weird, much like extreme preppers and cultists that don’t want to be in the world.  No, I’m not talking about being of the world.

I just want to love my dog because humans hurt me.  Well yes, we all sin falling short of our and other’s expectations… and mainly, God’s.  We need the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior to cleanse us from sin and give us the power to overcome our inclination to sin.]

In the early morning of the next day after shopping, I kept rolling around in my heart… to save your life, you’ll lose it.  I know it’s in context of following Christ and for the sake of the Gospel (Matthew 10:34-39).

However…

I was thinking about the founding fathers of America.  Did they quake, like shaking leaves, with fear, so much so, that they would have ultimately said… I will not risk losing my life, my family, my home, and my business to fight for freedom from the tyranny from BritainJust forget about the freedom to worship God… I’m not leaving the safety and security of England.  Yes, they didn’t run out into the streets with guns blazing with no military strategy.  Because they risked much, and many experienced hardship and loss, I’m able to write this and you’re able to read it.

I also thought about my father-in-law (who I never met) that my wife said was involved in helping the Jews in the concentration camps when WWII ended.  His wife told my wife and her siblings, he wouldn’t talk about the horrors he witnessed with his children.  If these brave men would have “shaken like a leaf in the wind” with fear of danger, threat to their own lives, and the hardship they faced without knowing if victory was assured, I may not be writing this and you may not be reading it.  God did use these men to preserve many of His people, the Jews.  Again, they submitted to military strategy and planning—they exercised wisdom.  But, they moved with courage.

With the current… there’s no immunity, it’s highly contagious… I don’t doubt this.  It’s a real threat.  So was Hitler.  Those engaged, had no absolute assurance about stopping this evil mad man.  They didn’t hunker down to stay safe in their homes.  The able-bodied left safety and security to fight for their freedom, and that of others.  Did people lose their lives? Yes… 75 to 85 million lives were lost.

My paternal granddad came from Greece as a teenager around 1917.  The Spanish flu hit in 1918.  I can’t image… a young immigrant struggling to get traction to develop a life would’ve been “locked down”.  I probably would not be writing this if he did.  Maybe that’s why…

To maintain morale, World War I censors minimized early reports of illness and mortality in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States (Wikipedi).

Then, they wanted to maintain, if not boost, morale.  Today, they want to incite unbridled fear, the fear of man, not the fear of God.

It’s real easy (for me) to justify fear as… prudence.  I say this, knowing my decisions are going to become more complex and difficult.

Will I accept the vaccine(s), trust the “cure”, that comes from the government and medical establishments that also support… death—those that not only defend, but gleefully promote, the murder of babies (abortion) and the destruction of souls (transgenderism and homosexuality)?  Practices that support the destruction of the New Covenant… the Promises to Abraham (The marriage of… Male and female created in the image of God… be fruitful and multiply… Genesis 1:27-29; 22:15-18; Ezekiel 37:25-27), which they’ll never ultimately get away with.

Will I justify a decision in the name of love, the concern for the medical protection of other people?  To keep pain away from them, my loved ones, and me, at all costs?  Will it be at the sacrifice of the lives and souls of the helpless… the children… the future generations?  Why?  Because, I refused to give a voice of defense for by not calling out the wicked practices, when my life, or freedoms as I’ve known them, are on the line.  Ultimately, what’s more important, the saving of a physical life or a soul… supporting and defending male and female created in the image of God?  What is God’s view?

Revelation12 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Am I going too far with this, or is there legitimacy to it?  Is it prudence or fear?  Could I lose my physical life with some decisions I make… but will my heart, mind, and soul be spared?  Will the fear of man, or the fear of God, win out?  Yes, it’s crucial to be operating from the fear of God, and not the welling-up of pride, which leads to vengeance.

[I wrote about submitting to captivity in the study, “Willing”.  Right now, I’m grappling to understand clearer some of what I wrote.  At the time, I wasn’t challenged with the “edicts” that have surfaced in my country, America.

Judah, in captivity in Babylon, weren’t just to “hunker down for safety’s sake”.  They were to trust in the Lord while farming, building houses, getting married, having children, praying for peace—developing a life where they were placed.  They were to be a blessing to others, which included producing products and services, not having “their hands tied and business shut down” (Jeremiah 29:4-7).

We’re called to work and provide service to others (Colossians 3:17-24; 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12; Ephesians 4:28).  This is also part of… loving one another.  I understand the captivity as yielding to the Lord… giving up one’s life to Him where we’re at (2 Timothy 2:3-4; 1 Corinthians 7:19-24).

As for a quarantine…

There was provision in God’s Law for quarantine with a disease for Israel.  However, I haven’t seen where, in most cases, all of Israel was to be locked down.  The able-bodied, non-diseased, were to work and produce for their society.  How about the High Priest and Levites serving in the Temple?  Did they stop if someone contracted leprosy?  Did everyone quit keeping the Sabbath?]

Will my decisions and actions be a testimony of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, which stands for life—life that comes through the natural marriage of male and female… Life that comes through the spiritual marriage, being born of the Holy Spirit, between the Groom, Jesus Christ, and His Bride, the Church?

Many seem to tremble (and want everyone to tremble) at a disease, but react flippantly when rebuked for the sins of abortion, homosexuality, transgenderism, immorality, and idolatry.  They take the disease seriously, but make “sport” of the Only Way, Jesus Christ’s shed blood at the Cross, to Eternal Life.  They obsess with washing hands, but seem to take lightly the washing of their sins, through the atonement sacrifice of Jesus Christ, to have their heart, mind, and soul cleansed of dead works so they can serve the Living God (Hebrews 9:14-15;10:16-22).  They’re worried about natural viruses, but give little, or no, thought to spiritual viruses (sin), with latter being eternally deadly.

Is this approach wisdom (Proverbs 9:9-11)?  Do I listen to them with… complete trust?

What a thought… that we’d flip.  That the Gospel of the Kingdom of God would be discussed to the degree viruses are today… and viruses would be talked about as much as the Kingdom of God is discussed today.  It would be a different world.  And, it will be in the age-to-come when Christ Jesus, the Lord of lords, the King of kings returns to setup His Kingdom as the only rule-and-reign of the land (Isaiah 11).

These are some of the questions I ask myself.  I may not clearly see the definite answers now, but I hope I will when faced with the decision.  For now, I can let my heart be prepared by the Holy Spirit for when the time arrives, to be able to make the right call.  It’s called… letting God develop faith in Christ in me so I’ll be anchored when the storm winds howl—to be conformed to the image of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.  That, I’ll not shake like a leaf with fear.

Last… I’m glad Jesus didn’t yield to the prudence of His flesh, but instead, He listened to the Spirit of the fear of the Lord.

Matthew 26 39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.               41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak [Isaiah 11:1-5].42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.

And, as Saints, we’re His followers, His disciples.


Update: 4620… Mr. Leader commentary intro; addendum added.