Cheryl is a licensed, ordained minister and has a BA in Psychology and Church ministry. She spent 12 years attending Word of Faith churches.
Do you know?
Psalms 46:10 in King James English: "Be still and know that I am God. Christian preachers give two applications for the interpretation of this verse. 1. It means to actually sit still, perhaps in your secret closet, or in a service where the anointing is strong and enjoy His presence and allow Him to speak to you. 2. Stop striving and fighting and trying to do so much, just stop. One or the other or both could be applied to our current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic. Our heavenly Father did not create this virus but He has allowed it to run rampant throughout the entire world. He did not send it to teach us a lesson but we can learn much if we just stop and pay attention. Too often believers miss important issues because they have been trained to not address what they consider to be negative. A lot of things that we have been trained to believe and even teach to others are being unraveled right before our eyes. When we cease striving we can know Him in a more intimate way and have better understanding of where He is in a situation.`
Titles don't bring protection
Within the circles of the Christian church that I have traveled, there is a huge emphasis on the title of Bishop. It is wrongly assumed that every pastor who becomes a Bishop has been elevated by the Lord and has increased in His anointing. Since the pandemic began, the news has been reporting the deaths of numerous preachers who contracted the disease. Many of them have been Bishops. With all due respect to grieving families, some of these men basically put their foot in their mouths and the Lord did not back up their confession. One Virginia pastor/Bishop refused to stop holding church services and said that God was bigger than coronavirus, which is true. He then added that he was a pastor and was essential. I posted on my Facebook page that obviously this man was not essential because he died of the very virus he mocked. In addition, four members of his family are now infected with COVID-19. This is very sad and my prayers are with all those dealing with sickness and death, but: Stating you are essential because you are a pastor is an arrogant statement.
There are many Bishop's and pastors in the grave who made similar statements. They teach their members to adore their titles and imply that they have greater power of the Lord because of it.In the midst of this regular folk such as a 103-year-old woman beat this dreaded illness because of simple faith. I have prophetic friends who say the Lord is dealing with preachers because the focus has shifted from Christ to men with titles. This brings anger from those who are caught up in honoring the vessels that He uses. I have encountered many pastors who have charged at me like a pit bull and accused me of pastor bashing. In truth what I and others are doing is lifting up Jesus and interceding that His full wrath will not come upon the crooked preachers and their followers. It is time to stop glorifying titles and respect the anointing of the Lord on whomever He bestows it. The body of Christ needs to stop worshipping men with titles. Consider Psalms 46:10 in the Common English Bible: "That’s enough! Now know that I am God!
I am exalted among all nations; I am exalted throughout the world!”
There is no curse for not tithing and attending church service
Those who have been told that church attendance and a connection to a spiritual leader provide protection should now see that this is not correct. This is the third week or no Sunday or midweek services. People have lost jobs and are waiting on unemployment or the stimulus payment. They are going to food banks and not everyone is able to give their tithes at this point. In certain denominations, it is taught that if you do not tithe you are cursed. Believers in Christ are seeing that they did not drop off the face of the earth because they could not go to church and give money. Going to church and contributing financially should be done joyfully from the heart because it is what you have chosen to do. If many were honest they would acknowledge they are afraid of God's wrath if they don't tithe and attend Sunday services.
Christian in many congregations have Malachi chapter 3;8-10 enforced and have believed for special financial favor because they give 10 percent. I wonder how many tithers were among those who contracted coronavirus, succumbed to it and or lost a job. If what is being taught about tithing is true, then everyone who tithes should be giving testimonies of the Lord sustaining them during this difficult time. Many extremes that have been taught are being exposed but the people cannot learn the lesson because the wolves in sheep clothing continue to change the narrative.
Everybody is not going to be alright
In order to try to hold on to church members and keep the money flowing, some preachers are now saying that everyone is going to come out of this on top and or receive double blessings. That's a lie. There does not appear to be an end in sight to this pandemic and sadly more people will contract it and some of them will die. There are companies that will not recover and Christians who will suffer financially. CNN has had popular preachers like Rick Warren on their show giving words of encouragement. I saw a commercial with Joel Osteen promising that better days are ahead. Only God knows the future and as we get closer to the end of time, based on the Bible some things will get worse. There are some people whose lives have not been adversely affected right now, there are others who will come out on tip, but to promise that to everyone who is listening is wrong.
Stop-Look and listen
The Easy to read Bible version puts Psalms 46:10 this way. God says, “Stop fighting and know that I am God!
I am the one who defeats the nations;
I am the one who controls the world.”
The R&B group The Stylistics had a hit single in the 1970's titled Stop Look and Listen. Too many believers are not able to do this and therefore are unable to be still, and know He is God. These individuals are so caught up in church rhetoric that they are missing the Forrest(what the Lord is saying) for the trees, (their routine). There has been no specific date given for when businesses can reopen yet my Facebook Newsfeed is being flooded with notices of conferences, concerts and other events scheduled for late spring and early summer. Instead of waiting it out, it seems many are determined to have their own way. I believe this is partly because of ministries that teach that everything is the devil and we must fight our adversary and not allow him to stop us from doing the work of the Lord. I have to wonder how many pastors are doing Facebook live videos because they refuse to be stopped, more so than they are desiring to keep His word flowing? How many, if they honestly examined themselves simply want to stay in front of the people's faces so they won't lose members and their donations? Look at the number of churches that have refused to close and the members ended up with coronavirus. Determine today that you will allow this broken system time to heal, just as you would a broken leg. Stop-be still, quit kicking against the pricks. (Acts 24:16). Forget your personal agenda and Know He is God. Look and Listen and He might just amaze you.
You will do fine now
New York City had a hit in the 1970s titled "I'm doing fine now." Take a moment to stop and process that you are doing fine. You have not been able to do all the things that you have been told please Him and you have made it thus far. Keep your faith strong that you will be one of those who do not get the virus and trust Him with everything you do. Daniel was protected in the lion's den and the three Hebrew boys came through the firey furnace living in a foreign land, unable to serve Him as they had in Jerusalem. He can protect us wherever we are when our hearts are right before Him and we strive to please Him and not man.
© 2020 Cheryl E Preston
OLUSEGUN from NIGERIA on April 23, 2020:
Hos 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on April 20, 2020:
I don't know that I have ever had this problem but I will pay more attention to slowing down and listening. thanks