Let’s NOT Go Back to “Normal”

 

I know many of you are wishing for, longing for, even praying for things to get back to “normal.”

 

I am praying they do not.

 

As a dear pastor friend pointed out recently, our version of “normal” is not at all what God considers normal.

 

We pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

 

That’s God’s “normal.” The way things are done in His heaven, before His throne, are what He designed to be our normal. 

 

But we chose a different path.

 

We have not been doing things on earth as they are done in heaven. Not even close.

 

And, in my opinion, I think it looks to God like we’re not even trying to do things His way. 

 

I just listened to Alistair Begg preach on Kinship Christian Radio about Jonah being sent to Nineveh to tell them to repent. Now, as you know, Jonah resisted God’s command and ended up on a beach smelling like fish vomit which convinced him that he very well should indeed go and tell the people of Nineveh –who worshiped the fish-god Dagon– that they should repent immediately. 

 

God knew exactly what He was doing with Jonah. He knew Jonah would resist Him. He knew he’d be thrown into the sea and He sent that fish to swallow Jonah and He commanded that fish to spit him out on the beach.

 

And He knew Nineveh would repent. 

 

What that means is that Nineveh’s “normal” changed.

 

Nineveh was never again “normal.”

 

I have been praying for awakening, repentance, and revival in this nation and in the world for some years now. And, in the midst of those prayers, I have known that for such a thing to occur, there very well could be pain and suffering and anguish. People do not change their “normal” when they are comfortable and safe — no matter how abnormal it is in God’s eyes.

 

So, yes, I hope that as society begins to open back up and we are allowed to intermingle (as is necessary for society to survive) I hope we never again take gathering together for worship for granted. I hope we appreciate and value our fellowship, our collective praise, our sharing of the Lord’s Supper, as something we do all the time without thinking about it or appreciating what a wonderful, glorious, marvelous privilege it is to hear your brother or sister in Christ singing praises to God right next to you, or sharing the right hand of fellowship, or having face-to-face relationships with members of the body of Christ right there in that place we have come to call “sanctuary.”

 

I hope we never forget that, even though each of us may have a home church, the Church Universal exists in our souls and all who believe in Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior are of that one Church, forever joined together as true kin, true family whether we reside in Winnebago, Washington, or Wuhan.

 

I hope we never again rush out of church, or skip church entirely, to watch or participate in an event which we have elevated to the point of idolatry. 

 

I hope we never again consider what is put before us as “entertainment” as having no influence on our relationship with our God.

 

I hope we carefully consider and appreciate what it takes for others to provide a meal for us in public place, and what it means for the human race to be able to sit together and share a meal and a relationship with another human being in that public place.

 

I hope we never again take for granted what is put into the hearts and minds of our children as they are taught to be mature, responsible citizens of our towns, our states, and our nation. 

 

I hope we never again take for granted the freedoms God granted us out of His limitless grace when He allowed this country to be formed and governed by the people of the country, in relationship with one another, rather than be ruled and subjugated by petty tyrants and dictators.

 

I hope we understand and never forget that each and every one of us are essential to the survival and well-being of each other — in the creation, manufacture, preparation, delivery, protection, and provision of every good and service we need and enjoy for a full and productive life. 

 

I hope we have learned to appreciate and love each other as children of God, adopted into His own family, heirs to eternal life, restored to a healthy relationship with Him through the blood of Jesus Christ. 

 

I hope we will have learned to disagree with one another in a civil, responsible, mature, and loving manner with the underlying truth in mind that other people are not our enemies, but the real enemy is he who came to steal, kill, and destroy our relationships with others and with our God. 

 

I hope we are haunted by the Holy Spirit for the lost souls of this world. I hope that, having been prevented from traveling the world to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and baptize in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, we burn with an unquenchable fire to fulfill that Great Commission. I hope that, having been sequestered in our homes, we cannot wait to get out and preach the Gospel and be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to every friend and neighbor and down-trodden and widowed and orphaned soul the Holy Spirit puts in our path whether he or she be next door or thousands of miles away.

 

And I hope that, whatever happens, the Church will never again relapse into the groggy, sedated, lukewarm mush that forsakes the love of Jesus Christ for the sake of what flawed and fallible humanity has come to call “normal.”

 

God’s “normal” is eternal. 

Today’s Praise

Jonah’s Anger at the LORD’s Mercy

This change of plans greatly upset Jonah, and he became very angry. So he complained to the LORD about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, LORD? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people.  Jonah 4:1&2 (NLT)

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *