There is a harvest of righteousness that is waiting for the children of God, who are standing firm on the promises of the Father, in the midst of the ongoing spiritual pruning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The believers in Christ like these do know for certain, that God will do exactly what He says He will do for them. God’s blessing awaits them as they set their faces steadfastly, on His promises from the Holy scriptures (James 1:12).
A reflection of who they are in Christ Jesus shines through their faces, to transform them into that image of Christ. As the world around them is struggling to get out of the situation within it, they are experiencing a pruning transformation in their personal lives, from the glory of Jesus that’s within them.
Being transformed in this way calls for the disciplining of the spirit, soul and body. And without the willingness of the heart to be disciplined, this type of transformation is unattainable.
“Now all discipline seems to be more pain than pleasure at the time, yet later it will produce a transformation of character, bringing a harvest of righteousness and peace to those who yield to it.”
Hebrews 12:11 TPT
The character of Christ needs to be developed in every child of God. That’s what the trials, troubles and the discipline of the Lord are meant to produce in our lives as His children. God disciplines every child that He loves. That’s how the true children of God will recognize that they are not bastards, but that they are the legitimate children of their loving Heavenly Father. God’s eyes are never off His children in the midst of troubles and trials. He sees them and carries them throughout all the stages in the process. And the COVID-19 pruning experience is not an exception.
Christian discipline will position and establish you very well in experiencing the love of God in a unique way. The Father’s love towards His children who are being disciplined by Him, cannot be measured by any standard of this world. It’s unparalleled, unfathomable and unmeasurable. It’s His lovingkindness (Chesed in Hebrew) that opens the floodgates of Heaven into their lives.
The spiritual toxicity of being conformed to the world’s system
The process of transformation can be brutal; but the end result is always glorious. At the end of it you will come to realize that it’s worthwhile to have gone through it to the end.
It’s like the experience of a pregnant woman who’s in labor pain. She travails in pain for the delivery of her baby. The child birth pangs may be though for her to bear; but as soon as she hears the cry of her baby, and she’s able to hold her baby; she forgets about the pain that she went through. The joy of hearing the cry, seeing and holding her baby overrules the agony and suffering of giving birth.
God disciplines His children, because He wants to give birth to great things in their lives. That’s why the process is worth it. Godly discipline will transform anyone who will yield wholeheartedly to it. Those who are resisting the discipline of the Lord, will end up suffering like the ungodly people of the world.
The Bible advised us to:
“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.”
Hebrews 12:7-8 NIV
Those who are rejecting the discipline of the Lord will suffer the rejection of a loving Father, who desires to shower His love over them. There are a lot of Christians today who are suffering in this way like the ungodly. You may barely be able to recognize the difference between them and the ungodly.
They are saved, but because of their own choice to reject God’s discipline, it’s difficult to separate them from the people of the world. They live like the world, talk like the world; but will still show up in the assemblies of the righteous. Don’t be fooled by them. They had chosen deliberately to live with the consequences of their own disobedience, instead of the blessing which follows every act of obedience to God.
They have forgotten that our Father in Heaven can’t bless stupidity (Proverbs 12:1). You can’t be living contrary to God’s word and the conditions to His promises, and still expect Him to bless you. It’s impossible to be declaring God’s promises about the blessing everyday, whereas in reality you are not living by the standard of the condition that goes with those promises.
This is why many are never growing up into spiritual maturity within the Body of Christ today. They are setting up their own standards of godliness, without regards to what the Bible says about such standards. They are setting up their own personal standards to fit into the system of their world, instead of applying God’s standard from His word to transform the world.
In the stupidity of their hearts they are thinking that, by lowering God’s standards they will be able to reach out more effectively to the unsaved, so as to transform their world.
Unfortunately for them it has never worked out. Neither will it ever work, because God’s way of doing the work of His Kingdom will always trump man’s way.
On the contrary they have brought the spirit of entertainment into the Body of Christ from the world’s system. A spirit that had watered down the gospel of Jesus Christ, to the level of the world’s system. They are the ones who are depriving many of the power of God to save, heal and deliver.
Of course the people of the world are subscribing to what they are doing. But they are doing so just to be entertained. They are not experiencing a deep rooted conviction of faith for salvation in their lives.
This is because a Church that is conformed to the world’s system, is often not seriously committed to prayer and intercession; which is the only solid foundation that can ever be laid for the victorious Church.
Prayer and intercession is the foundation of everything that Jesus did and accomplished on the earth to save us. He started with prayer and ended with prayer, and not entertainment.
God can’t be fooled. Neither can He ever be mocked. They will end up lying down on their beds, just as they are making it. It’s the standard that they are setting up for themselves, as the spiritual gauge for their lives; that will eventually judge them in accordance with the Holy Scriptures.
As the Bible says:
“They have forsaken the right way (of God) and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;”
II Peter 2:15 NKJV
Beware of the world’s system
God will not give His blessing to a child, who has not been properly groomed to carry it. He knows that the devil will tear such a child up with all types of temptations, until the child of God is eventually destroyed. Being properly groomed for the Lord’s blessing, therefore requires the process of transformation through biblical discipline. If you’re not being disciplined in the word of God, you can’t be transformed to be like Jesus. And you can’t go through the transformation process, if you heart is not committed to it.
There are many Christians who are not even seeking to be transformed at all into the image of Christ. They think that it will be too much for them. What they are really saying is that Jesus did too much for them, and they don’t really want everything that was done to get them saved. That’s why they can’t see the need to give back to Him the love that He gave to them.
They want to keep the garbage of their lives while following Jesus. Which is impossible to do. This is why Christianity has become a burden for them to carry about. They’ll rather distance themselves away from it, and cling to the world’s system with its entertainment, as a form of escape from anything that’s spiritual. They’ll rather worship God from afar.
They are not different from the Israelites in the wilderness, when they told Moses as the scriptures says:
“Now all the people witnessed the thundering, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. Then they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.”
Exodus 20:18-19 NKJV
Fear has crippled their faith for anything that’s from God. The sinful garbage of their lives is much more precious to them, than the love that Jesus came to manifest on the earth. They have become a fraud to themselves in the deceitfulness of their hearts. These ones are saved, but the spiritual fruit of their salvation is not evident in their lives at all.
They are often excited about the word of God, when they hear it being preached. But their excitement alone cannot bring them transformation, because they are not prepared to live by the standard of the word that excites them.
The feeling of excitement may sometimes give them goosebumps, but they are not really interested in leaving their old lifestyle of sin and spiritual death; for the new life with Christ Jesus. That’s why they will often leave the presence of God unchanged by the word that they heard, because they love the world more than they do actually love Jesus.
It gives them a good feeling to be associated with the people of God. It’s what gives them a false illusion, that they are being protected from the enemy. Whereas the devil himself knows those who are really committed to Christ, and those who are just playing foolish games around the anointing of God.
Biblical meditation will transform you
We however do know that it’s the entrance of God’s word to the heart, in the process of meditation that brings transformation to the spirit, soul and body. That’s why it’s important to be disciplined in the word of God, for the spiritual growth of the total man.
Meditation implies that one ponders and thinks about something. Meditation on the promises of God means therefore that, you are pondering and thinking about all that God had done for you in Christ Jesus, to bring you His word of healing as an example.
It’s what will cause your mouth to be filled with the good things of life – the promises of God to you (Psalms 103:1-5). This is how your heart will begin to be filled to the overflow with thanksgiving to God.
The overflow of thanksgiving to God from your heart through meditation, will then begin to come out of your mouth about your healing, instead of the noise and complaint about the pain or the negative effects of the pain medications.
Good things are the promises of God from the closet of your meditation, that runs from your heart to your mouth in thanksgiving to God. Real biblical meditation will prompt you to open your mouth in thanksgiving to God, even when the pain is so unbearable. It will cause you to stop paying attention to the pain, and every other evil reports of the sickness diagnosis.
You will stop complaining about the medication that is not working for you. And you will begin to thank God for your healing, until it manifests physically. Thanksgiving to God will cause your healing to be released. Meditation on the promises of God from the scriptures will build up your faith in God alone as the Healer.
This is how your spiritual growth will begin to transform you, into a new man in Christ Jesus. But a Christian who is not being groomed for spiritual growth in God’s word, can’t be effective in spiritual warfare at all. That’s why many have fallen from grace, and are no more walking and living by faith today. They have decided to cling to the world’s system for healing and deliverance, instead of falling deeper in love with Jesus.
Don’t be conformed to the world’s system
That’s why the Apostle Paul gave us this advice in the scriptures:
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Romans 12:2 NKJV
It’s the conformity of the word of God to the level of the world’s system, that is destroying the faith of many in the Body of Christ today. They had brought God’s word to the level of the system of this world. That’s why there is no power of God in their testimonies and in the gospel that they are preaching.
They were thinking within themselves to preach the message of Christ in appeasing the world, by using the tools that the world is familiar with. This is the delusion of their own hearts which has failed them.
Jesus never told them to conform to the standard of the world. He told them to preach His gospel message – period. He told them not to love the world (John 15:19). It’s not up to us to bring conviction to the sinner. This what the Holy Spirit does through the preaching of the gospel, when it’s not being conformed to the world’s system. Jesus is God’s gift to the world for salvation, but the Holy Spirit works to get the world saved and rooted in the Church.
God’s word is not meant to work in the system of this world, even though it will transform it (Habakkuk 2:14). God’s word is able to change the world, even though His word itself never changes. The message of God’s word is about Jesus, the Christ. This is because God’s word is Spirit and life (John 6:63). God’s spoken word works to transform the spiritual atmosphere that controls the world’s system. It works to conform it with the way, that God created the world’s system to operate and function.
The devil is the one who is manipulating the world’s system, because his plan is to destroy it, and everything that God has created in it. But it’s the responsibility of the believer in Christ to ensure that, the vacuum is being filled up with faith based words to stop the devil, and bring heaven’s transformation to the world’s system itself.
As an example you can fast and pray to change a nation. But the believer in Christ has the responsibility to get out and vote during an election, so as to affirm what they had changed in the realm of the spirit, through fasting and prayer. The voting system had been placed on the earth by God, for us to bring His rule on the earth. It’s the tool of heaven on the earth to bring change to the system of the world.
But the devil can manipulate the voting system itself, by preventing the children of God from voting. He can also manipulate the system by rigging an election. These are some of the ways by which the devil can manipulate the world’s system, so as to hinder the will of the Father on the earth. That’s why your obedience to God after fasting and praying is not completed, until you do your part in voting.
It’s what God expects you to do. In the same manner not voting at all as a child of God, automatically gives your vote to the devil. He wins and will succeed in silencing your voice as a Christian, if you don’t vote. This is why your participation in any electoral process by voting is very important, to the conditions under which the gospel is being proclaimed in any nation.
In the same manner also you don’t get married, by just praying and fasting for a spouse. You have the responsibility to open your physical eyes widely, as you are being attentive to the spirit of God to help you in making the wise choice about a spouse.
Prayer and fasting won’t bring you a spouse. It will only help you to be more sensitive to the Spirit of God in you, instead of your flesh when it comes to making the wise choice. Prayer and fasting is meant to help you not to be guided by the desires of your flesh, in making wise decisions in your relationship with the world around you.
It’s the word of God which brings the transformation into your life through meditation, that will cause you to be fruitful and multiply as a child of God to replenish the earth; especially in the midst of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. You can’t afford not to be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in the midst of the destruction that is going on in the world around you right now.
God is speaking to you now. Open up your heart and listen, to hear and receive His word to you. Let His word transform your life. Don’t get yourself so entangled with the system of this world, to the extent that the people of the world itself, sees no difference between you and them.
This is why the character of Christ must be built up in the lives of His believers, so as to be able to carry the weight of God’s glory into the world’s system to change it.
There are a lot of Christians who are struggling to carry the glory of God in their lives. This is because they do not yet realize that His glory is never meant to be a burden to them. God’s glory is His blessing in your life, and it’s not meant to be a burden at all.
Let integrity protect the word of God in you
Finally your faithfulness to God is measured by the degree of integrity at heart that you possess. Integrity here is the state of being whole and undivided, in your approach to the standard of God’s word in your life. It is meant to protect the harvest of righteousness in your life as a believer in Christ. It’s what will cause the Christian character in your life to be steady, even when the whole world around you is not. Integrity will protect you from the world and the schemes of the devil.
Integrity at heart will make you focused and unshakable, when others around you are yielding to the temptations and changes in the world’s system. Integrity will cause you to be established in the word of God and His promises for your life. It’s what will make you to be strong in the midst of the troubles and trials of your faith, so that you will be qualified for the price waiting for you at the end.
The Bible says:
“He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become known.”
Proverbs 10:9 NKJV
A Christian who compromises God’s word for the standard of the world is a perverted Christian. He is never secured in God’s word and His promises. He is the Christian who will pervert God’s word to be conformed to the world’s system. And according to the above scripture text he will be exposed for who he really is. The truth in God’s word will expose him.
But the Christian who is walking in integrity at heart, is secured with God and His word. He is not like the pervert who trusts in the world’s system, more than he trusts in God. That’s why the pervert should never expect God, to respond to his cry in the day of trouble.
The Apostle Paul advised us about how to be secured with God, in the midst of the troubles and trials when he said:
“So be made strong even in your weakness by lifting up your tired hands in prayer and worship. And strengthen your weak knees, for as you keep walking forward on God’s paths all your stumbling ways will be divinely healed!”
Hebrews 12:12-13 TPT
Praying in the spirit and the worshipping of God will give you strength, in the time of weakness during the coronavirus pandemic. This is how your thanksgiving to God will begin to take you higher in Him. When you know that you are not standing firmly and securely on God’s promises, that’s when you need to be praying more in the spirit to build up your faith (Jude verse 20).
When you are praying more in the spirit and worshipping God with thanksgiving, as you are getting focused on His promises, strength will begin to come to your weaknesses. If you’re about to give up, the Holy Spirit will begin to quicken you, energizing your faith and reinvigorating whatever is about to crumble in your life (Romans 8:11).
You will never stumble or fail. You will succeed. You will overcome. Your strength comes through prayer, worship and thanksgiving in the presence of God. But don’t ever be conformed to the world and it’s system. It will never build you up in Christ Jesus. Begin to meditate more on God’s promises for your life. It will transform your spiritual life and make your faith in God more fruitful.