Some of the largest waterfalls start as tiny streams . . .
It was the year 2020 and I had just given birth to our second child. My husband came home from work one day and told me about a virus outbreak and having to wear masks. In my sleep-deprived state it all seemed like a strange dream. I had to see it for myself, so when baby was sleeping one day I drove down to my nearest shopping centre to explore. The shopping centre was filled with people wearing masks, and social-distancing notices. It was very surreal. I started to see posts on Facebook about toilet paper shortages, and was trying to work out what was going on. People were panic buying, and toilet paper was at the top of the list!
The coronavirus did not seem to be going away. We were told to get used to a new normal.
Fast-forward to 2021 and things began to escalate.
The tiny stream is turning into a river.
Mask mandates, vaccine mandates, people hospitalised, protests, people losing their jobs, businesses suffering, lockdown after lockdown after lockdown, angry words all over social media, restricted travel.
Never before have we seen such an event that has touched nearly every corner of the globe!
The coronavirus pandemic and the flow-on from that is impacting all of us in some way. It is also impacting our families and our churches. We are now seeing a polarising effect between those who choose to vaccinate and those who choose not to vaccinate. To mention something related to COVID-19 vaccination on social media creates a war of words and opinions. People are not afraid to voice hurtful and hateful comments, and people are afraid to talk and share openly.
Let us be careful not to judge, as we can only see the outside. God looks at the heart. Remember “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Verse 10 goes on to say that it is only God who searches the heart, and tests the mind, to give us according to our ways and the fruit of our doings. We need to spend less time judging, and more time loving (in the truest biblical sense); less time watching YouTube videos that support our viewpoints, and more time praying; less time criticising others and more time reading God’s Word and fortifying our minds with it.
I know from my own experience that if left to myself, without Christ’s faithfulness and victory working in my life, I can be judgemental, critical and mean.
As Christians, God wants to grow His fruit in us; the best kind of fruit: “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22).
Can these fruits be seen in our lives when we interact with others? Especially with those who have a different opinion to ours? I have seen fear and coercion used from both “poles”: “Get vaccinated or else you will lose your ‘freedoms’ or lose your job!”
From the other pole comes the cry: “Don’t get vaccinated, otherwise you’re a sinner and you’re receiving the mark of the beast!”
I know beautiful, loving people who have chosen to get the vaccine. I know beautiful, loving people who have chosen not to get the vaccine. I know judgemental, hateful people who have chosen to get the vaccine. I know judgemental, hateful people who have chosen not to get the vaccine.
Are we being Christian in the way we are living?
Whether you choose to get the vaccine or not, what fruit are you cultivating in your life? Are we allowing the Holy Spirit to grow His fruit in us?
The volume and speed of the river is growing
The vaccination issue is not the mark of the beast. I can say that with biblical certainty. This is just a dress rehearsal for what is to come, as we are clearly warned through Bible prophecy.
Don’t get caught up in the shifting sand of human ideas: hidden microchips and 5G mind-control may be disproved, and if we build our case on that and it falls apart, then we have nothing to stand on.
The same goes for scientific research, or what one doctor says versus another. If we build our case only on human thinking, and that is disproved, then the rug is pulled out from under us.
The only firm foundation we have is the Rock; Jesus Christ and His unchanging, ever-remaining Word. Let’s focus our time and effort on telling the world that Jesus is coming soon!
I can start to hear the roar of the approaching waterfall.
We have been warned in the Bible that friendship with the world is enmity with God (James 4:4).
Let’s not get so comfortable with giving up our freedoms in order to gain what the world has to offer.
Though the vaccination issue is not the mark of the beast, there are more choices to come, and each little choice that we make culminates into a great cascade. If we are loving the world and worldly things now, then when the true test comes, we may be tempted to conform. If we are not firmly rooted in Jesus, we will be swept away by the lure of the world. God’s way may seem narrow and inconvenient; uncomfortable even. But we are called to be like Moses who chose to suffer affliction with the people of God rather than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin . . . for he looked to the reward (Hebrews 11:24-26). The trials we go through here on this earth will be nothing when compared with the joy we will experience with Jesus for eternity!
And so we must ask ourselves the question: how am I living today? Am I digging down deep and building a solid foundation on the Rock? Or am I too busy sunbaking out the front of my demountable beach house? We know that only one of those houses can weather the storm; the one built on the Rock—Jesus Christ.
The time of the end is near and the time of trouble will soon come. How will you live today to prepare your heart and mind for Jesus’ second coming? For really, truly, today is all that we have. Are you seeking God with all your heart? Are you spending time in God’s Word? Are you living out practical Christian love in your home and circle of influence? Are you persevering in prayer like the prophet Daniel? Do you know God? Do you know God as your Friend and your Saviour?
One of my favourite Bible passages says, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgement, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,’ says the Lord” (Jeremiah 9:23,24).
Do you really know Him? Does He know you?
The warning is there for those who have ears to hear.
Beware of the cascade. Once that water plunges over the edge, it’s too late.
“He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still. And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work” (Revelation 22:11,12).
Carly Kochanski is a mum of three, singer/song-writer and lover of Jesus, Glouster, NSW.