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  • Pastor Tom Cunningham, Ph.D

So, where do we go from here?

That’s a good question. And it needs to be answered.


There’s a recent article in Politico Magazine called, “Coronavirus Will Change the World Permanently. Here’s How.” If that’s not a bad enough ‘doom and gloom’ title for you, get ‘hold of the subtitle: A crisis on this scale can reorder society in dramatic ways, for better or worse. Here are 34 big thinkers’ predictions for what’s to come.

I almost didn’t want to read on. I don’t like to open myself up to fearmongers trying to mess with my faith, you know? I could feel it coming—sensed it in my central nervous system—my accelerating heart rate.


So, I did what I counseled myself against—I read on:

“For many Americans right now, the scale of the coronavirus crisis calls to mind 9/11—events that reshaped society in lasting ways, from how we travel, to the level of security and surveillance we’re accustomed to, and even to the language we use. Politico Magazine surveyed more than 30 smart, macro thinkers this week, and they have some news for you: Buckle in. This could be bigger."

Oh boy…

"A global, novel virus that keeps us contained in our homes—maybe for months—is already reorienting our relationship to government, to the outside world, even to each other. Some changes these experts expect to see in the coming months or years might feel unfamiliar or unsettling: Will nations stay closed? Will touch become taboo? What will become of restaurants?"

That was almost as much as I could take. “What will become of restaurants?” — They’ll open up for crying out loud and let me sit inside and order food like the old days right?!


Just a smidgen more of this...

No one knows exactly what will come, but here is our best stab at a guide to the unknown ways that society—government, healthcare, the economy, our lifestyles and more—will change.


OK, so here are some of the “experts” predictions in the headlines:

  1. The personal becomes dangerous. “We know now that touching things, being with other people and breathing the air in an enclosed space can be risky. It could become second nature to recoil from shaking hands or touching our faces..."

  2. A new kind of patriotism.

  3. A decline in polarization. (Less strong disagreements, politically, philosophically, because we won’t see people)

  4. Religious worship will look different. “Religion in the time of quarantine will challenge conceptions of what it means to minister and to fellowship. But it will also expand the opportunities for those who have no local congregation to sample sermons from afar.”

  5. Science reigns again.

  6. Congress can finally go virtual.

  7. Big government makes a comeback.


And many, many more. Some far worse.


Consider this, some things will have to change. We can’t stay where we are. And if these are not the end of the end times, then we’ve got to be growing and reaching for that next place where God would want to take us. The church will need to be a determining factor in where Society goes from here, a more powerful, serious force in our generation. Preaching will need to once again be prevalent and relevant—no more playing church. If you can’t have faith to find peace in adverse circumstances then I have to question your faith to begin with.


And that’s the great thing about the Word of God, no matter what level you are starting at; God has advice that will bring you to the next level. Every serious Christian I’ve ever met has prospered on multiple levels by serving the Lord with their whole heart!

Romans 12:9-21 "Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”

Where do we go from here? We can start by having a game plan and a purpose.

"Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint {KJV uses perish}; but happy is he who keeps the law." —Proverbs 29:18

Doing Nothing has become something of an artform in this generation. And there is no doubt that the enemy of our soul is going to use this stay-at-home order—isolation from other saints—to create a void in us; depression—intended to erode our faith. One catalyst to that process is that before COVID-19 there were already so many average Christians who were living meaningless lives—doing nothing for themselves, their families or the kingdom of God!


They make wrong choices because they have no direction. Now take away their job, their income, their church and fellowship and any direction they might have had in life—and many will quit growing in Christ altogether because they have no more sense of direction aiming at any particular purpose. Sitting around the house is not at all what it is cracked up to be. And if we can’t get our lives back soon, we might just settle into this nothingness, waiting for the stimulus check.

This reminds me of Alice in Wonderland’s Cheshire Cat. Cheshire is confronted by Alice as she is on her journey in wonderland, she asks, “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

"Well," says the Cat, “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to...”

“I don’t much care where…” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go!” Said the Cat.

“…so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added in explanation.

“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

And that’s where some of God’s people are right now. What can I help you with if you don’t know where you want to go? So having a purpose will set a course of direction for your life. And if you do have a plan then it does matter what choices you make. When you got saved God gave you a purpose…


So, It’s time to make a plan. Right where you are.

"In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will..." Ephesians 1:11

"...who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began..." 2 Timothy 1:9

A goal is not a purpose. And a purpose is not a goal. A goal is something that can be reached; but a purpose is never fully achieved—always in the process of pressing on. It existed before you got here and lives on after you’re gone. Purpose is like direction—like going west. No matter how far west you go, there’s still more west to travel. Purpose, however, keeps you on track. You use your purpose to set your course in life—and this can be accomplished from your lockdown, in fact, organizing a plan to get where you want to go would be the perfect goal to achieve during this unfortunate yet fortunate moment in history.


You don’t invent purpose, you discover purpose and God has a purpose for every human being. Once you’ve grabbed hold of your purpose, you have to get moving on that purpose. Expect adversity.

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, and these He also glorified." Romans 8:28-30

God’s major purpose in every Christian’s life is that we be conformed to the image of His son. We have embarked on a life-long struggle to increase in godliness and develop His character in our lives. And it is always a struggle because the flesh often objects, whines, fights and stalls the process otherwise known as change. “He is changing us from glory to glory even as by the spirit of the Lord.” He has set before us a great purpose that was here long before we got here and will continue to unfold throughout eternity. God has saved us for all of that and more.


And we are not exempt because we are home. In fact we have more time than ever before to pursue our purpose. We are a people of destiny and the choices we make are crucial to the success we will have here and in eternity.

Ask yourself, “What do I have to change right here and now to realize the purpose that God has set for my life?”

All you need to be ineffective is to have no clue where you’re going. The average American church-going Christian doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life now, yet he wants another life in eternity [which lasts forever]. Doesn't make a lot of sense, does it? A man directed by God’s purpose has a plan to get there and can achieve greater success than those who only visualize it from their sofa.

Where do we go from here? We have to be willing to change.

Eric Hoffer in his book, “The ordeal of change,” says, “People will cling to an unsatisfactory way of life rather than change to get something better for fear of getting something worse.”


Change has been forced upon you, whether you like it or not. All of those times you swore you have no time to get things done? Now you do. It would get you ahead of the curve to know what is not working and change it. That's called a good start.


Mark Twain said, “the only person who likes change is a wet baby.”


But, our lives are broken and messed up and drastically in need of some renovations... And it takes years of obedience and sacrifice, sanctification, cross bearing and change to become whole, complete and mature in Christ. There is no short cut to that.

"But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Corinthians 3:18

So, where do we go from here?

Pastor and Evangelist Francis Chan encouraged the Church to view the coronavirus pandemic as “one of our greatest opportunities to reach a lost world and show them we haven’t lost our love, joy, and peace—instead of succumbing to fear and anxiety."


“We can do all things through Christ—and that means even during this time,” Chan said in a March 20 video message posted on his Crazy Love YouTube channel.


“There needs to be this resilience in us as believers. I think that is what the world and the church, is being shown right now is how vulnerable, how volatile we are that one little thing could mess things up.”


In order for the church to grow and learn from this pandemic—than we cannot be the same church that we were before when this is over—We must be more. We must repent and get serious and show the world that God and Godly leadership is the way out of this and the way forward from here.


“I believe this is God's grace on us to show us: ‘Am I prepared? Have I lost my love, my joy, my peace?’” he continued. “This is the fruit of the Spirit, guys, take advantage of this time. Don't miss this opportunity. This is one of our greatest opportunities for reaching out to a lost world and showing them that we haven't lost our love, joy, and peace.”


“Even at this moment, the enemy can't take that away from us,” he concluded. “We love the Lord Jesus Christ, and His Church is alive and well.”

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 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 12:1-2

Are you willing to pay the price to be effective right where you are? Are you willing to be that agent of grace in the midst of this moment of pause in our lives? God has given us this pause—this moment at home with our families and our lives on hold—for a purpose. Your purpose is His purpose. There is great value in this pause.

So, here do we go from here? We go forward. Upward. And Outward.

Be that believer—be that resilient agent of hope in a fearful and anxious world in these weird and trying times.


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