As I was reflecting on the last few weeks, the thought of March Madness came to mind. Not the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, which was canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the madness that has invaded our world in an unprecedented fashion. The shaking that has occurred has affected our lives in many ways both short term and long term. During the month of March, we have seen online become the new norm for schools, churches, doctors, and many other meetings. I don’t know about you, but I have had more Zoom calls this month than I probably had all last year. This coupled with the economic shaking, businesses temporarily closed, a $2.2 Trillion Dollar stimulus package, and a news cycle that works to instill fear and panic, is enough to shake even the strongest faith.
The Purpose of Shaking
Throughout the Bible, God uses shaking to wake up His people and align us to what He is doing in the earth. I sense this is such a time for His Church. As I was meditating over the weekend, I was drawn to a familiar scripture found in Isaiah 43:18-19, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
When we are in the middle of the shaking, it is easy to allow fear, emotion, and current circumstances to consume our thoughts and look at the past in hopes that we get back to the way it previously was. But what if God is saying that we should “forget the former things, do not dwell on the past?” Maybe He is doing a new thing and we need to be open to the opportunities before us.
Seeing New Opportunities
The question He asks in this passage is, “Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” Many times, we miss something that may be right in front of us and we miss it because it looks much different than we are accustomed to. Then God says, “I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” These are both positive outcomes and would be welcome opportunities.
When our eyes are opened to new opportunities God is placing before us, these treasures can manifest in the darkest of times. Another verse I was meditating on is also found in Isaiah 45:3, “I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.” These treasures may come from some of the most unexpected places and we need to ensure we are prepared to enter this new place.
The Door of Repentance
The phrase “purification for preparation” has been a consistent theme in my life over the past two years. It started during Purim 2018, which was February 28-March 1st, with the desire to know why God was placing this on my heart since I was previously unaware of the Purim celebration. This time is celebrated by the Jews as the time Esther purified herself to go before the King and revealed the plot to eradicate the Jews. The purification our Heavenly Father desires each of us to embrace is the letting go of any sin in our lives that restricts the flow of the Holy Spirit.
The purification process is beautifully laid out in 2 Chronicles 7:14 and is especially applicable for the season we find ourselves in as a nation, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” We walk through the door of repentance as we follow this process and bring honor to God and blessings on our nation.
Entering a New Season
As we enter the month April and the Easter celebration of the tremendous price Jesus paid for each of us, let us leave March Madness behind, embrace the shaking we are all going through, and open our eyes to the new opportunities that are before us. Let us purify ourselves as we walk through the door of repentance and prepare for the new season our Heavenly Father has prepared for us.
I appreciate each of you and pray that you are blessed during these challenging times. Remember Paul’s encouragement to Timothy, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
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Jamie Jordan is the State Director for the South Carolina Christian Chamber of Commerce (SC-C3). His passion is to see unity and excellence exhibited within the Christian community. Jamie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.