What is God saying to us through this Pandemic? What is the message for the Church? Is this enormous disruption for a purpose?

The apostle Paul took the Gospel to the known world. He wanted to continue expanding the Church into Asia. But God stopped him. He did not allow Paul to preach the Gospel, he actually stopped him twice.

Acts 16: 6-7 tells us, “Paul and his friends went through Phrygia and Galatia but the Holy Spirit would not let them preach in Asia. After they arrived in Mysia, they tried to go to Bithynia but the Spirit of Jesus would not let them.”

What a remarkable event. Throughout the New Testament Christ-followers are told to preach the Gospel, to share the good news and yet here God stops it. Just like the Church was stopped from meeting in March.

Could God do his greatest work in the new reality of a broken plan?

Since God has a purpose for all of us then he must be up to something. This virus certainly did not take him by surprise. Is there something new we need to discover?

Paul ended up going to Macedonia. And it changed history. Christianity advanced from Asia to Europe. The Church was established in Europe and then spread throughout the world. There are now over 2 billion Christians. It never would have happened without God’s disruption. Paul responded enthusiastically and positively to the change in his plans. He could have been mad at God or felt sorry for himself. He could have begrudgingly gone to Europe but not given himself to the work. But instead he established the church in many cities.

We are like Paul in a situation we did not plan to be in. No one could have ever predicted churches would be stopped from meeting on Sundays for services. It’s a total disruption, a complete change from everything we normally do.

Paul went to Macedonia because he had a dream of a man asking him to come over and help them. In the midst of this change to our lives and church there is an opportunity to do even greater good. To have a higher impact.

The Church is not stopped, certainly not defeated. We have a new chance, a new possibility. Jesus went to Calvary and all seemed lost but he triumphed over it and won the victory.

And we can too.

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