By Pastor Colin Ruddock
Writing this blog and thinking about the times we are in, I am asking myself the question, what do I need to do differently. I am reminded by the voice of my wife, who just as we were preparing to get married, said: “you can’t keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result”. I became a little prideful at this suggestion that I wasn’t getting anywhere with resolving my financial debt situation, and had to do something different. Here we are in the middle of a pandemic where people are losing their lives, the government are trying to come up with the best solution. The media are just doing their job, but it's more bad news than good. We are all in lockdown and wanting to know for how much longer. Companies are folding, jobs are lost, farmers are worried, and it goes on. What are we to do different? Last week as our church, Victory Outreach Birmingham went live on Facebook, we talked about combating fear and having a soldier-like mentality and dealing with our fears. Sunday gone, we looked at the fear of God. I did my best to bring home the importance of fearing God more than ever at this time. I believe God has allowed this time, even with all of the very, very unfortunate circumstances that come with it. One of the key things regarding what's happening now is that no one from this generation has experienced a pandemic. This means that it brings a new fear we have never had to deal with before. As a Christian, a follower of Jesus, the bible tells me, when you see these things happening, look to God. That also tells me that I don’t have to fear the situation, I don't have to fear what man says, if God is telling me to look to Him, the only person I need to fear is God. But what does it mean, or what's involved in fearing God? In the simplest of terms, it means when you allow God to be God, understand that He is in control, reverence Him (the world would say, total respect for Him) understanding that He has the final say, completely trusting in God. God has all power, He loves us and desires us to stay in His will, corrects us when we wander away, and He is the judge. We don’t fear God as though He is someone to be afraid of, He has a great plan for us all. When I think of the fear of God, and the world crisis we are in, it tells me of how much He is displeased with the state of the world and how much a lack of fear there has been for Him. God is a jealous God, and he won’t sit idly by when we are placing things in life more important than reverencing or revering Him. Think for a moment about all the things that you were used to enjoying and spending all your time doing. Think of all the money you put into those things you loved watching or doing.
A photographer posted 44 pictures of Manchester city centre yesterday as never ever seen before. There was complete stillness, hardly any movement. Where are all the people? The thriving businesses? It's time to look at your life, reflect and reset. Man on his own does not have the authority or the power to stop the world the way in which it has stopped today. God has allowed it, so what are you going to do in this time? As a minister, my mission and prayer is to see and believe for transformation, to see our world healed. But there must ultimately be a fear for God.
It's almost like if it doesn’t happen, it’s because of me. There has to be such a burden and fear of God, that if we don’t see people repenting and coming to Jesus then have we missed it? Are you going to Fear God or Man?