God vs. the Coronavirus

Many of us are at home and have more time than usual to improve our relationship with God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. This is probably the most important activity we can do at this time. When we say to God, we want to improve our relationship with Him and allow Him to come into our lives more fully, He is listening and will respond.

In James, God tells us: “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8, NIV

Let’s just look at the first part of this verse. Here we see that if we draw near to God, God will come close to us. More than ever during the time of the Coronavirus, we want to be closer to God and open our hearts to HIs ways and callings. Too easily we can begin to think catastrophically and become focused on all of our needs and wants.

For some of us, our insecurities result in rushing to the store and and buying as much toilet paper as we can. We buy too many canned goods being afraid we will not have enough food in the future. Some people are buying guns.

Now in the second part of the verse in James, God tells us how to come closer to Him. He instructs us to “purify our hearts”. We know as Christians who put our faith in Jesus Christ, that we must look to Him for help us in developing out spiritual lives. As much as we may try on our own to control our selfish desires, we find out over and over again that our human willpower will fail us. Only when we reach out to God and call out to Him with sincerity will we allow Him into our lives, to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.

If we look to Him now during the Coronavirus, Psalm 91 tells us how much He loves us, because He will provide and protect us, even during the most difficult of times.

Psalm 91

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,

my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you

from the fowler’s snare

and from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with his feathers,

and under his wings you will find refuge;

his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

You will not fear the terror of night,

nor the arrow that flies by day,

nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,

nor the plague that destroys at midday.

A thousand may fall at your side,

ten thousand at your right hand,

but it will not come near you.

You will only observe with your eyes

and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”

and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you,

no disaster will come near your tent.

For he will command his angels concerning you

to guard you in all your ways;

they will lift you up in their hands,

so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

You will tread on the lion and the cobra;

you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

“Because he  ( probably the king )  loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;

I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

He will call on me, and I will answer him;

I will be with him in trouble,

I will deliver him and honor him.

With long life I will satisfy him

and show him my salvation.”

If we read Psalm 91 carefully, we can see that God will protect us from many things. But we must believe in Him and His power if He is to do these things in our lives. First of all, declare Jesus as your Lord and Savior if you haven’t yet. Say this simple prayer sincerely, “Lord, I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I accept You as my Lord and Savior, and ask You to wash away my sins by Your grace and mercy. I open my heart to you Lord and ask You to come live inside me, to change me and love me. Amen.

If you have true belief in your heart that you trust the Lord and accept HIs ways over yours, then the promises in Psalm 91 of protestation and all the other promises that Jesus has made to us are yours. The Lord requires our surrender to His will in our lives, but the rewards of doing so are beyond our wildest dreams or imaginations. It is just the beginning that He will be with us “in trouble” and show us His salvation.

Our lives become far more satisfying living with the Lord’s promises that unfold in our lives than any life we could live without Him. God will always reveal more to us in our walk with Him.

So what did we learn in this examination of the Holy Scriptures of God’s Word?

We have found out that God does not want to condemn us. The Coronavirus is not about condemnation or punishment. God wants to save us, and that is why He sent His Son Jesus Christ to the earth. He wants us to draw closer to Him, have faith in his protection, goodness and mercy and not to panic. God will provide for us during this time. Knowing that, we can devote our time to deepening our relationship with Him.

We can pray more and come to know Him more through the Word of God. This activity can have a tremendous impact on how we live our lives, even when the seclusion in our homes is over. We can examine the areas of our lives where we do not depend on God for answers, whether it is in the area of our relationships with others, our attitudes toward money, fears of getting older and how we will be provided for, relationships with others, and how we make our livelihoods. Perhaps we should be taking new steps to provide our good health, like taking regular walks.

The list of ways on how we can improve our lives goes on and on . We can listen to God’s urging and write these ideas down. He will help us to prioritize them so we know where to start. With His help, we can examine each area, and continue our inquiry. The next step is to write down our goals, and steps we need to take to accomplish them.

A Bible journal that also acts as a prayer journal is a very good tool to use to bring God’s promises to us to fruition as we keep drawing closer to Him. God will not let us down, but we must seek Him, call upon Him, and know the joy of communing with Him.

He will provide for us because we are His children. He wants each of us to be brought closer to Him, no matter how far we have wandered away from Him.

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James 4:8, NIV: “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

How Can I Please God?

Title: “I Have a Dark Side I Must Understand”



We learn in the Bible, that spiritually speaking, we have two natures in one body. The nature that we go on feeding will grow, while the nature that we go on starving will diminish. We each find ourselves in a spiritual struggle, even after we’ve come into a relationship with the Lord. In fact, we could say that each and every one of us has a dark side. And even as we find ourselves trying to please God, thoughts, emotions, and actions sometimes come to the surface that we know are not in keeping with our faith.

Today, I hope to come to an understanding of how we got to this point, and what can be done to overcome the dark side of our lives. There are three basic phases that humankind has gone through since the creation, and by examining these we will learn how to better deal w/the struggle that is so much a part of our everyday lives.


To live a life of serenity means that you live in peace, calm, undisturbed and unchallenged by conflict. This was the life that God created for us in the beginning. A life that knew nothing of the spiritual struggle.

Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.  And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground–trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. – Genesis 2:8-9 (NIV)

The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.  And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;  but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”Genesis 2:15-17 (NIV)

God caused an unlimited variety of trees to spring up in the garden. The “tree of life” gave life – even eternal life – when eaten (3:22). The “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” was placed in the garden to give man the opportunity to exercise his freedom of choice.

Every tree was appealing, but only one was prohibited. This tree gave man the occasion to express his obedience and love for God. There was nothing inherently evil about the fruit of the tree. On the contrary, the eating of this tree gave its partakers a knowledge which God Himself possessed.

God gave Adam and Eve a life of serenity, but He also granted them a very special freedom: He gave them the freedom to choose. They were not created as robots; they were created in the image of God and with the freewill to make their own decisions. They were created to have fellowship with God, but the exchange of love always requires the freedom of the recipient to respond to or reject that love. To institute freewill, to give humankind an opportunity to respond to or reject His fellowship, God warned, “If you eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you will die.”

Unfortunately, this life of serenity soon ended as we shall see. But the good news is that this age will return for those of us who come to Christ for salvation. Paradise is on the horizon for those who have teamed up with Jesus.

“To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”Revelation 2:7b (NIV)

In at least some fashion, heaven will be a return to the Garden of Eden. So we see mankind was made for serenity, but regrettably Adam and Eve moved into our second phase:


Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”  The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,  but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'”  “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman.  “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.  Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.  Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.  But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”  He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”  And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”  The man said, “The woman you put here with me–she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”  Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”  So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.  And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”  To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”  To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.  It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.  By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”  Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.  The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.  And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”  So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.  After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. – Genesis 3:1-24 (NIV)

Satan, in the form of a serpent, tempted Eve in much the same way he tempts us today. Eve was tempted by her desire for the fruit, it appealed to her senses, and it also promised her something beyond her present experience – the wisdom of God. In effect, the temptation was to substitute what God had freely given, fellowship, love, serenity, in exchange for a life of self-reliance.

The temptations that come to us are the same – no matter what form they take, they are always designed to take us away from fellowship with God and to become men/women/children who are dependent only on ourselves. In short, it is a reversal of God’s plan – rather than man being made in the image of God – we choose to make God in our own image. And rather than accept the great generosity of God our Creator and rejoicing in the fellowship He grants us, we find ourselves, like little children, reaching out our hands for more. Adam and Eve gave into the temptation and serenity ceased. They chose to walk away from God, and God honored their choice. And we, as their spiritual ancestors, all have made that same choice when we have chosen to sin against God.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. – Romans 3:23 (NIV)

To help us better understand our separation from God it will be helpful for us to grasp five areas of alienation that resulted from Adam’s sin.

1) Psychological Separation: Man from Himself

Before sin, there was no shame, no guilt, no self-consciousness. But now the man and woman are ashamed. Human shame is a feeling of distress at our deficiencies, deformities, or absurdities – real or imagined – and especially at the uncovering of these things. It is also a feeling of distress at the uncovering of things once held private. Our text suggests the joining together of these sources of distress with a few words of great sorrow and mystery: after they had sinned, Adam and Eve “realized they were naked.” For the first time in their lives they couldn’t stand scrutiny. It wasn’t merely that they flinched when their partner’s gaze dipped southward; it was also that they had trouble looking into each other’s eyes.

2) Spiritual Separation: Man from God

Before sin, man was comfortable being with God. There was no running from Him, no hiding, no desire to be away from His presence. But once they sinned, the comfort level was gone, and they foolishly thought that they could hide from the presence of the Creator of the Universe. The spiritual separation that we feel today began with Adam and Eve.

3) Sociological Separation: Man from Man

When God challenged Adam, he took it like a man – He blamed his wife! For the first time they found themselves at odds with each other. Marital strife, abuse, divorce, lawsuits, gossip and war were all introduced by the virus of sin.

4) Environmental Separation: Man from Nature

The world was thrown off kilter because of sin. This was the beginning of weeds, erosion, floods, droughts, tornadoes, earthquakes, and viruses which began to make life miserable. (Romans 8:19-22) informs us that the creation itself waits in eager expectation for a return to Eden and serenity.

5) Physical Separation: Man’s Spirit from His Body

From this point on Adam and Eve began the process of physical death. They were banished from the garden and their bodies began to age. What was once united, body and spirit, is now separated. The spirit lives eternally, but the body’s days are numbered. So here we have two phases of mankind’s existence – Serenity and Separation. You and I and all who follow Adam exist in the third phase.


Ever since the Fall of man we have been involved in a spiritual struggle. Even those of us who have turned our lives over to Christ find ourselves in turmoil.

We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.  I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.  And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.  As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.  I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.  For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing.  Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.  So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.  For in my inner being I delight in God’s law;  but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.  What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.Romans 7:14-25 (NIV)

If we are to overcome, we must understand the basic truth of our depravity. We need to understand that we all have a dark side. Evolution says that man is getting better – that if the right environment is provided man will choose the good. But the Bible teaches us that we have a bent toward evil. Laws, discipline, and punishment are necessary to curb our sinful nature. And most importantly we must recognize this sinful nature within ourselves. Here are four truths about our sinful nature.

1) I have inherited a sinful nature that, if unrestrained, is capable of dreadful evil. I think we’ve established this.

2) I need Jesus Christ to transform my sinful nature.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. – Galatians 5:24 (NIV)

The good news is that with Christ on my side, and with my willingness to rely on Him instead of on my own goodness, I can overcome. It is simply a matter of letting go and letting God.

3) As a Christian, I rely on the Holy Spirit to empower me against the daily struggle with my sinful nature.

You…are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.Romans 8:9a (NIV)

God knows that we can’t do it on our own. He’s not sending us out like lambs to the slaughter. He is empowering us to prevail over the forces of evil by relying on the Holy Spirit who indwells us.

4) I look forward to Heaven when the struggle will be over and the Victory won!

However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)

Heaven will be the beauty of the Garden of Eden restored. Heaven will be the perfect fellowship with one another – no sham, no pretense, no self-consciousness. Heaven will be the freedom to walk and talk w/our Creator – perfect fellowship with God. In heaven we will be completely free from the sin nature and its consequences.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”Revelation 21:4-5 (NIV)


We all have a dark side – we’re capable of the most horrible crimes. But greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. There is no sin so horrible that the blood of Christ cannot wash it away. There is no sin so bitter that He can’t transform it. No matter how grievous or minor you think your sin is, you need Christ to cleanse you and transform you into His image. Paradise is waiting for you.