For all of us, the current pandemic is a time of great uncertainty in our country. We are concerned for those we love, for our own physical, mental and emotional health, jobs, and society. We have experienced inconvenience during this time. In many ways, the world has been caught by surprise causing great anxiety. One thing that adds fuel to the fire is social media and news outlets in general. With so many stories and tales, you do not know what to believe. Just trying to figure what is accurate can cause great stress among us all. If I asked folks today, I probably would not find anyone who will say they love what is going on right now in our country. Well, come to think about it, I do know someone who loves it, Satan.
Satan loves the commotion that this pandemic is causing. He works to consume us in doubt, fear, and worry. He works hard to destroy unity and bring about strife. He loves the turmoil and division in the world. Look out, though, Satan wants nothing more than to break up the body of Christ. This has always been his goal. Division is what he strives for, it is his playground. He fights against your faith. The division that is occurring in our world, Satan is behind it all and he does not have to use much influence to accomplish that either. He is very subtle about intervening in our families’ walk with the Lord. He lays in wait for the perfect opportunity to pounce as a “roaring lion seeking whom he may devour”.
How can he succeed in doing this? What tactics does he use, especially during this pandemic? I would like to examine some of those tactics.
1. Fear- Fear is one of Satan’s greatest weapons which he uses to steer us away from God. Christian, the opposite of faith is fear. If we allow fear to enter our lives it can destroy our lives. Fear of the unknown, fear of people, fear of illness, or the fear of being hurt. Satan is good at planting those thoughts in your mind. He is behind those “what if” questions that you ask yourself. Satan uses fear to lead a believer into discouragement and sin. Today with this pandemic, most everyone is living in fear. Yes, COVID 19 is a scary virus, but Satan is apart of that confusion and paranoia that is happening today. We need to remember in 2 Timothy 1:7, “God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind”. We fear even coming to services of the church. Which brings me to the next tactic Satan loves about COVID 19…
2. Less Fellowship- Satan is loving that there is less fellowship among the brethren. Christians are to draw strength from one another and it seems to be going in the opposite direction today. With COVID-19 spreading across the country, churches have begun to adapt by having online services only. But I’m afraid we need to be careful with this. It is certainly a wonderful and convenient amenity. However, let me ask you, and be honest with yourself: Are you able to watch the service online without distraction or able to really concentrate on what is being taught? If yes, that is great. If the answer is no, then Satan is enjoying your current path. My concern is that just using online services can cause those who were already slipping in their faith before COVID hit, to continue doing so. Satan loves it because he knows for some, that you do not desire to be there, which means he has an outlet into your life at this moment. We need that fellowship among brethren, something online services cannot provide. Yes, social distancing is the news of the day, as it should be; however, if we end up distanced from one another, we will be worse off, not better.
3. Discouragement – Satan definitely uses this! Discouragement is a feeling of despair in the face of difficulties. I certainly have been an easy target. Satan capitalizes on the disappointments in our life to make us disheartened. The devil will steal, kill and destroy your blessings, just to discourage your walk with God. The devil will mostly use the ones that you really care about to discourage your heart. He will use those people whom you love and respect to be insensitive towards you with words that will wound and leave you bleeding in your heart. He will use what you care about to break you down the most. I have been very discouraged by this pandemic due to how people are acting, treating each other and the loss of connections that I have seen take place, even with fellow Christians. All the devil wants to do is to crush your heart’s hope in God and the relationships with other Christians. Discouragement is one of his greatest tools.
4. Anger – Satan loves that folks respond to COVID 19 with anger. The way you live your life has been dramatically changed and you don’t have control over those changes. Over the past several months, I’ve seen people get angry with their family and friends, coworkers and medical experts, arguing about everything going on. Anger is one of Satan’s best tools because an angry person doesn’t listen to wise instruction, choosing instead to close their hearts and minds. We must be careful about anger taking root in our hearts. We can do that by nurturing our relationship with Jesus Christ. We can press into Him and confess everything we’re feeling and experiencing because He desires to help us. Having too much anger can disrupt and damage your life and the lives of those around you.
We are undoubtedly witnessing history in the making. Years from now, scholars and historians will analyze the effects of COVID-19 on our society, economy, and more importantly our spirituality. Are you responding in faith or fear? Even in the midst of chaos, make no mistake, God is at work. His plans will not be thwarted and his people will not be overcome.
How we respond to the growing pandemic is important and it matters. Perhaps we begin by resisting the fear that is leading to panic in various sectors of society. We need to remember that God has a plan for our lives. The enemy has a plan for us too. We just have to determine which voice we’re going to listen to, and who we will choose to follow. Don’t let Satan use COVID 19 to draw you closer to him.