March 31, 2020 by Pastor Joe Ramirez
We are going through a pandemic which the world hasn’t experienced in modern times. I can’t imagine what it must have been like during the Bubonic Plague or when disease wiped out thousands at a time. We have taken for granted some of the finer things in life such as friendships, enjoying a restaurant, a movie, getting coffee and so on. I think many miss some if not all of these things now!
Since we are confined to our homes with few or no outside face-to-face communication and gatherings, it limits our abilities. From what I know from the Bible and what psychologists say, having little to no physical contact with people is unnatural. In the book of Genesis, God made Eve after saying, “It is not good for man to be alone”. Experts talk about being prone to depression and suicide rates go up when people are isolated--voluntarily or involuntarily.
Whether you are a believer or not, it is my conclusion after years of making poor decisions, I believe this to be true. It is not good or natural to isolate and in this case, we are being asked (almost forced) to stay away from people. More than ever, social media is playing a vital role in helping people stay connected and technologies like zoom are really making a difference with group discussions. This is of tremendous help.
However, when we click “end” or get off any of those platforms, we are left with ourselves and our mind. In my case, this is very scary. The brain is a very creative organ. It can imagine things so far beyond our ability to put into action. Right, you can imagine yourself flying, going into space, becoming super strong, dream big etc. But it also can create fear and situations that haven’t occurred or will never occur, yet we worry and sometimes get ill over these thoughts.
When left in isolation and alone, especially during extended periods of time, our brain works extra hard and is subject to obsession. Not all people are alike, but with little human contact and when we have exhausted ourselves with devices, binge watching or reading we are still lift with ourselves with our thinking in overdrive.
Many experts believe that liking and loving yourself is a good first step to overcoming many things. I believe this and had to go through this myself, but that is not where I am going with this. In fact, loving yourself can become a problem too! Ha! Some create havoc even with their self by putting themselves first.
In saying that NOW is a good time to know God, I am talking about having an entire new relationship with God. A God that you love and connect with especially when you are alone. If you were not raised with religion, have been angry with God, or are finding it hard to believe, and have questions like “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?” I totally get it. I was in that space for almost 40 years.
Let me share briefly my testimony & experience and why I strongly believe in suggesting God now more than ever before. For most of my adult life, I was an alcoholic with some drug addiction. For years, I was able to function, but there came a time where my decisions were causing me a lot of problems. My delusional confidence while under the influence of some sort of mind-altering substance got me into trouble with both my personal and business relationships. Hangovers became painful.
Like most--if not all--people, I started reaching for solutions when the pain became too great. I wanted a "magic pill", someone to tell me something powerful--therapy, sobriety, a change of scenery, job, relationship and more. Nothing made me feel better. There were temporary moments, but any long-lasting effect on clarity, direction or just feeling okay was difficult.
So here are some reasons that you may find practical while at the same time find a deeper understanding of yourself and a God that will help provide purpose and meaning.
1. It is a good use of your time!
There’s only one thing more valuable than money and that is time. You can always make more money, lose money get it back and so on, but you can never get back time. We have not discovered how to go back in time.
We have many options right? Watch TV, text, get online, conversations etc. When it comes to your mental and physical health, this is a good use of your time. Even scripture tells us to spend our time wisely.
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
2. Getting to know God, gets your mind off yourself and how the world is affecting you.
Check out this scripture, I think it is so valuable.
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world,but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Can you imagine if we listened to everything the world is telling us to do, say, think, buy, or what lifestyle to have, etc.??? The world is filled with forces that are trying to take us down. There is a major portion of the world that is trying to appeal to our pleasures. Think about it: food, style of clothing, alcohol, sex, use of time, etc. How about the forces that work on our emotion such as anger? It seems the news these days works extra hard at getting us angry.
Getting to know God gets our mind off ourselves the world and allows us to listen to Him and what His will is for us. If you don't believe, just try it ! I guarantee you will hear from Him. It may not always be the answer you are looking for, but it might be in your interest.
Pastors Joe & Cyndi Church Home with their message on Why Now? #revivela
3. Getting to know God increases your Faith.
Would you not admit, that you have lots of faith in many things? When you drive your car, you have faith it will work when you turn on the engine. Turning on the light switch, you have faith the light will turn on. I'm sure you can think of many more examples.
Having faith in things that are unseen comes natural in everyday or worldly things, but we struggle when it comes to the spiritual realm. Mankind only as finite control over things. We can't control the weather, the sun, time, seasons and so on. There is something bigger than ourselves in play. Even science hasn't figured everything out.
Having a God that we are getting to know and believe, will show us that He loves us and has our best interest in mind. I happen to believe and know, that God is good and He is great! Look what Paul says in Ephesians
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God
Paul mentions grace, which is a huge topic on its own but it is through faith and this is not from us. It is a gift from God. You mean, Grace (undeserved favor) and through faith, I have been saved, if I believe in Him? I'm saved from anguish and pain from my own thoughts and behavior?
By spending time getting to know God, our faith increases. If our faith increases in Him and if we continue to believe He has our best in mind, then I choose to believe we will get through anything knowing God is with us.
If you want to begin your journey, feel free to reach out to us anytime by going to our website at https://www.revivela.net/ #onlinechurch #churchonline We would love to hear from you. #jesus #god #love #faith #bible #christian #prayer
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My wife, Pastor Cyndi and I started Revive LA to reach people who have been seeking God, have become disenchanted with faith, angry at God or have never explored a relationship with Him. We enjoy "Cultivating a Love for God and People" .