What The Coronavirus Reveals About The Heart
[by Lantz Manomano]
How has God used such a crisis like the Coronavirus to expose the hearts of men?
Quite often God allows all kinds of situations and challenges in our life in order to test our hearts and in order for us to know where we really stand with God.
According to scripture, the heart is where all the deepest thoughts, secrets and plans are stored. It is through the heart that the mind processes whatever the heart chooses to reveal whether it’s true or false.
The Bible has many things to say about the heart. For example, God’s word encourages us to guard our hearts. Proverbs 4:23 says “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life”.
The Bible says that the heart can corrupt or defile us. In Matthew 15:18-19 Jesus says: But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.
The Bible also says that heart can be very wicked. Jeremiah 17:9-10 says: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”
So one of the ways in which God tests our heart is by allowing various kinds of challenges and problems in our lives. How we respond to the challenges and problems we face is a sure way of revealing our inner thoughts and beliefs.
And so in relation to the Coronavirus crisis there are a number of issues that have become apparent in the world and which can force us to examine our own hearts.
There are some negatives and also some positives pertaining to how the Coronavirus reveals the hearts of people.
Below we are going to see how this pandemic is revealing the hearts of men
1. THE CORONAVIRUS EXPOSES FALSE TEACHERS & FALSE PROPHETS
At the beginning of the year 2020, many preachers claimed that God had spoken to them about God’s supposed theme for the year 2020. Some prophesied that that 2020 would be “a year of perfection”; some that it would be “a year of harvest and prosperity”; others that is would be “a year of restoration” and so many others prophesied some interesting but inaccurate themes.
However due to the Coronavirus crisis, it is now evident that the year 2020 is appearing to be exactly the opposite of what many false teachers had predicted. Therefore the Coronavirus crisis reveals that the true God of the Bible does not speak to any of these false prophets or teachers.
In Jeremiah 23:16-19 it is written: Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. 17 They say continually to those who despise the word of the Lord, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you.'” 18 For who among them has stood in the council of the Lord to see and to hear his word, or who has paid attention to his word and listened? 19 Behold, the storm of the Lord! Wrath has gone forth, a whirling tempest; it will burst upon the head of the wicked.
False prophets will always speak lies because they do not speak for God. And so God has used this coronavirus to open the minds and hearts of people who are deceived by false prophets so that any follower of a false prophet may repent from following such deceivers.
2. THE CORONAVIRUS HAS EXPOSED OUR UNDERSTANDING OF CHURCH
Matthew 15:8-9 says: “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 9 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'”
With church gatherings prohibited, people may have a chance to rethink the issue of what church truly is. For many people, when they think of church, they think of their building or their particular denomination.
The word “church” in the Biblical sense does not refer to a building or a denomination. It comes from the word “Ekklesia” meaning the sent ones. The church are actually born again Christians and not a building or a denomination. Our relationship with God is not based on our denomination but it is based on whether or not we have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
So as I write this article, there’s no gathering or meeting together in a building. Instead every individual is left to work out their personal walk with God outside of a building but in his/her own home. Here is where the religious heart is revealed because God is testing whether our spiritual walk is determined by attending a church building or by our one-on-one walk with Him.
God is exposing if our spiritual walk is characterized by a building, pastor/teacher/priest, a choir and financial offering, and a feel good message that only lasts up to the door of the church building.
3. THE CHOICE BETWEEN GREED OR LIFE
When a nation is facing a crisis such as the Coronavirus what is important? Life or the economy? Life or money? Life or business?
You can restart and economy but you can never restart a life.
However, the greedy heart is never satisfied. It always wants more. The worldwide lockdowns have put people or nations in a situation of whether they should choose life or choose to make money.
God loves life and does not take the loss of life lightly. But during this pandemic there have been some business owners who have been pushing for day to day to resume so that they can rake in their dollars at the risk of life. This is a heart of greed being revealed, someone wise said you can restart a dead economy but you can never restart a dead person.
Ephesians 4:17 says: Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.
4. OPEN RACISM, POLITICAL, ECONOMIC & SOCIAL ISSUES
Since the Coronavirus came there has been a rise in racism particularly in such countries as China. The word of God says hatred stirs up strife (Proverbs 10:12) and whoever hates his brother is a murderer (1 John 3:15). Also Philippians 2:3-4 states that people should not think themselves better than others but to put the interests of others before theirs.
Before Covid-19 became a pandemic many leaders believed they could control the spread of the virus. They had confidence in themselves. They underestimated the power of the virus. The word of God says we shall only boast in the Lord alone and not in our own abilities or wisdom (Jeremiah 9:23-25, 1 Corinthians 1:31, 2 Corinthians 10:17).
It is revealed that many countries were not prepared for such a pandemic despite many warnings in the past that the world should brace itself for a pandemic.
The Covid-19 virus has revealed the lack of preparedness and the little investment that has been made towards the health and welfare of people.
Political decisions sometimes tend to take precedence over spiritual and scientific decisions.
Some leaders have lied about the numbers of the fatality of Covid-19 in their countries in order to supposedly maintain stability. Unfortunately the pandemic is an invisible enemy. In any case, our trust should be in God and not in man. God is faithful. The Bible says let God be true and every man a liar (Romans 3:4, Numbers 23:19).
There are also some encouraging and positive attitudes of the heart that are being revealed during this pandemic. I will list just a few below:
1. EXPRESSIONS OF LOVE – People are reaching out to one another and giving support to one another. During times of crisis people tend to become united in order to overcome the crisis. A pandemic like this will make you realize that life is too short and that what really matters is relationships and our love for one another (John 15:12, 1 Thessalonians 3:12)
2. STANDING FOR THE TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD – Where there’s a lie and deception there’s truth. We can easily see people standing for truth, be it for the people or for the word of God. We have individuals who God is raising who are standing up to the authorities and making them accountable for their actions. We also find true men of God who are sharing the truth of God’s word which exposes the false teachers and their teachings. So the heart for truth is being revealed (Psalms 85:11, 100:5)
3. THE HEART OF PRAYER – Even in a world full of evil the Lord has kept a remnant that still honours and seeks Him. The pandemic does not erase the sin or wickedness that is in man. However the coronavirus crisis has brought people towards learning about the sovereignty of God and to understand that we need to pray for God’s guidance and protection. The heart of prayer will pray for the pandemic to go; for the grieving families that have lost their loved ones and for those who have been diagnosed of the disease. We must also pray for the leaders to submit to God and make wise decisions and for God’s provision during such times. We also must pray for people to turn away from idols and from false prophets and to turn to God for eternal life (1 Timothy 2:1-6, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, 1 Kings 19:18).
4. GENEROUS GIVING – Generosity is a wonderful expression of the heart. Generosity is not about how much or how little you have. One does not have to give a lot to prove their generosity, but people give what they can with the right attitude. Many people out of a heart of generosity are giving towards the support of fighting this pandemic be it individuals, organizations or countries. (Deuteronomy 16:17, 2 Corinthians 9:7).
5. HUMILITY EXPRESSED – Some the people and even leaders have being humbled to the point where they do not lean on their own wisdom but they also seek others counsel as well because this can only be overcome by great counsel. So in these times we see humble hearts being revealed.
6. GOD REVEALS HIS HEART – God is revealing Himself to people who use human reasoning and who fight His existence. During a time of crisis people tend to seek to know God because of the frailty of life. So during this time many are seeking God for answers whilst some are drifting away even more. But whatever the case, God is making Himself known to all so that no one is without excuse (John 17:25, Acts 15:18).
These are some of the revealed hearts during this pandemic and as much as we want to live, the question is why would we want to live and who will be living for? What is in our hearts? Does it glorify God or self? God wants all man to be saved and wants to give every man a new heart and put in a new spirit taking away the stony heart (Ezekiel 36:26). If you believe you are in need of a new heart, then trust in the Lord that He can save you from a hardened heart and give you eternal life. God offers salvation as a free gift through Jesus Christ who paid for our sins on the cross (Ephesians 2:1-10).
God wants to give you a new heart. He wants you to have the heart of Christ. He wants you to have the mind of Christ. The only way to have a changed heart and receive eternal life is by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.
DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN or A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST???
1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
This means that we have all broken God’s laws and God’s 10 Commandments like those mentioned in Exodus 20:1-17. For example, if you have told a lie; if you have stolen something; if you have lusted after somebody or if you have coveted. This means you are guilty of breaking at least one or more of God’s 10 Commandments. Breaking God’s commandments makes us sinners. The fact that we are sinners who have broken God’s law means that we are accountable to God who is the Lawgiver. Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death BUT the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner who has broken God’s commandments and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.
2. REPENT: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3), “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;
Therefore God wants you to repent of sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to
follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.
3. CONFESSION: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.
4. BELIEVE: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive him, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12)
By faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Savior and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God
Why Not Make Your Eternal Decision NOW?
We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.
PLEASE NOTE: You can choose to pray in your own words. This prayer is a sample prayer and it is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by GRACE through FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.
“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
Today I repent and have decided to follow you. Thank you for forgiving all my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I trust You as my Lord and Savior – Amen”
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