The question of the hour in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic is not, “What is God saying?” Don’t be mistaken – this is a very vital question to ask. However, if we have been hearing what the Spirit is saying over the last few years, we should not be unaware.
The crucial and vital question in the midst of this unprecedented crisis is WHAT DOES GOD WANT? What does the LORD, who shakes heaven, earth, and all nations, want? Especially from His people? More than just saying something to us, God actually wants and insists on something from us!
The next question is: does God want us to rise up in authority or to bow down in humility?
Without a shadow of doubt, we the people of God should always arise and shine in times of crisis. When nations are in chaos and turmoil, we have to be the light to give hope, direction and clarity to people who are in great need of help. As the people of God, we need to arise, to stand in the gap, to shine for God and be the answer for such a time as this!
Yet, it is obvious that God is also pressing the “pause” button. The world is at a standstill. Almost everything is grinding to a halt. The Church is not immune or exempted from this disruption. Many ministry plans, conferences, services and overseas engagements have to be postponed, put on hold or paused. God is intentionally enforcing a DIVINE PAUSE to our normal routines of life and ministry so that we can focus on the one thing that is necessary (Luke 10:42). He wants His people to LEAN IN and ENGAGE His heart in this crucial juncture of human history.
Undoubtedly, as we enter 2020, we are entering into a new season and new decade where the LORD is preparing His people to arise and shine with a new history and new normal (Isaiah 60:1). What was normal for the people of God in the book of Acts will become a New Normal in our midst. The LORD is about to bring forth a Divine Upgrade for His people. He is raising up a generation of nameless and faceless people of God with real, deep and authentic walks with Him, to partner with Him in the coming finest hour of the Church of Jesus Christ!
However, the Word of God is also very clear and consistent: To be first, we have to firstly be last. To be great, we have to firstly serve. To be exalted, we need to firstly humble ourselves.
Yes, we need to rise up in authority in this crisis to be the voice of God, the salt of the earth and the answer. Yet it is also a time to BOW DOWN IN HUMILITY.
There is a great need in this hour. We must not draw back or back down. We must arise to pray and meet the needs of many. Yet, we must be mindful of God’s agenda for us to LEAN IN and ENGAGE His heart by intentionally and intensively SETTING our heart towards the one thing that is necessary.
We need to bow down in humility to seek His face! We need to lean in to hear His heart! We need to search every area of our hearts so that deep repentance will arise! We need to intentionally “buy oil” and cultivate real, deep and authentic history with Jesus!
We are in a time of shaking. The purpose of God’s shaking is to reveal weaknesses and fault-lines in our lives, and to remove every false prop that has been giving us a false sense of confidence. The desire of God is really to shake off everything that can be shaken so that what cannot be shaken will ARISE and SHINE!
In the light of this divine pause, I am calling for a 12-Day ONE THING FAST (April 1 – 12). The primary focus of the fast is to LEAN IN to God and ENGAGE Him. These are the focuses for the fast:
1. To bow down in HUMILITY
2. To rend our heart in REPENTANCE
3. To ALIGN in love and obedience
4. To LEAN IN to hear
The One Thing Fast is timed to coincide with the ending of the Global Jesus Fast (March 1 to April 9), the coming Jewish Passover (starting April 8), Good Friday (April 10) and will end on Resurrection Sunday (April 12).
How can we participate in this One Thing Fast?
We can do a water fast, liquid fast, Daniel fast or whatever form of fast that we can. The key is not the form of the fast but the engagement of our hearts with Jesus.
Individually, let us also take time daily to seek God’s face by applying the principles in 2 Chronicles 7:14, Joel 2:12-17 and Luke 10:42.
If it is possible, we can gather small groups of like-minded people to pray for ourselves, for the people of God in this nation, for Singapore and the current pandemic situation.
Ultimately, we want to intentionally bow down to respond in humility, to rend our hearts in repentance, to align to His heart and will, and to lean in to hear.
This is neither a plan nor strategy to stop the pandemic. We must not do this as a requirement or out of a sense of duty. This is a SOBER and SACRED CALL for us to LEAN IN and ENGAGE God!