Quarantined but Not Bound!

Imagine how the Apostle Paul must have felt: bound with iron manacles, he was imprisoned in a dungeon in a foreign country by his own people for the crime of preaching the Gospel. A Roman dungeon was a hole in the ground with a grate over the top. No one fed you unless the soldiers let your friends or family in to throw food down to you. No one ever came into your cell to visit—except rats. No bathrooms, no toilet paper, no heating. And he knew it was almost the end. Still he said:

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead and descended from David, according to my Gospel, for which I suffer to the point of being bound like a criminal. But the Word of God is not bound.

2 Timothy 2:8-9

There are things far worse than quarantine. But even at the point of death, the topic foremost on the mind of Paul was the Gospel.

I met an elderly lady today who was visiting the skate park to witness to the skaters there. No one else was there, so she asked me if I knew Jesus. It was wonderful fellowship. She was so frustrated because the quarantine had shut down the church lounge and the coffee shops where she usually spent time witnessing to people. She really wanted to share the Gospel, but all these restrictions were preventing her.

Normally every week, my friend, Ivan Semenyuk, leads people out to the stores to go power evangelizing. Many people are healed and some make professions of faith. But now no one goes to the stores anymore. It’s frustrating.

If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Yet how wonderful it is that people want to share the Gospel so badly that they can hardly wait for the quarantine to be over! Here’s the good news: you don’t have to wait! Frustration is the birthplace of creative solutions. Social media is only one way to reach people during this time of fear and discouragement. Now more than ever people are open to a warm loving phone call. Ivan’s group does Power Evangelism and healing ministry on Facebook and TikTok. All our churches’ small groups are on Zoom now.

Jerry and Norma host their small group on Zoom

I go out to the skate park most every day, and between falls and bruises, I make connections and give prophetic words to the skaters. People are starting kingdom businesses and ministries that meet in Facebook groups. Gamers are winning their friends over Discord. I’ve even heard of people holding signs on the street offering “drive-through prayer.”

Drive-through prayers (Image credit Mercury News, https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/11/18/spiritual-offering-to-go-at-churchs-drive-through-prayer/

Back in Paul’s day, God prepared the way for his Word. The Greek culture colonized the world providing a common language for the Gospel to be communicated in. The Romans built high quality roads, many of which have lasted two thousand years, for the Gospel to travel from country to country. Imagine what the apostles could have done with the Internet!

Of course we have problems. Yes, people sometimes abuse the Gospel. Of course governments are impeding our rights as they try to stop this pandemic. Of course satan’s so-called kingdom is on the move. But now, as in Paul’s day, the Gospel is not chained!

Frustration is the birthplace of creative solutions! Click To Tweet

If you’re feeling frustrated, it’s time to lift your eyes from your normal way of doing things and ask Holy Spirit how He wants to roll next. He is never lacking for creative ideas. But He often lacks people who will slow down and listen!

So in this time when everything is topsy-turvy and the world doesn’t know which end is up, take a cue from Paul in his dungeon cell. From there, in the depths of his frustration, although he could not be out winning the lost, he wrote most of the New Testament. I’m sure if he hadn’t, God would have gotten His word out another way, but aren’t you glad Paul didn’t just give in to fear, self-pity, and doubt?

Let’s take this time of slowing down and isolation as an opportunity to listen in on the counsels of heaven. Then let’s act on those strategies to bring about the billion-soul harvest that is almost upon us. We have a world to win!