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HEART Christian newspaper | July 15, 2020

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He’s God, not Google!

Last updated on June 21st, 2020 at 06:36 pm

Ultimately, we WILL be given answers. Faith is trusting God when he speaks and when he doesn’t, says Canon J John

While some are scrambling to unravel the mystery of Covid-19, popular Christian speaker  J John has gently challenged us to remember that “God isn’t Google”!

“God wants to be known as our heavenly Father, not simply as the answer to everything that puzzles us”

“We often turn to [God] and ask for answers, but the fact is God wants to be known as our heavenly Father, not simply as the answer to everything that puzzles us,” he wrote in a recent blog post.

“This pandemic is an alarm call over our beliefs and behaviour”

Canon J John

Canon J John (Philo Trust)

Many, he said, are looking for a ‘Poirot moment’ to explain why the coronavirus is happening: “Is man, nature or God responsible? If it’s God, what is he doing and why? Is it a judgement? A warning? A test? A shaking up of the world?”

The evangelist,  whose ‘Just One’ events at stadiums in London and Kent have seen hundreds make a commitment to follow Jesus, declares that Covid-19 is primarily a warning. “I believe God is sovereign and controls the universe and is certainly in charge of matters. I believe that this pandemic is an alarm call over our beliefs and behaviour, our attitudes and actions.

“I believe that God can give the wisdom to a scientist to find the vaccination or to just totally eradicate the virus. I believe God wants to get our attention and wants us to repent of our sins, starting with the Church – we have rejected God and ignored his commandments.”

He added: “I also wonder if it might be a good reminder to look again at some of the Old Testament verses – until very recently much ridiculed – that say things like: ‘Thou shalt not eat bats’ (Leviticus 11:19).”

Speaking of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet the night before his crucifixion, he commented: “When Jesus, taking the role of a servant, begins to start washing, Peter protests, only to receive the reply, ‘You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will’ (John 13:7, NLT).”

J John believes this story gives three helpful lessons for today:

  1. Trust God’s timing

“We must accept that we may not be given answers to our questions now. Jesus didn’t answer Peter’s curiosity and left him short of an answer. In fact, I think God frequently does that… he is God, not Google. Faith is trusting God when he speaks and when he doesn’t.”

  1. One day we will get answers

“We can be confident that, ultimately, we will be given answers. Jesus promises Peter that someday he will know why he is washing the disciples’ feet. In our instant age, patience is not exactly a popular virtue, but it’s what we need.

“St Paul, whose towering intellect must have found unanswered questions frustrating, could write, ‘For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known’ (1 Corinthians 13:12, NIV).”

  1. Actions first, questions later

“We mustn’t let questions distract us from doing what we need to do. As Jesus talks about what he is doing for the disciples, he says, ‘I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you’ (John 13:15, NIV).  At times like this our priority should not be questions but actions.”

Ultimately, says J John, the pandemic is a chance to find peace with God before it’s too late. “What is far more important than getting answers about this global crisis is the opportunity for us, while we are still alive, to repent and get right with God, and to put things right by taking him and his commandments seriously.”

He added: “Let us do what we are instructed to do in Micah 6:8: ‘The Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God’ (NLT).”

NLT is the New Living Translation of the Bible; NIV is the New International Version

Original article: https://canonjjohn.com/2020/05/12/solving-the-mystery/

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