Coming in to the year 2020, I could not help but think this year’s theme for our annual adult leadership conference (EDGE) for all outpost leaders should have something to do with vision (obviously referring to perfect 20/20 vision, or having clear vision). My thinking was using Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” (KJV) That has since changed.

As I lay in bed on the evening of the sixth day of a fifteen day national “social distancing” intensive against COVID-19, it occurred to me that God wants us to be aware of a different kind of vision. While having an organizational vision is vital for the success of an organization, we are first a spiritual people. As such, we are called to view our world differently, through spiritual eyes.

I am reminded of 2 Kings 6:15-17 when the prophet Elisha’s attendant went out early in the morning to see an army with horses and chariots surrounding the city. He was worried by what he saw in the physical. Elisha was not worried, for he had eyes to see the spiritual. He prayed for God to open the attendant’s eyes and when He did, the attendant saw the Lord’s army of horses and chariots of fire all around.

I am also reminded of the Apostle Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth when he wrote, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Cor. 13:12 KJV) Or, in other words, we currently are looking through a welder’s hood and can barely see what is really going on. But one day, that filter will be removed and we will see clearly.

Filters can change reality. Just like filters on some popular social media apps that are used to make funny faces. What we see is through a filter and is not, in fact, reality. In our daily life, we experience Life through the filters of our experiences. Someone who has been traumatized by something such as a fire, or a vicious dog, or a horrible automobile accident will encounter different situations throughout their life through the filter of that traumatic experience. If you have ever been to a 3D movie, you know that special glasses are needed to watch the movie. If you don’t have the right filter on your eyes, the movie will seem blurry and unclear.

We have the benefit of having our spiritual eyes opened like the prophet Elisha. We are not blinded by the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4). The lost souls of this world are going through life looking through the filter of the Enemy’s lies. Life going forward will not be the same as it was before the COVID-19 pandemic. People are looking for answers. The Word of God has the answers the world is looking for as the entire Word points to The Word, Jesus. Jesus said we would see nation rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, famines and earthquakes, “But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.” (Matt. 24:8) The US Geological Survey tells us that since Israel became a nation in 1948, the number of earthquakes around the world have increased exponentially. We can tell the season of the Lord’s return is here. The exact day and hour He will return, we do not know. But we can see that His return is drawing closer. As His Church, we have a responsibility to complete the Great Commission that He has called every believer to. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you…” (Matt. 28:19-20 NASB) We do not have much time left to complete our commission.

Once the Holy Spirit ceases to restrain the enemy, the Tribulation will begin, followed by the Great Tribulation, for a total of seven years of global catastrophes and plagues that will affect the entire world. What the world is experiencing now will seem like good times. This is not a punishment for sins committed, but a series of events designed to open people’s eyes to the truth. “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”(2 Peter 3:9 NASB) But people will still choose to ignore God, or, worse, curse God.

COVID-19 is not the first, nor will it be the last, disaster to catch people’s attention. People are looking. What are they seeing? What are we, The Church, showing them? Are we asking for Jesus to come quickly and worried about “our four and no more” or are we seeking the face of God and interceding for the harvest of souls that our Heavenly Father is desirable of? Let’s ask our Heavenly Father to open our spiritual eyes to see the world as He sees the world. That we would see their lost condition and have compassion upon them and pray for them and meet their real world needs as He enables us.

“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” (Matt. 9:37-38 NASB)

Your brother in Christ,

Damon Barber