How to combat COVID-19 successfully

We need to combat coronavirus with the spiritual weapon. We need to get right with God. We need to humble yourselves, pray and seek God.

There are extensive information and instruction through the different forms of media for managing the coronavirus pandemic. But do you know how to combat COVID-19? Yes, we are continually told to maintain WHO protocols, social distancing, wear masks, use hand sanitizers and the list goes on. Apart from the key precautionary and containment measures, there has been no mention of the most effective weapon to fight against the coronavirus attack—the spiritual weapon. In the absence of vaccine or medicine to treat the illness, what we need to know today is how to deal with the pandemic at the spiritual level.

Pandemic is not new to this world. Generation after generation had faced their own share of uncertainties. During this pandemic, everyone is playing the blame game…one nation pointing figure at other nations, some blaming the government while others blame God or the devil. But if you study plagues in the Bible, we don’t find much mention of the devil. If you dig deeper into the various plagues that occurred in the Bible, we also learn that God always has a purpose in allowing the plagues to happen.

It is important for us to know that though God allows or gives permission for this crisis to happen, remember it is not caused by him but our sins. If we have to blame, we need to blame ourselves and not God. So, blaming God in anger, or at Satan or even at the pandemic itself during crisis will not serve the purpose. Yes!  Sometimes, we see that pandemic or crisis happen for no fault of ours. It could be because of one person’s sins or of some specific group. But nevertheless, it affects us all. In Numbers 25 in the Bible, plague came as a result of the idolatry and sexual immorality of God’s people. The plague that broke out in Numbers 16 was caused by the rebellion of Korah and the judgment that fell on those people. Seeing the judgment scared the people, but it did not change their hearts. When God brings His judgment on a nation because they rebel against Him, the righteous often suffer right along with the wicked.

To some extent we all experience something similar in our lives where we suffer the consequences of someone else’s sin. Maybe you’re in a marriage where you’re doing your best to follow God but your spouse has rejected or rebelled against God and you have to bear the consequences of that. Maybe you’re doing the very best you can in your job to work for the Lord and not for men and you’re a model employee. But because you work for a boss who wants nothing to do with God, you’re ridiculed or even persecuted for your faith and you hate going to work every day. For some of you kids, you have probably missed recess at school sometimes because a few kids in your class aren’t doing what they are supposed to be doing even though you haven’t done anything wrong.

During the first three plagues that occurred in Egypt, God allowed the plagues to strike the Israelis as well as the Egyptians (Ex. 8:22-24). We may be baffled by this and ask why would God allow His own people to be afflicted with polluted water, frogs, and lice? He was getting their attention as well as the Egyptians. He was preparing them to exit Egypt. He was disturbing their nest so they would follow Moses to the Promise Land. To stand up and command those plagues to cease before God. Once they had served their purpose with the Israelites, God made a distinction between them and the Egyptians. None of the other plagues touched them.

However, along with plagues comes some instructions to tackle it. First, is to set right our relationship with God through prayers. Now is the time to turn to Him with all our heart. Every crisis is a call to seek God… to draw closer to him by repentance, confession and commitment to God. The question is how do we turn this pandemic around? Does the Bible teach us how to deal with it? Yes, there is abundant instruction in the Bible—the most reliable manual in any crisis and repentance and intercession are the keys to resolving the problem. There is no mention here of social distancing, although that is a good, practical thing to do.

But simply praying will not serve the purpose. We need to pray right. For prayer to be effective we must do it God’s way. We know that prayers are powerful. But the power comes after we have gotten properly aligned with God. Otherwise, we would be just howling at the moon. It means, we must not begin with screaming at the virus. But begin with submitting ourselves to God. Begin with confessing your sins. Begin with personal repentance and renewed consecration to God. We also need to humble ourselves before God.

2 Chronicles 7:13-14 (Bible) is so appropriate to our current crisis. Notice the setting in verse 13. In times of crisis, do this! "When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."

There is no command here to rebuke the devil…. or the virus. The command is to get right with God. The command is to humble yourselves, pray, seek God, and turn from your wicked ways. The lack of that is what opened the door for the problem in the first place. If we opened the door by our wicked ways and neglect relationship with God, then we close the door by turning from our wicked ways and seeking God.

Remember it’s not the volume of prayers that gets God’s ear; it’s a submitted, obedient heart. We can miss the point of it all if we jump right into rebuking the devil. First, we must get in right relationship with God. Then we can assert authority against the devil and the disease.

Today, we certainly have people praying for God’s mercy. But I wonder how much of the time that prayer is prayed for self-centered reasons – so that we can have an easier, healthier, more affluent life. The fact is many of us tend to pray for our own self-interest rather than for God’s interests and God’s glory.

The efforts of our government through this crisis is much appreciated. However, that is not our ultimate source of safety. King David in the Bible said, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses,” “But we will remember the name of the Lord our God” (Ps.20:7). Man can do many wonders, but God can create something out of nothing. He can speak galaxies into existence. He can turn water into wine. He can feed thousands with five loaves of bread and two small fishes, and do it without going into debt. If you need manna, He can rain it down from heaven. If you need water, He can bring it out of a rock. His resources are unlimited because He is infinite and omnipotent. Make sure you keep your eye on Him as you walk through this crisis. His eye is on the sparrow, and He is watching over you.

First Published:June 7, 2020, 12:32 a.m.