Social distancing has become the latest description of how we are to interact with others. COVID-19 has interrupted all of our lives. Social distancing has been introduced as a way to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Six feet between us and others. No hugging. No touching.
Although my and husband I have not been going out in public, we have been going out for walks. Others are doing the same. We smile and shout hello as one couple stays on the sidewalk and the other couple moves to the street. More than six feet apart!
A few days ago, it was our granddaughter’s birthday. We wanted to give her a gift. We went to their home and handed her gift through an open window. We chatted for awhile. Charity and her family were inside and we were outside. More than six feet apart!
Later that evening, I was reading Max Lucado’s He Still Moves Stone. The affects of social distancing were still on my mind. Lucado wrote about Peter keeping his distance from Jesus after Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Luke 22:54 says, “Then they seized Jesus, led Him away, and took Him into the house of the high priest. And Peter followed at a distance.”
Lucado expounds, “He (Peter) was loyal . . . from a distance. That night he went close enough to see, but not close enough to be seen.”
Hmmm. Peter was social distancing! It was not long before Peter regretted his actions of not staying close to Jesus. Let us not be guilty of spiritual distancing.
God is not interested in spiritual distancing. He wants to be close to us no matter what our world situation looks like. There is no need for us to keep a safe distance from Him. He is not afraid to give us a hug. In fact, He wants us to come closer to Him at this time.
James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” Yes, I cannot help noting that God is telling us to wash our hands. He is referring to spiritual hand washing. Currently, we are constantly hearing about physical hand washing. A way to avoid spiritual distancing is to be cleansed spiritually.
James 4:7, says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Satan is the one from whom we must practice social and spiritual distancing. He is trying to disrupt our lifestyle, but he will not succeed spiritually.
Psalm 145:18 declares, “The LORD is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.”
In Give Him 15 for 3/2020, Dutch Sheets shared the following. “Draw near to Him in a place of abiding. Abiding is being vitally united to Him. As you draw close to Him, listen to His voice and not to the voice of fear and chaos that so many media outlets are causing and promoting. He will speak to areas that He is causing us to think differently in, and even give us new ways to walk out our faith during this time. . . . He is our refuge. Spend time with Him and draw near that His glory will be your canopy and shield.”
Psalm 91 is a good Psalm for us to declare over our families, church fellowships, nation and world. I will highlight a few verses. Verses 1 and 2 say, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, ‘You are my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” We can actively abide with the Lord as described by Dutch Sheets. Verse 4 tells us, “He will cover you with His feathers; under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and rampart.” We can’t get much closer than under God’s wings! Verse 9-12 promise, “Because you have made the LORD your dwelling— My refuge, the Most High— no evil will befall you, no plague will approach your tent. For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. They will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Verse 15 declares, “When he calls out to Me, I will answer hm; I will be with him in trouble. I will deliver him and honor him.” No space for any spiritual distancing!
For medical reasons, social distancing may be necessary at the present time. However, this only accentuates the need for NO spiritual distancing. Joshua 1:9 encourages us, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.“
The Lord promises no spiritual distancing throughout both the Old and New Testaments. Deuteronomy 31:6 emphasizes, “the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” In Matthew 28:29, Jesus says, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
The Lord calls out to us in Zechariah 1:3, “’Return to Me,’ declares the LORD Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the LORD Almighty.”
My Reader, declare with me Psalm 73:28, “But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all Your deeds.”