Since this lockdown, I have been praying for a deeper spiritual understanding of this present situation. I am praying for myself, my husband, our children (natural and spiritual). This word applies to all believers but especially us, the members of Father’s House Bible Church, Warri/Effurun, Nigeria (and it’s ‘branches’). The truth is that the Holy Spirit has been rather quiet to me. I have been waiting in silence… This week, the Holy Spirit gave me a word: ‘You are on time out!’ At the beginning I did not understand this word. But soon, the revelation came with it. I remembered my time as a mother to our three children. I will teach them what is good and what is bad. I will correct them when necessary. If our children disobey my command, I correct them. If they continue in disobedience, I warn them to obey it, if not, there shall be consequences. If they ignore my warnings, then I must discipline them. Sometimes, words are not enough. I have two options: 1-Active punishment (to flog them) and 2-Passive punishment (going on Time out!). I believe that in this season, God has put us on ‘Time out!’. The virus is not in charge! God is!
What is ‘time out’? It is a form of parental discipline that ‘works’ very well. When your child loves his toys more than you, the parents; when he becomes rude to you for the sake of playing, then your child must be disciplined. When two children fight over a toy, then the toy is removed from them and they both must go on a time out (in different corners of the room, not together in the same place). Time out applies to younger children. The older the children get, the more they understand words of counsel. Time out is a period of two to five minutes when the child is forcefully removed from the middle of his toys and entertainment and put on a chair facing the wall. At the beginning, he will cry and complain. But he must learn to ‘cool down’. He must learn to stay still. As parent, what do you do? You ignore his cries, you continue your work, but keeping an eye on the child, so that in anger, he will not hurt himself. If your child says that he needs to go to the toilet, you can take him there, and you bring him back to face the wall. The child must learn that his cries and lies do not have the power to manipulate you, the parent. The purpose for this ‘time out’ is for the child to learn wisdom, self-control, to stop being selfish and spoiled. When he has nobody to talk to and nothing to play with, he will learn to love and appreciate his parents and his siblings more than his toys. In other words, the child will learn wisdom and true love!
Spiritually, this forced lockdown is a time out! God is teaching us wisdom and love during this season of ‘time out’. The earlier we cooperate with His loving discipline, the faster we shall come back to ‘normal’. We cannot deceive or manipulate God! We shall discover that God the Father is in charge! We must do His will, not ours! This is one of the spiritual purposes of this painful lockdown. Children must behave as their parents. God’s children must behave and talk like Jesus! I heard it said that during storms of life, God’s children run to their Father. They miss their Father. They want to see their Father’s face. They want to feel their Father’s presence. They want to hear their Father’s voice! But the children of the devil, behave like slaves. They take advantage of the storm and run away from home. Remember that God chastises only His children. It is a sign of love. Sometimes we need ‘tough love’. The chastisement is not ‘sweet’ now. It is in fact painful. But it will produce the good fruit of spiritual maturity, wisdom, and true love! God wants us to share in His holiness not in the world’s lusts (Heb 12:1-11). We are God’s children! Let us run back to God the Father’s everlasting arms!
Let us pray: Dear Heavenly Father, we ask for forgiveness and for mercy. You are right! You are always right! For a long time, we have ignored Your warnings. We fell in love with this world. We started loving Your gifts more than we loved You, the Giver. We stopped being grateful… We complained against You and became careless with Your Word, with prayer and with the worship. We started quarreling with our brothers and sisters in the church. We lost our testimonies as children of God… Thank You Abba Father for taking us to ‘a time out’! Since we have been in this lock down, facing the wall, not able to go to Your sanctuary, not being able to serve You in your house, we are now humbled. We thank You for Your loving discipline. We thank You for this ‘time out’ away from Your blessings. We thank You for teaching us how to love You! We thank You for helping us to be like Jesus! We trust You to bring us, stubborn sheep, and foolish lambs, back to the fold. We miss the fellowship of Your Spirit and the assembly of our brethren. Have mercy on us, Father! You are our first love! To serve You is a privilege! We vow that by Your grace, we shall obey You always and worship You in humility, faithfulness, and truth! We love You, Father, Son and Holy Ghost! In Jesus’ name we pray, amen!