Nation after nation have shown varying degrees of willingness to sacrifice their economies in order to save “lives at risk” from the coronavirus. While critics assert that sacrifices were ordered by some leaders to save their political lives as much as they were motivated to save the physical lives of others, the fact remains that people have sacrificed and submitted to their worldly leaders’ authority in an effort to save their lives from the threat of coronavirus. Economies and livelihoods have been brought to their knees, as the world has changed its behavior in an effort to protect lives.
It is indisputable that these sacrifices have been made in the context of physical lives – not spiritual lives. Who among us has not witnessed the lengths to which we will go in an effort to protect our physical lives from the coronavirus?
If we are willing to change our behavior and submit to worldly authority in an effort to survive a threat to our physical lives, which are finite, why is it that we resist changing our behavior and submitting to God’s authority to protect our spiritual lives, which are eternal? Sadly, perhaps the answer is that we value our physical lives more than our spiritual lives. Perhaps the answer is that we have replaced God in our hearts with other things that matter more to us than God. Perhaps we don’t believe in God, in Jesus, or the Bible – or if so, only those aspects that are compatible with our sinful lifestyles (but which are incompatible with the Gospel in its entirety). Despite our outward appearances, only God and we know what is in our hearts and minds. Only God and we know what our relationship is with Him and whether we are obedient to Him.
Jesus tells us that God’s most important command is to love God with all our hearts, soul, and mind: “…‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second most important is similar: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets stem from these two laws and are fulfilled if you obey them. Keep only these and you will find that you are obeying all others.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
The pandemic is tragic in a worldly sense, as are other worldly events that harm us or threaten physical death. Instead of giving in to our grief, hopelessness, or fear, however, we can take comfort in knowing that we are loved and we are not alone: “Even when walking through the dark valley of death I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me, guarding, guiding all the way.” (Psalm 23:4)
Rather than focusing on threats to worldly wealth and relationships, we can take comfort in God. We can use this time to reevaluate and strengthen our spiritual wealth and relationship with God.
If we can humble ourselves before God, as we have done before the coronavirus, if we can change our behavior in submission to God as we have done in submission to the Covid-19 pandemic, then we can save not only our physical lives, but — more importantly – we can save our spiritual lives as well. However, we cannot do it alone.
Jesus teaches us that no person can save themselves or others spiritually, because only God can do that: “This remark confounded the disciples. ‘Then who in the world can be saved?’ they asked. Jesus looked at them intently and said, ‘Humanly speaking, no one. But with God, everything is possible.” (Matthew 19:25-26)
Through God, our spiritual lives can be saved from the consequences of our sins. But only through God. The Bible teaches that our spiritual salvation is the reason that God sacrificed His only Son for us. It is the reason that Jesus was crucified, died, and resurrected: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.” (John 3:16-17)
Whether we accept God’s love and gift of spiritual salvation, depends on whether we believe in God and in Jesus and obey God – it depends on our faith.
Photo Credit: Jazzdat