I’m so glad you’ve taken the time to read this book. It’s short, and I hope that it has held your interest. As I wrote, I often wondered how it would be received. I wrote this in full view of the raging pandemic knowing that the school year was canceled, my kids would not return, and neither would I as a substitute teacher. I began a video series and named it “Quarantine Conversations,” and record episodes at least once a week. As I chose show topics reflective of pandemic living, I noticed that I wasn’t the only one experiencing something somewhat “new” during this time. Many of us are merely biding time, it’s a season of survival for some and for others, a season of renewal. For many of us, the words of Isaiah 43:18-19 are very real, “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”
God is doing something new in us and He’s preparing the world for it! Do you believe that? How could it be? The world will be in shambles when we try and return to some semblance of normalcy. And how long is that supposed to take, anyway? I know, that’s what I’ve been thinking. We have spent months sheltering in place with many more days and possibly months of the same on the horizon. Professional sports seasons face the imminent threat of postponement or cancellation. The start of the new school year has been delayed and who knows when the quarantine will lift or in what shape the world will be in once it does? A simple parallel to draw inspiration from is that of the ten plagues in Egypt as the time of Egyptian bondage for the children of Israel came to an end. The plagues were causation for the children of Israel to finally flea Egypt. There was finality in that outcome (Exodus 14:13); their bondage was over, and they never returned to Egypt as slaves. Pharaoh wanted to release them on his own, but God hardened his heart. I often wondered why God hardened his heart because that was quite a noble gesture and the right thing to do. But, because Pharaoh gave chase as they fled, you can surmise that he may have even reneged on his goodwill with no guarantee that they would have remained free. With the final plague, Pharaoh had seen enough and ordered the Israelites and all their belongings out of Egypt (Exodus 12:31-33). Reading about the exodus reminded me of the disciples on the sea of Galilee. What is keeping you from safely reaching the other side? Many of us know the answer to this question, and unfortunately, many others do not. Others of you by now may have forgotten what it was that kept you from even focusing on getting there though you remain stuck and stagnant in your own storm. In Exodus 12:1-13, Moses instructs the congregation of Israel concerning the final plague—the death of Egyptian firstborns.
I want to call this to your attention because I feel a parallel, spiritually. I want to encourage you to embrace this time of rest, respite, and even a reset to prepare for what is to come when the world fully reopens. Though a time of rest, respite, and reset, it is not a time of inactivity as we prepare for life once the quarantine lifts. I also want to speak to those of you who are currently experiencing a shift in your life. You see the signs and are fighting to keep things the way they are but let me encourage you to move or be moved…shift or be shaken. Don’t ignore the signs of even the shaking taking place. It’s important to move with this shift because with it, God is preparing to disburse who and what you are—your influence is about to be scattered! He’s about to increase your influence with this shift because if you don’t shift now, your purpose will die! Some of you are fighting a shift in identity, wrestling who you will be in favor of who you’ve always been. Another word I hear is PIVOT. You just need to turn, most importantly, turn to Jesus. You may not need to leave but simply shift your focus. Whether this shaking is a for sure sign of shifting or simply turning, do it, and don’t miss your opportunity to do so without tragedy!
The Lord instructed the children of Israel to stay in the house when the death angel passed over, and we should also wisely observe the orders to shelter in place. The death angel saw the blood and passed over; that’s how we get the tradition of the Passover (which we celebrated in the house this year). After the Passover, the children of Israel fled Egypt because their captivity was over. The same goes for us in a way because when this quarantine lifts, we will also be on the move, SUDDENLY. Therefore we need to embrace the fact that shift happens. God is moving in our lives, and He is moving in the world, shifting systems, and preparing it for His people, but you must see it in the spirit. In the natural, you may move too soon when you see the economy reopening across the country because God’s moves require His wisdom, depth of knowledge, and a sincere reliance on His power.
Here is something that I’ve just got to tell you because it’s too good to skip: God will not let your enemy take part in His favor for you! The miracle that caused the water to stand up for the children of Israel receded and drowned Pharaoh and his army. What am I saying? God’s plan for His people shifted with their obedience! Congruent to what Moses said in Exodus 14:13, you will never see what you “drowned” at your “departure” again—they were finally free of Egyptian bondage after 430 years! Generational curses are breaking off you and your family right now, receive it. They were poised to possess the promised land but not before wandering in the wilderness. They were free but not from foraging in another foreign land on their way to favor. Though God proved Himself to them time and time again, their murmuring and complaints against God and Moses caused a devastating detour, one of many consequences. Still, the Lord kept their feet from swelling and their clothes from wearing out (Deuteronomy 8:2-4). During the 40 years in the wilderness, another shift happened. With the death of Moses and the generation before, their new leader Joshua was chosen to lead them to the Promised Land.