Columns share an author’s personal perspective.

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Dear Pastor,

Why aren’t all the churches back in session now? At some point, we’ve got to trust God again!

A: Indeed. We’re battling the plagues of fear, fearmongering, grand-standing, power plays and political spin. The truth about our nation’s actual pandemic condition is difficult to determine. Figureheads on both sides of the aisle have microphones in their hands, blasting their personal agendas, confusing us with “expert” medical advice (which contradicts itself hourly), and they are all hogging up the news cycles. What’s happening now is a deathly case of putting our trust in man’s opinion instead of God’s voice. Why aren’t all churches back to work fighting the good fight? Other than legal threats of arrests, I don’t know.

The virus isn’t dead yet. Not since there are still statistics on new cases; although it may be important to consider exactly how these numbers are gathered - imperfect at best; using flawed models of calculation as well. Nonetheless, we must maintain caution and wisdom as we enter our post-pandemic world. Of course! If the virus isn’t dead, we have every reason to fear, right? Nope. Not if fear is the loudest voice in your head. Fear is a liar so its voice cannot tell you the truth. It will speculate; dream up; envision and anticipate all manner of calamity, gloom and doom. Fear’s purpose is to limit your life; shut down your freedoms and contain you in the bondage of worry.

The Christian is called to harken to another voice altogether. We must decide to turn up the volume on that still-small-voice of God who is constantly speaking to us. “Then He said, ‘Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.’ And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:11, 12, NKJV).

Our God doesn’t yell. He doesn’t need to since he’s the only voice that matters. He’s confident in who he is and sure of his position. He is not in competition with other voices. He has the last word on everything. Therefore, God speaks quietly, clearly and with authority to anyone who has cultivated the ability to hear. It takes a humble spirit and an intentionally-quieted mind, which hears from the Lord. Christians have the promise of this ability to hear (John 10:27) built into their salvation, so we are utterly without excuse. We simply don’t often practice being quiet enough to hear God. If we’re not hearing from God right now, something’s wrong with our connectivity. And it ain’t on his end.

Churches must press on, as God leads. Unfortunately, some church leaders are able to hear God’s voice and some cannot. I’m speaking, not from a place of disrespect, but from experience. Men and women of the cloth have the same problems as everyone else ... they simply have a different job. Churches are still closed today because not every church leader is hearing instruction from the Holy Spirit to open their doors.

Am I saying some Christians are fakes since they’re spiritually deaf and afraid? Or a church is only authentic if it is open? No, that sounds like the demonic, spirit of religion butting into this conversation. I’m saying, are we asking God and obeying his instruction? Does our church leadership have the ability to let Christ lead, even during opposition? This is our main problem, and one I know God is addressing inside the Body of Christ right now. The Lord is using pandemic oppression to see what kind of determination is in our hearts (Deuteronomy 8:2).

I’m not making judgments, I’m simply pointing out that it is high time we sort our voices. It’s time to silence the ones speaking in opposition to God, and harken to the voice of our Lord. He is never silent.

Do you have a question or comment for Pastor Adrienne? Send your inquiries to: info@adriennewgreene.com or write to P.O. Box 214, Harrison, OH 45030. For more information on Pastor Adrienne, or to purchase her book, “Ask Pastor Adrienne: 100 Best-loved Columns,” please visit www.adriennewgreene.com.