Terry Casales - April 14, 2020
The global pandemic that is taking place right now has forced many to be on lockdown. For many the longer it lasts the more it feels like a spiritual “time out.”
We can remember times where we got ourselves in trouble as children when our parents would send us into “time out.” They would tell us to take this time to “think about what you did.” I am here to tell you that what we do with this time will determine whether it is a time out or a place of preparation for what God is calling us to step into with Him.
I cannot help but think about how astronauts in the International Space station handle being in a confined place in space.
Astronauts face many challenges during their time in space:
Much like many of us, astronauts are facing being completely cut off from friends and family. What helps to keep astronauts motivated in their isolation is staying mentally fit and connected to the earth. It makes us think about other times when people have been shut in and how they have handled it. They did not have the luxury of being able to stay connected with others via the internet, or even via the telephone.
Astronauts must be prepared mentally for the unexpected — they must be prepared to be problem solvers on the fly. They prepare for this mission by repeating procedures to the point that they adopt them. They are trained to do this to help build into them the confidence that they need to believe they can influence and change their circumstances for the better. Here is an example of an astronaut who was able to take what he learned to survive a very scary scenario:
This type of repetitive training helped astronaut Luca Parmitano survive one of the scariest wardrobe malfunction in NASA history. During a 2013 spacewalk outside the ISS, Parmitano’s space helmet filled with water after his suit’s cooling system malfunctioned. The water-soaked helmet and sudden nightfall made getting back to the airlock impossible to do by sight. To make matters worse, the veteran astronaut was on the brink of drowning in his own spacesuit.
Parmitano’s training and intimate knowledge of the station’s architecture allowed him to find his way to safety even in complete darkness. His fellow astronauts and ground control later commented on how cool-headed Parmitano stayed during the entire ordeal — training had trumped his fear and it had given him the confidence to manage his stress and survive. (Source: https://astronaut.com/space-stress-how-astronauts-manage-their-mental-health/)
When this crisis occurred, the mind of this astronaut was able to automatically go to the procedure that he had programmed into his mind, to control his emotions and to focus on the task at hand drawing from his intellect.
According to the article, NASA is currently researching the effects of long term space flights that last 6 months on the mental state of astronauts. In the case of the flight to Mars that is currently being planned, NASA is researching the mental strains of long-term confinement with others with the added element of periods of disconnection from the earth (with each round trip message transmitted lasting 40 minutes).
One can easily see how such a scenario can cause what Russian psychologists have named “spaceflight asthenia “— long-duration syndrome. According to the article, symptoms of this condition may include: fatigue, weakness, irritability, insomnia, withdrawal from others, and territorial behavior.
Beginning to sound familiar?
As followers of Jesus, it is in our best interest to study the Word of God to study how others handled a similar situation and learn how the Lord helped them to navigate through it. Joshua 1:8 teaches us that:
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. - James 1:5 (NKJV)
While the astronaut’s mental training proved successful when he needed it, we, as followers of Jesus, have the divine advantage — we have the Word of God and we have the Holy Spirit of God living inside of us — we have full access to the Mind of God Himself!
God calls us to renew our minds with His life-giving Word on a daily basis:
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. - Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
When we make it a lifestyle to spend time in the presence of God in the secret place, meditating on His Word, we are being filled with the Word of God which is much more powerful than mere information because the Word of God is a Living Word:
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. - Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being priest for Me;
Because you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children. - Hosea 4:6 (NKJV)
It is important to note that head knowledge is not always enough — the Word of God teaches us that knowledge and wisdom go hand in hand if we are to be prosperous and successful:
wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like.” - 2 Chronicles 1:12 (NKJV)
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. - Proverbs 9:10 (NKJV)
For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding; - Proverbs 2:6 (NKJV)
I feel like the Lord has allowed this time for us to be able to increase our knowledge of Him and the wisdom to be able to navigate in this new era and to be able to see past the swirling chaos that is surrounding us. We must trust in the wisdom and in the knowledge of God - in the narrative of His Word — above the narrative of this world if we are to overcome in this season. We must not put trust in our own understanding but in the Truth of what God says! As long as we seek God first as our Rock we will get through this time, not just surviving, but thriving and walking in victory!
Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, And the strength of salvation; The fear of the Lord is His treasure. - Isaiah 33:6 (NKJV)
Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth. - Hosea 6:3 (NKJV)
“No one is holy like the Lord, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God. - 1 Samuel 2:2 (NKJV)
He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He. - Deuteronomy 32:4 (NKJV)
In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God. - Psalm 62:7 (NKJV)
Not only do we have access to the Mind of God and the Word of God, we have the presence of God for He is with us:
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” - Hebrews 13:5 (NKJV)
Not only is God with us, He will make a way where there seems to be no way in the most impossible situations:
The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble. - Psalm 9:9 (NKJV)
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. - Psalm 46:1 (NKJV)
It is God who arms me with strength, And makes my way perfect. - Psalm 18:32 (NKJV)
For with God nothing will be impossible.” - Luke 1:37 (NKJV)
But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” - Matthew 19:26 (NKJV)
While God did not cause this pandemic, He always uses what the enemy has meant for evil to turn it around for our good. It must be noted that everything that we experience in life is preparation for the next thing — no season is ever wasted!
And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise And knowledge to those who have understanding. - Daniel 2:21 (NKJV)
The Lord is inviting us into the greatest time in history and He is allowing this time of Selah (pause, rest and meditation) as a time of preparation with Him. God is drawing us to the war room (that place where divine strategies with God are made) with Him in this hour! We must take advantage of this opportunity to pursue the heart of God — to position ourselves to be still before Him in the secret place to allow Him to heal our hearts and souls. It is now more important than ever for us to be intentional to be in His Presence and be still long enough to hear His voice. The old paradigm of how we did things is quickly ending and the Lord is helping us to adjust to His Kingdom paradigm which will become our new normal! Our Abba desires us to engage with Him to receive His instructions, His wisdom, His strategies and His guidance on how to navigate this new era right now so that our hearts and our minds will be ready to step out of the cave and into the land of promise in Jesus’ Name!
You do not have the luxury to allow yourself to drift away from the Lord God and from His plans for your life any longer beloved! We, like the astronaut, must remain tethered to Him in the secret place, no matter what things look like right now in our circumstances or in what is happening in the natural! God is calling all of us to focus on Him and on the Kingdom mission for which He is preparing us. He has set apart this unique time for us to build with Him because once we cross over, everything will suddenly accelerate! It is crucial that we must not allow ourselves to become asleep, idle or passive during this time. The enemy is trying to do everything he can to keep us in fear of what is going on around us and in fear of the future! The devil is a liar! He is desperately trying to keep us tuned in and aligned to his narrative at all costs because he is quickly losing his stronghold on humanity — he is desperately trying to keep people from waking up from the matrix (from our spiritual and mental "dreamlike" state) because he knows what is coming!
Instead of choosing to think of this time as an inconvenience or a cage of isolation, we need choose to look at it as an opportunity to answer the call of God in our lives, to finally let go of the distractions and put to rest our old, limited thinking and mindset of the past once and for all. We are each called to step into the land of promise with confidence, boldness, courage and in freedom! It is time to keep our eyes forward on God and on the task at hand! Our breakthrough moment is coming very quickly and there will be no looking back and no turning back! The Lord is slamming shut the doors of the old paradigm behind us! This window of opportunity the Lord has given to us in the body of Christ is closing fast! The time of our Exodus from the old paradigm is upon us! So get ready now, beloved! Focus on the mission God has called you to do right now, put your hands to the plow and build with Him before everything changes! We must make sure we are attentive and at the ready to adjust, align with and move quickly with God when the time comes, so that we are not caught off guard! You really don’t want to miss out on what God is getting ready to do!