We are all eager to put a cap on the year 2020 and move forward. I think we are all hoping for something magical to happen on New Year’s Day 2021. Like the whole mess of 2020 will somehow be behind us. This is probably just a coping mechanism within all of us that is getting us through what has been a historically difficult year.
What happens when we find out that 2021 is a lot more like 2020 than it is like 2019?
This is a reality that we are all soon going to be smacked in the face with. No miracle fix will instantly lift us from the horrors of 2020. Yes, the vaccine will help. But don’t fool yourself there will be no magical return to normalcy.
Now if you are not too depressed to continue reading let me share with you some important truths that will help you get past the difficult days that lie ahead.
Satan loves this global pandemic for so many different reasons. Why is it so important to him? Simple. It is aiding him in achieving his only objective. The enemy’s sole object is to separate you from God. He knows that he has already lost. He knows that he will spend an eternity in misery separated from God. Misery loves company! He wants to take as many people with him as possible. To do so the enemy using the following ten tactics to separate people from God.
Isolation has always been a top ten tactic for the enemy. It is by far the most effective tool in his belt right now. He is loving this global pandemic because he is winning on a global scale.
Why is isolation such an effective tool of the evil one? Look no further than some of its crushing effects below.
The enemy is winning part of the battle by using the pandemic to isolate people from each other and the local church. Most churches are only running 30% of their pre-pandemic attendance. Many churches have closed their doors for good. Statistics show that while online worship attendance was relatively high in March, April, and parts of May it has no dropped off significantly.
Isolation is an effective tactic of the enemy!
Globally, people have experienced extended times of isolation as a result of COVID-19. While isolation is new to many people it is NOT new to the disability community. People who live with disabilities are no strangers to the effects of isolation. The enemy has long used isolation to crush the disability community keeping them separated from the local church and other believers.
The negative narrative around disability has kept the disability community isolated from the church from the beginning of time. Even Jesus’ disciples bought into the lies of the enemy about disability. Jesus had to correct them (John 9) and help them see that disability is not a negative and a punishment from God. Unfortunately, churches have bought into the lies too. If not, why would nearly 90% of churches in America have zero disability ministry, programming, or intentional outreach?
Okay, getting back to isolation. We have all experienced it to some degree because of the global pandemic. We understand that that the disability community was no stranger to isolation pre-pandemic and will remain in it post-pandemic unless churches wake up. We have identified that isolation is bad. We have identified that the enemy is using isolation to separate believers from each other and ultimately God.
What is the answer? Where is the hope?
Thankfully, God is not silent on this topic. I will answer these questions in two parts. The first and most simple answer can be found in Hebrews 10:25.
The enemy wants to separate you from other believers, the local church, and ultimately from God. He wins when he accomplishes this separation. So don’t let him win! Keep meeting together! If you cannot meet together in person keep meeting online. “Don’t give up meeting together.” Sure, meeting online is not the same as meeting in-person. We all can agree on that but just because it is not the same doesn’t mean we give up on doing it.
Continue meeting together and continue encouraging each other with words of hope. Isolation and separation breed discouragement. To battle against the tactics of the enemy, we must lift each other up with encouraging words. With the flood of negativity that we all experience daily from the news, social media, etc. we must double down with building others up.
Hebrews 10:25 gives us our first clue on how to defeat the tactic of isolation from the enemy.
The second way to defeat isolation is to incorporate the lifestyle of solitude in our lives. What is solitude?
Solitude is the practice of being alone.
Wait. How is that different than being isolated? Take a look below.
Jesus often withdrew to be alone so that he could pray. There was always a purpose to Jesus’ daily moments of solitude. Jesus withdrew so that he could connect with his heavenly Father.
Why would Jesus do this? Simple solitude has as many positive effects as isolation has negative effects. Consider the following ten positive effects of solitude.
Solitude has so many benefits! Jesus knew it and practiced it daily.
Moments of solitude allowed Jesus to tackle each day with confidence. He typically withdrew early in the morning before anyone else was awake. He spent time with God. Focused himself and drew energy from this alone time.
Imagine if we too incorporated this lifestyle of solitude? How much more effective could we be?
Solitude and isolation are on opposite sides of the same coin. When we spend the majority of our time isolated we are crushed by its negative effects and the enemy wins. When we practice solitude daily it gives us the focus, energy, and wisdom we need to defeat the tactic of isolation.
Time to review.
Identifying the tactics of the enemy gives us the knowledge we need to fight back. Isolation is just that, a tactic of the enemy. It is used by the devil to separate us from other believers, the local church, and ultimately God.
We can defeat isolation by practicing what God tells us in Hebrews 10:25 and by practicing solitude.
There is hope! The enemy will not be victorious if we put these practices in place.
It is Ryan’s passion to equip and empower churches, organizations, and individuals to reach their disability communities for Jesus. Ryan comes to Ability Ministry with 15+ years of ministry experience. He previously worked at First Christian Church in Canton, Ohio as their full-time Disability Pastor. He also worked as a Church Consultant for Key Ministry. Micah 6:8 and Proverbs 31:8 best describe Ryan’s commitment to life and ministry.