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Have you ever heard the term ‘Acid test’? Back in the 1800’s, gold prospectors and traders faced the problem of being able to determine gold from other, lesser metals, so nitric acid was used to dissolve away inferior alloys. A crude and drastic process, but highly effectual.

There’s no question that these opening months of 2020 are the direst of acid tests. With staggering speed, every-day, ordinary things are being stripped away. What can be shaken is being shaken, and in the end, what survives is, hopefully, pure gold.

As the corrosive effects of Covid19 are felt all over the world, one of the first things it is exposing with mercilessness clarity is fear. “The pestilence that stalks in darkness” is driving into the light the most primal dread latent within the deep places of our soul. Paranoia is the new atmosphere to be navigated.

Fear is one of the most vicious and debilitating of emotions. It was created as a holy and intimate connection between the Lord and our soul, but most of us experience the diseased and corrupted form. Job, one of the Old Testament’s finest heroes, put it succinctly when he said

For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. Job 3:25.

Not a pretty verse, but it tells us something critically important. Fear creates spiritual anti-matter; voids of chaos and disorder where Satan takes up squatter’s rights. When we’re afraid, we open up a place within ourselves that attracts attack. Covid19 is dangerous, but anxiety, worry, dread and fretfulness are every bit as deadly; a gangrene quietly eating into the inner core of our being.

Take a moment of quiet time. Listen to your fear. Just sit with it for a minute. Look it right in the eye-ball. What are you most afraid of? Can you put words on it? Simply acknowledging fear is our hardest challenge. Once identified, you can then walk around it, laying the explosive charges of Scripture for final detonation.

As I look back over my daily notes for the end of last year, a powerful word emerges. I didn’t remember, but one of the things the Lord spoke over 2020 was ‘Intrepid’. That’s a strong word, so I’ll explain. It means “to be characterized by resolute fearlessness, fortitude and endurance; adventurous, undaunted, unflinching, audacious, dashing, heroic, spirited, brave. Well in advance, the Lord was giving the anointing to navigate what is shaping up to be a very challenging year.

We love to read stories of great heroes and exploits from the Bible, but few of us really believe that we are on their level. Call it modesty, call it humility, call it ignorance, but most of us would not dare to put ourselves in the fearlessness category with David, Samson, Elijah or Paul. This is our chance for the Lord to prove us wrong. He’d like nothing better than to show Himself strong through you. In 2020, you are His champion. You get to be on the front lines and bring the kingdom of God.

The people of God are not denied by quarantine. It’s a time for unflinching prayers to invade Heaven and change the atmosphere of whole nations. Witness the actions of the church in China. In faith, they have seized the moment to come out from underground, don yellow vests and help any and all on the streets. Unafraid for their lives or reputations, they are shinning like diamonds against a backdrop of great darkness, heroes of the faith in their generation.

And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Hebrews 11:32-34 NKJV

These are days of weighty gravity. We’re not being flip about the dangers and difficulties. However, the Lord has already spoken victory and salvation over every situation we face. He is in us, and He is powerful. His word is “FEAR NOT”. In whatever manifestation that takes in your current situation, be intrepid.

I wish I could say I’m impervious to the gloom and doom. I have moments of great, unshakeable joy in the Lord, and then I fall into the place where statistics still overwhelm me. I’m not there yet, but I’m working on it. Amidst the intense darkness of this time, this is the moment for believers to shine. Don’t miss your moment to magnify the Lord.

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