The Life Church
Family Devotion - April 8, 2020

The Church At Halftime

Acts 16:6-10 (NKJV)
Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia.  After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them.  So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas.  And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”  10  Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.

Q. How do you typically respond when your plans do not turn out the way you imagined them to?

Perhaps the word for this pandemic is “uncertainty.” We do not yet know the nature of this virus: where it came from, how far it will go, how long it will last, and what will be the long-term consequences in our culture. This goes against our human nature. Most of us want to know the end from the beginning. In fact, I (Pastor Gleason) won’t watch a recorded football game if I know beforehand that my team is going to lose, because that’s not the result I desire. 

And speaking of football, there is an event in every football game called “halftime.” Halftime occurs right after two 15-minute quarters have been played. During halftime the coach and team go into the locker room and evaluate their first-half performance. Now keep in mind that all week the coach has been teaching, training, planning and scheming an anticipated game plane. But now in the locker room they are not dealing with theory but a reality. Great coaches distinguish themselves by the adjustments they are able to make at halftime. They adjust according to what they now know for sure, now on what they had hoped for. 

Q. What adjustments are you making with work, family or personally during this pandemic “halftime”? 

The great Apostle Paul accomplished many great things during his 30 years of ministry. He opened continents with the Gospel, he planted congregations, he wrote over 1/2 of the New Testament, he shared his testimony with guards, peasants, governors, and kings. He saw notable miracles, wonders and signs, including the dead raised, demons cast out, city-wide revivals, being bit by a venomous serpent with no effect, etc… Twice in the above scriptures it says that he desired to do a certain thing but was blocked by the Holy Spirit. Paul understood that if God closed one door, He would open another. He learned to be flexible. 

Q. It may feel like certain doors have been closed right now, but what other doors has God opened up?

Maybe a good word to employ right now is “flexibility.” We are all being forced to make adjustments: jobs, finances, lifestyle, socially, travel, etc… Tom Watson (who is from Kansas City) won 39 PGA tournaments in his career. He said that in only 5 of his victories was he confident he was going to win because of how his swing felt during the tournament, but for the other 34 wins he had to adjust his way to victory. God has the church right now exactly where He wants it. Let’s work with God and make adjustments for victory! 

Prayer Focus:
  1. Pray over other people you know in The Life Church that may be making serious adjustments right now.
  2. Pray that God will help you listen to His voice, so if He closes one door you can walk through another.
  3. Pray against frustrations that you are dealing with, ask God to help turn them into victories. 
  4. Pray that your neighbors will be safe, and that your family will make adjustments to be salt & light.