Beloved sheep of the Shepherd,

That word “immunity” sounds wonderful doesn’t it? Imagine if we could be completely immune to the COVID-19 virus, or, for that matter, to all the nasty infectious diseases which lurk all around us? “I’m immune!” No fear!

Of course, “immunity” can refer to other things as well – we can be immune to prosecution, or become immune to unfair, harsh criticisms because we have heard it all before so many times. And here is where it becomes interesting, because God has created our physical bodies with wondrous protective mechanisms so that we can develop immunity to invading threats. In small amounts, our bodies can identify, specifically target, and destroy invading microbes, before they irreparably harm us.

But this is a most beautiful picture of spiritual truth. In our natural spiritual state (dead in trespasses and sins – Eph. 2:1), we have no spiritual immunity whatsoever. Every single sin and lust within us and outside of us had free rein: entering, wreaking havoc, dragging us in every direction of evil, and we were under the ‘prince of the power of the air’ Satan. We were already spiritually dead, and with no immunity, we were relentlessly descending into that eternal grave of hell.

But by the gift of faith, we became alive, we have the life of Christ flowing in us: His grace, His strength, His power. Nevertheless, we are still prone to all the attacks which come: temptations and lusts, the pull of the world, deceptions and false teachings – all of which can make us seriously sick spiritually, in mind, heart, emotions and will. Therefore, we are to flee lusts and temptations, resist the devil, and not live as part of this world.

But notice that our heavenly Physician does not take away every single trial, temptation or difficulty – He still applies many to us – He is “immunising” us! I Corinthians 10:13 – “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” He sends the trial, in just the right dose, so you will not be overwhelmed by it, but it will seriously exercise your “spiritual immune system” and develop you. You will need to cling to Christ your salvation every day, in the truth of the gospel. You will need to learn anew that the Scripture of your Saviour, in its many facets and truth, truly applies to you, and strengthens you in so many ways. You will grow in grace and knowledge, and become increasingly immune and strong in that area (or, your serious spiritual weakness will come to the fore as you fail and fall, and need to cast yourself on Him for more radical healing!).

That is why it is so important that we live in the community of the church where we have been placed to help one another. II Corinthians 1:3-4 – “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;  Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”

Let us look to our great Physician as we face many trials of daily life, physical and spiritual, and know that all of them are sent by a wise, loving Father for our spiritual strengthening, and finally, spiritual victory, in Jesus!

In Christ and His love,