by Paul Benson
As the nations of this world grow increasingly unstable, and the days we live in grow increasingly uncertain, talk of survival skills and preparedness has become one of the most frequent subjects of Christian conversation.
And you can hardly tune in to a Christian talk radio show without hearing it discussed and various preparedness items promoted for sale. After food, water, gold, and guns each seem to have their own take on what is utterly vital for the survival of the ‘prepared’ (with these must-have items usually directly tied to the income of the ones promoting them!).
But please allow me to give you my take on what I see as absolutely the most vital preparedness item for the believer as we face the dark days ahead. And I wont charge you a thing!
Knowing The Favor Of God
For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield. Psalms 5:12
Let’s get right to the point, shall we? There is nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, in this world that could better prepare you to face the hardships of natural disaster, social upheaval, disruption of the supply of food or power, or even the overthrow and occupation of our nation than the divine favor of the Most High God! What could possibly rival the ability (and willingness) of the God who created Heaven and Earth to provide for his children?
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Psalms 23:5
Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. Psalms 37:3-5
The Holy Scriptures are replete with the promise of God’s favor upon the righteous. But they are also quite full of strong admonition that a sanctified lifestyle is a firm requirement to qualify for that flow of blessing and provision. We have to walk the path the Father has decreed in order to partake of the fruit that lines that path.
No, we cannot just sit on our backside and expect a window of Heaven to open and drop out each and every thing we need to exist in this world. God has ordained that we be productive and work toward caring for ourselves and our families. Those who try to just ‘walk in faith’ without seeking means to be productive often find themselves in serious lack, and suffer horribly for it; perplexed at God’s supposed failure to supply the needs of life. (Been there myself!)
But we also need to have a confidence in the promise of our Lord that he is willing and able to step in and bring whatever provision we require when it is beyond our own ability to obtain it ourselves. And this divine provision must be obtained through the avenue of unhindered faith (we’ll dig into that a little deeper later).
Learning from Y2K!
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Romans 8:14-15
As followers of Christ we are called to earnestly seek the leading of God in the affairs of our life. And, though we would all like others to believe we are maturely walking in the leading of the Lord, I honestly believe few Christians really do devote much time in prayer or supplication to that end. I have seen too many examples of what was claimed to be done at the direction of the Holy Spirit that turned out to evidence zero leading from above. Case in point: Y2K!
Twenty years ago the Christian community (at least in the USA) was whipped up into a worried frenzy over a supposed approaching calamity (a computer glitch) that we were told would, at the turn of the century, shut down the economic system, transportation systems, our food supply, the power grid, etc. plunging the nation into a long period of starvation and chaos. It was the talking point of the year for most of talk radio. Y2K IS COMING! DISASTER IS IMMINENT! PREPARE OR PERISH!
What did I do? I prayed about it. I heard nothing. So I did nothing. I did not perish!
But, amazingly, an incalculable amount of time, effort, and money was put into preparing for this supposed coming cataclysm by those swearing that God was leading them to do so. And any who were NOT preparing for this impending horror were accused by many as being disobedient to God and guilty of not providing for his family! (This accusation was commonly hurled at us by those selling said preparedness items.)
And what happened? The greatly awaited midnight hour of December 31, 1999 that was supposed to usher in the apocalyptic event that had millions scrambling to prepare for survival came and went without incident. It was the non-event of all non-events! It was the giant ‘OOPS!’ heard ’round the world! And since that time many millions of dollars worth of food, fuel, medicine, and a myriad of other items that were put away for survival have gone bad. A tremendous amount of unnecessary waste of time, effort and hard earned money. All down the drain over a mandate from Heaven that Heaven never issued!
Y2K clearly showed the folly of being led by fear of the unknown instead of actually hearing from God (or not hearing anything from him) and responding accordingly. We need to move in faith NOT fear; and we truly need to move only at the clear direction of the Lord. This takes an intimate walk with him that is not found in mere ‘casual Christianity’!
Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit. Job 10:12
Let me state right here and now that I am not speaking against preparedness. God does visit his people with divine instruction which is often a means of preservation. And a certain amount of preparedness is a natural part of the life of anyone who has an inkling of wisdom.
Even the ant engages in preparing for slim pickings! It was a preparedness minded lifestyle that caused many to survive the hardships of the great depression who would have starved otherwise. Gardens, root-cellars, and storage bins were a way of life in those days; and those who adopt that lifestyle now are a lot more likely to fare well in hard times. I understand that quite well.
But God knows the end from the beginning, and he knows what is in your future and what is not. He very well may tell some to stockpile food and supplies ahead of a genuine event on the horizon. And if he so leads then that leading should be followed.
But we better be putting our confidence in God’s ability to preserve us, and not in our stash of food and weapons. And following presumptions (our own or those of others we trust) can lead to great unnecessary expense; and also great disillusionment and discouragement for those whose expectations see no fulfillment. (And it’s a bit rough on a persons credibility too!)
A Clear Conscience And Divine Favor
And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. 1John 3:22
Years ago I used to see the previous verse in the (false) light of earning God’s grace through good works. But maturing in the understanding of God’s ways has replaced that false reasoning with a realization this passage is more than just about duty and performance. It is also about a clear conscience! As believers we need to understand that God’s favor and a clean conscience are joined at the hip, so to speak.
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, *who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1
*The new bible versions (and the false Gospel they help generate) leave off the last portion of this verse and turn it into a sin pacifying misrepresentation. The last part of the verse gives the qualification for no condemnation. Purity! Please do not use the modern bibles. They will corrupt your understanding of God’s ways!
Yes, a performance of duty is a very real part of obtaining God’s favor; but it is vital we also comprehend what a detriment a condemned conscience is to the flow of God’s blessing upon our lives. Willful sin and faith don’t mix very well. Sin is a faith destroyer! It is quite difficult to move in faith when your conscience is slapping you down with condemnation over disobedience in your walk.
When faced with serious adversity of any kind in this world we have need to be able to not only pray in faith, but also to speak faith infused words into the situation. Faith filled words are a channel through which the power of God can freely flow.
I’m NOT talking about the ‘name it and claim it’ or ‘blab it and grab it’ teachings that claim you can fill your life with riches and possessions with words of faith. That covetousness minded nonsense from the Word of Faith hucksters is a perversion of the Scriptures designed to con you out of your hard earned cash. Don’t listen to them!
Jesus said he did only what he heard from the Father. When a heart that is in tune with the Father (and submitted to his will) speaks forth words of faith they are now a force to accomplish divine purpose (not the will of man). And amazing results can come forth from such Spirit-inspired utterances!
For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. 24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Mark 11:23-24
Jesus was not just spouting hyperbole when he made this statement! Faith filled words are powerful beyond our comprehension. They can produce where all other means fail. We would do well to examine our acceptance of these stunning words of Christ, and their application (or lack thereof) in our life. We need a faith that will produce! And this need will only increase as the days grow darker.
But it would be quite foolish to think we are going to receive an outpouring of divine favor in the hard times ahead if we are not living holy sanctified lives now. Effective prayer proceeds forth from a consecrated heart; a heart that is fixed on God and not distracted by the lure of sin. This is what James was talking about in the following:
For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:7-8
Let’s not fool ourselves, or be hoodwinked by the pacifying nature of modern preaching that says God’s attitude towards us (and his dealings with us) is not determined by our actions. And let’s always bear in mind that defiling behavior defiles the conscience. And a defiled conscience does to faith what battery acid did when I got some on my new Levi’s. It ate them full of holes and made them worthless.
Sadly, there was a time when my faith was not in much better shape than those poor jeans. Eroded away by the faith destroying nature of sin. How’s your faith looking lately? Are you alive in Christ or dead in sin?
It’s an ‘either or’ kind of thing in case you don’t know.
He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. 1John 2:4-6
Hanging On To Your Provisions
All the preparing in the world can be lost in a heartbeat of time through one manner or another. It could be stolen or forcibly taken. It could be destroyed by accident or disaster. Or all could be lost by the need to evacuate your property in a hurry.
Or what good is a stockpile of supplies at home to a dissenter who has been hauled off to jail or a prison camp? Not much!
But the divine favor of God is not something you have to worry someone is going to steal away from you. Man didn’t give it, and man cannot take it away! The only one that can cause you to lose it is YOU!
And God’s favor is so portable!
It goes wherever you go! It doesn’t need to be stockpiled in the basement or barn; and then protected with another stockpile of guns and ammo! God’s favor is watched over by God himself and his angels. The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. Psalms 34:7
He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him. Proverbs 11:27
Let’s walk the path of divine will and enjoy the fruit of it, shall we?
All in all a lifestyle that leans toward preparedness is sound wisdom. And if God truly does lead you to stockpile then by all means do so. But if you are a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ please give some serious thought to just what it is that genuinely makes one prepared for whatever comes our way.
And that is the divine favor of our Heavenly Father.
Whether it’s lean times, catastrophe, war, or even persecution and great tribulation (probably sooner than later), the grace and favor of our Lord will see us through! Let’s make sure we are walking in, and trusting in, that provision of favor.
That is truly preparedness at its finest!
Blessings upon all who love our Christ;
P.S. If this article spoke to you maybe you would also benefit from this one: Can Christians Change The Fate Of A Nation Under Judgment?
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