The pastor’s e-mail went something like this: “We have a group that meets every month or two for fellowship and discussion. We want to invite you to join us at our next meeting and give us your thoughts on good ways to prepare for the hard times we’re likely to see.”
Preparing for hard times that could take place before the coming of the Lord covers many things: spiritual preparation (faith issues); storage of food and water (famine); purchase of silver and gold (economic collapse); safe rooms (tornadoes), etc.
Also, some people scoff at those who prepare. They remind me of the foolish virgins who were not prepared to meet the Bridegroom because they took no oil with them (Matt. 25:1-13). And others remind me of the wise virgins who were prepared to meet Him because they took vessels of oil (symbolic of the Holy Spirit) along with their lamps.
To keep this article from being too long, it will be limited to spiritual preparation based on the teachings of Jesus in the Beatitudes (Matt. 5:1-12). Christians are in a spiritual battle and we need to know if we are performing by God’s standards. If we have a spiritual problem, we need to deal with it before Jesus comes for His Church. My check list contains eight attitudes or Christian characteristics.
Concerning our first attitude, Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Poverty of spirit concerns our attitude toward self. It can be narrowed down to how we think we are going to get into heaven:
By paying for our own sins or by trusting Jesus to pay for our sins for us? Getting into heaven requires a payment that God will accept not a payment that we want to pay (not something we want to give or do) and it is quite clear that faith in Jesus is the only thing that God will accept.
Concerning our second attitude, Jesus said, “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” Mourning concerns our attitude toward our sin. If we are saved, our sin should cause us to be convicted by the Holy Spirit. This conviction should be accompanied by an attitude of unworthiness that should lead to grieving and confessing. Mourning over sin is a blessing because it can produce change that causes people to get their hearts right with God through Jesus.
Concerning our third attitude, Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Meekness concerns our attitude toward God and others. It means we are not self-righteous and we humble ourselves before God. It also means that we treat others in a kind, gentle, self-controlled, non-judgmental way. We are blessed when we have a right attitude toward God and others.
Concerning our fourth attitude, Jesus said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Hungering and thirsting after righteousness suggests an attitude of wanting spiritual food and drink to be more like Jesus. Physical food and drink are our strongest bodily appetites. We can eat and drink a lot, but it won’t be long until we want more.
We can get so hungry and thirsty that nothing else will satisfy us. In like manner, our desire for the Bread of Life (Jesus) and Living Water (the Holy Spirit) should be our strongest spiritual desire, we should always want it and we shouldn’t be satisfied with anything else. The one who hungers and thirsts for God’s righteousness is blessed because he knows his spiritual life and health depend on it.
Concerning our fifth attitude, Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” Here mercy concerns our attitude toward the needs of others. It involves acts of compassion for the needy and the lost. Those who have this attitude are blessed because they will receive mercy from God.
Concerning our sixth attitude, Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” Pure in heart refers to an attitude of sincerity or right motives. It means not being a hypocrite or not putting on a show or not attending church to look good or to receive a pat on the back. Those who attend and serve for the right reasons are blessed because they will see God in His magnificent glory.
Concerning our seventh attitude, Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” The attitude of peacemakers is to spread and preserve peace not to sow discord. It is to prevent strife not cause it or stir it up. The peacemaker is blessed because he belongs to God.
Concerning the eighth attitude, Jesus said, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Many church members never do anything in the church except attend about once a week, if that much. Some hop from church to church or stop attending because they get their feelings hurt or for some other petty reason.
Others serve in many ways, are falsely accused, criticized, etc., but they don’t fall away. They remain faithful, hang in there and persevere. This attitude of perseverance come what may (and it has started) is a blessing because they are in the kingdom.
One of the best ways to prepare spiritually for what is coming is to get our attitude in line with these eight God-given attitudes.
Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck