By various information sources and the stirring of the Holy Spirit we perceive an ever clearer understanding that geo-politics are merging with Bible prophecy. This can be a frightening conclusion, especially to the newly aware, but it need not be.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
There are many knowledgeable people out there advising us on how to prepare for what’s coming. It’s heartening that spiritual preparation is sometimes mentioned as being the most important “prep” to make. Then the bulk of the article goes on to list food, water, medicine, equipment, etc., often in great detail, even offering insight into the author’s personal preference in firearms selections, right down to make, model and caliber.
I’m not in disagreement on the necessity of making physical preparations. They are needed. Since we are warned specifically of that which is coming, out of faith we should prepare as the Lord leads us. Otherwise, what use is the warning? Even our friends at FEMA suggest having a couple of week’s supply of food and water, independent of the need of refrigeration or freezing, in case of disaster.
That said, the rest of what you’re reading here will be about the vital importance of spiritual preparation rather than the few lines it normally gets in other treatises. Physical survival only happens for a specific period of time, the length of a human life, even under ideal conditions. What we know for sure, one way or the other, is that eternity awaits.
As I write and speak on what’s happening and where it leads, I get the inevitable, “Okay, I get it, so what can I do?” It’s a legitimate, heartfelt question, sometimes asked in near desperation. Here’s the answer.
We need to have faith without reservation; a level of absolute commitment that doesn’t place potential consequences over obedience to God. It’s a fearless faith like David had when he confronted Goliath. A relentless faith demonstrated by Paul while enduring numerous hardships. The resolute faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego as they faced death in the fiery furnace.
How can such a faith be achieved?
“And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.” (Luke 17:5)
Many desire a powerful faith. Such is not given of God, it’s a choice we have to make, a decision to completely trust in Him.
“And the Lord said, if ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you” (Luke 17:6).
Was Jesus stating the impossible? No, this is the literal power of faith without reservation or doubt! To achieve this depth of faith we must settle some things in our hearts and minds. No more half measures or partial commitments.
For starters, do you fully comprehend who God is? God is all-powerful, omnipotent and omnipresent. He is completely perfect, righteous and holy. He loves you and desires only the best for you. A stumbling block to our faith is when we start assigning fallible human attributes to God. Maybe God doesn’t completely know or understand my situation…
Foolish isn’t it, to place our puny mind in a superior position to God’s unlimited power, knowledge and wisdom. As if we can think of something God hasn’t considered.
Yet we do it. Despite who God is, we don’t fully trust Him. It’s a lack of faith borne of doubt. We fear and fail because of doubt.
Satan the liar, the deceiver, the murderer, whispers to you, questions you, appeals to your pride. He ridicules and scoffs. Everything he says is a lie. Remember that. Everything he says.
Doubt weakens faith. It isn’t an external force, it’s internal. It happens between your ears. You either control doubt, banish it, or it controls you.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
Submitting yourself to God requires faith, which in turn renders obedience. You can’t resist the devil while at the same time entertaining the temptations he offers. All sin must be accounted for, a penalty has to be paid.
Enter God’s love, grace and mercy; enter the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the Son of God who came into this world because of sin, fully man and fully God, to live amongst us, to suffer as men do, and out of perfect love die for us, in our place, to atone for our sins. He chose certain agonizing death to offer each of us the gift of salvation.
“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief ” (1 Timothy 1:15).
The prophet Isaiah foretold Jesus’ coming, including His purpose and the things He would endure for us.
“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:3-5).
Death itself could not hold Jesus.
“And when I saw him (Jesus), I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death” (Revelation 1:17-18).
Should we not have faith in such a Savior? His disciples heard Him teach, saw His actions, witnessed His execution and experienced the glory of His resurrection. No wonder that they risked beatings, imprisonment and execution. They in fact suffered these consequences, accepted them, and while doing so healed the sick, cast out demons, demonstrated various other miracles and led multitudes to Christ. All through the power they accessed by faith without reservation.
We know of Jesus today because of these mighty spiritual warriors of God; ordinary men made extraordinary by their faith. They lived for a time, as we all do, their lives having powerful meaning.
Dare I ask, what’s the meaning of my life? Of yours? We’re either seeking God’s presence, spending time in it, or we’re stumbling about under Satan’s influences. There is no other option, though the devil disguises his dominion to appear otherwise.
It’s here that I ask another question of great importance. What is the Bible?
The Bible is the inerrant, divinely-inspired revelation of God to humanity. Written by men, arranged by men, translated by men, yes, but ordained by God, mandated by His will, given to us today in His perfect essence for what He wants us to know of Him, by Him. If you don’t understand this point, your faith can never be what it could be.
“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:6-8).
Satan is ever at work. Worldly theory has intruded into modern theology, placing the machinations of man over the power of God. This is finite human reasoning that brings confusion, strife and defeat to those whose minds are so ensnared. It speaks to the very deceived condition of a person that might not even realize such doubt is a denial of God’s supreme authority. Or maybe they do. Whichever, this is exactly what Satan wants.
“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” – Mark Twain
Life can be difficult. We’ve all experienced heartache, pain and loss. It’s times like these when Satan attacks without mercy. Even Job started to question God’s power and character after a series of calamities beset him. Job got his answer.
“Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding” (Job 38:1-4).
This is the powerful opening of Chapter 38. Read the whole chapter; marvel and know who God is.
Here’s a simple truth.
If the Bible is flawed, then it can’t be trusted. This is Satan’s premise for attack. Disprove the validity of the Bible and God isn’t who He says He is. Neither is Jesus. You can just pick and choose what you want to believe, your mind changing according to situation. A false faith is self-delusional and has no power at all, except the power to destroy you.
The foundation of faith is the assurance of knowing who God is, who Jesus is and what the Bible says. These points must be without question in your mind. If they are not, Satan has influence in your thinking.
Quite simply, faith without reservation is totally submitting your will to God, seeking only His will for you. By doing so you’ll be blessed with peace, joy, courage and power that surpasses human understanding. I’m not implying that you’re invincible, I’m saying whatever happens, you’ll face it steadfastly and without fear. As a dear friend has reminded me, “You can threaten me with Heaven all day long!”
The breadth of faith can provide either the grace afforded Stephen while he was being stoned (Acts 7:58-60) or the protection given Daniel in the lion’s den (Daniel 6:16-23).
The same single angel who slew 185,000 Assyrians in one night (2 Kings 19:35) is still just as capable and stands ready even now at God’s command. Today’s most highly trained troops using the most lethal weapons man can create would fare exactly the same as those Assyrians of three thousand years ago. Believe it!
For faith to be genuine, it must be demonstrated.
“What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone” (James 2:14-17).
Faith is not just about what it does for you, but also what it does through you on behalf of others.
“Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” (James 2:18)
Works prove our faith, blessing others as we ourselves are blessed.
“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble” (James 2:19).
God will not settle for a mere acknowledgement of His existence. That’s not faith and such will not save you.
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
Knowing this is not enough, we must completely accept this truth.
“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26).
Whatever the earthly cost of faith, there is eternal heavenly gain!
Devote yourself to reading the Bible, pondering what you’ve read. Pray in diligent prayer. Act on your faith, be bold, for the Lord is with you!
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
Not seen yet, but soon. Possibly very soon.
Ultimately, the question is not what should I do to survive, but how shall I live by faith in the Lord? Seek God now to prepare for the bad times that are coming, times that are even at the door. He knows far better than me or anyone else what you should be doing. Humble yourself, ask in faith, knowing that God will answer you.
God sees the future. He allows adversity into our lives to strengthen us for what lies ahead. Don’t be shaken by such things. Neither allow Satan to use it to attack your faith. He’s already beaten so stop spending time with that loser!
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things (what you need) shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).