September 20, 2017

Spiritual Preparedness

anchoredtoChrist

Since starting the blog my goal has been to bring a Christian worldview to preparedness, to show Christians that preparedness isn’t a sin and is, in fact, it’s very biblical.

Most articles are about preparedness. I wouldn’t say this means faith took a backseat. This is mainly because I have covered all of the areas of the Bible that I know of that pertain to preparedness. Today the tables turn, and preparedness, while still involved, IS going to take a back seat to faith.

I’ve put in a lot of road time over the last month, some of which was spent in prayer and some enjoying God’s creation. I also spent some of that time listening to audio books, one of which some of you have recommended; The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn. I’m not done with the Harbinger, so this isn’t a review. In truth, it is only part of the reason for me writing this article. Before I go any further, I want to say that this isn’t Chris on his high horse judging anyone. What I have to say in this article goes just as much for me as anyone else.

I’m not a prophet, just a watchman on the wall. That being said I am not trying to be alarmist either, but I am concerned that something is on the horizon that will require us to be anchored in Christ. I am reminded of the parable of the sower. Jesus tells of a farmer who spread seed. Much of the seed perished for various reasons and only the seed that fell on fertile soil flourished.

Anyone who knows anything about gardening knows that you have to pamper soil to ensure it stays fertile, adding compost and mulch, as well as making sure it’s watered. My point is, just because you were in fertile soil when you took the seed of faith and you grew in Christ, that doesn’t mean you can rest. No, you must tend the soil, feed it and protect it. If you don’t, the weeds can come back in and choke out any growth or pests can damage it.

 

Training

Professional athletes spend a good portion of their lives training for a season that is a few short months long, in a sport they’ll only be able to compete professionally in for a limited amount of years. Some pro-boxers train for months for one night. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:24-25

“Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!
All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.”

Are you living to win the race? I hate to admit it, but I’m not. My walk with Christ is stronger than it was in my past. I am in the word daily, I pray, but I still stumble far more than I care to admit. Let’s face it, if a pro athlete had to be in training all year, year after year, I don’t think we would have as many sports teams.

I think that modern day Christians in America and other developed nations might have a harder time with their walk than early Christians. Sure early Christians in the first church were persecuted but they wore it as a badge of honor. Modern day Christians are surrounded by temptation on the internet, TV, Radio, not to mention every-day life. The first church consisted of people who lived with Christ for three years and people who grew to know those eleven. We’re some 2,000 years removed and we only have what we read in the texts, published throughout those 2,000 years. What we all have in common is the indwelling of Christ and the Holy Spirit. Like I mentioned above, we must tend the soil to keep it fertile, lest we let the thistle in and it choke out the growth. When that happens, we allow the quieting of that still small voice and the indwelling of Christ is muted.

Make no mistake, this doesn’t mean we get an easy out. On the contrary, this means we have to be more aggressive at tending the soil, at keeping our walk with Christ as close to Him as we can. I have heard many people say that there is nothing we can do, Christ has done it all. This is not completely true; He made it possible for us to be redeemed to the Father, but we still have to, as Paul said, “run to win”.

 

The Danger

As I mentioned above, I feel like there is something on the horizon that will require us to be anchored in Christ. There are a couple of reasons why I think this is important. First if we are firmly affixed to something we are not likely to be shaken from it. I have witnessed people who, when faced with something terrible, lose faith and turn from God. I had a friend who, at one time, was planted in fertile soil. His wife left him and he started to lose faith. He quit tending the soil. He then was diagnosed with colon cancer and the thistle took over. In the end, he blamed God and was bitter, not wanting to talk at all about faith.

Persecution is also something that may drive others from the faith. We in America are very lucky, as persecution only rarely happens. The following is a story from the ADF, the Alliance Defending Freedom. The article is called “The Longest Night”.. It is a story of modern day persecution of a pro-life Christian group that was unlawfully arrested and subjected to “strip searches” all because they held anti-abortion signs along public freeways. The ADF was able to get the following accomplished.

“Harford County and the state troopers formally acknowledged that the officers’ behavior was unconstitutional, and agreed to train officers about First Amendment and free-speech issues.”

We are told that persecution will increase. Is your faith strong enough to see you through mocking, verbal abuse, being called a hater or a bigot, beatings, arrest or more? It is easy to say “yes” from the privacy of a keyboard, but when put to the test, with threat of violence or death, is your faith strong enough to stand for Christ? Might you falter as Peter did?

Completely falling from Christ isn’t the only danger. Jesus tells us in Revelation 3:15-16

“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! 3:16 But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!”

I’ve never attended seminary, so maybe there is another meaning to this verse. To me, any time I have ever spit anything from my mouth is was because it disgusted me. If I breakdown the above verse to me “hot” would be of God, and “cold” of the world. If you are neither, maybe you are a mix of both.

For many years I walked with both feet in the world, then one foot in each. I have whittled away many of the things that cause me to sin. There are still so many areas that trip me up. It is a good thing we have a graceful and loving God!

Revelation 3:19-20 “I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference. Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.”

If you have areas of your life that cause you to be “lukewarm”, with one foot in the world, be it Internet sites you shouldn’t visit, TV you shouldn’t watch, magazines you shouldn’t be reading or relationships that are not biblical, it might be time to repent and press into the Lord. Let Him correct you and open the door for Him!

While we are individually responsible for our walk, we do not walk alone. One of the things that I am grateful to God for is how this community has formed. We share, encourage and pray for one another. If you have a verse that brings you encouragement or strength, feel free to post it. Do the same for any prayer requests.

 

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