As we continue our spiritual preparation journey, what else are we to do? As much as possible, we must know what to do. So, let’s continue.
Fourth, prepare in community. In light of what I believe is coming to our nation, it would be a serious miscalculation for one person to try to make it alone. Isolation in the Christian life is never good, but in the midst of the coming challenges, it could be disastrous.
The Lord has a “now” message for our nation. Find others who are seeking this message, and pursue the Lord together (Psa. 105:4). Although not in a time of distress, the following is an insightful account of what it means to seek the Lord together and hear from Him:
Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers. . . . While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away (Acts 13:1–3 NASB).
Sometimes people ask, “Can this work in my church small group?” Not to make this complicated, but if your small group or home group is not already talking about the state of our nation and praying into what this means for your lives and community or doesn’t want to make our nation the main topic, you might have to start an additional group.
In summary, this is not something that is easily covered in 5–10 minutes before another topic is covered. Spiritual preparation is serious business, and it takes serious intentionality by the whole group.
Fifth, understand God’s redemptive purposes in bringing a major shaking to our nation.
When trouble comes to our nation, I believe there will be many who do not make it. I believe that 9/11 or the economic meltdown of 2008 will pale in comparison to what is coming.
But in the midst of the chaos and difficulty, I believe God will answer the prayers of His people—that is, those who have prepared spiritually—with a proportionate amount of grace to carry out His redemptive purposes.
One of those purposes will likely be a considerable ingathering of souls. Finally, lost people will drop their video games, movies, and other forms of entertainment and begin to ask, “What is going on?” and “What is life all about?”
At this point faith-filled believers will come forth with the answers in Jesus! I believe that Christians who have rarely led anyone to Christ will find themselves leading family members, co-workers, neighbors, and friends to Christ—if they are ready.
In some ways, this is similar to Acts 8. After Stephen’s martyrdom a “great persecution” broke out against the Christians in Jerusalem. In this chaos, Phillip went to Samaria and saw the power of God released while multitudes came to faith and the city was transformed.
We need to prepare by seeking the Lord in prayer and Bible study, as well as sharing our faith and believing God for His supernatural presence. It is unlikely that Christians who are complacent now will suddenly turn into the apostle Paul in the midst of the turbulent days ahead. We must understand God’s redemptive purposes and move toward them now.
(In future blogs I hope to explain additional redemptive purposes God likely has in mind for the challenging days ahead.)
Sixth, memorize God’s promises to you in His written Word related to walking with Him through difficulty. We are going to need His promises fresh on our minds to have the kind of faith that will be equal to the challenge. Psalm 9 is one of my favorites:
The LORD also will be a stronghold for the oppressed,
A stronghold in times of trouble;
And those who know Your name will put their trust in You,
For You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You (Psalm 9:9–10).
Although there are more to come, take a few moments to digest each of the ways to spiritually prepare we have covered so far. Ask yourself, “Am I ready to walk with the Lord through a national judgment? Where do I need to go deeper?”
(to be continued . . .)