Preparing for What is Ahead
Part 2 in a 3-part series on Preparedness
By Robert Foster
Is Comfort Evil?
Comfort is no more “evil” than a hammer or a bullet. It is what we allow it to become over time that matters. Comfort is what we all need at some level. Comfort and true rest come from loving relationships as well as the presence of the Lord. However, if comfort starts slipping into a desire for and love of possessions, then we start departing from the well of true life and start drinking from sources that leave us lacking. This creates in us a spiral effect of desiring more and more possessions.
How does this relate to stocking up in preparation for an emergency? Most people who stock up have some reason that motivates them. Figuratively, this “reason” is called TEOTWAWKI, or “The End of the World as We Know It”.
The reality is “the end of the world” looks differently for every person. For me and Kathy, it was because I had lost my job and only made $5K that year working whatever odd job I could find. During that time, we had to live off of the food we prepared the years before. We would have been in serious trouble had we allowed personal comfort in previous years to keep us from hot days in the garden or late nights in the barn birthing livestock.
The Danger of Complacency
When comfort is allowed to shift into acquiring an abundance of possessions, it turns into complacency. When mentioned in Scripture, complacency is always put in a negative context. Consider these;
“On that day messengers will go out from me in ships to frighten Cush out of her complacency. Anguish will take hold of them on the day of Egypt’s doom, for it is sure to come” (Ezekiel 30:9).
“Woe to you who are complacent in Zion, and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria, you notable men of the foremost nation, to whom the people of Israel come!” (Amos 6:1).
Complacency is the result of allowing comfort to become trust in what you have acquired, not in The Lord, thereby turning your possessions into an idol. At that point, your possessions possess you and you end up serving what you own. As a culture, North America, as well as the world, has been traveling this dangerous road for some time. There are many factors that have helped to bring us to this position, but His solution to this problem is the same solution given to Israel in the Old Testament. He is going to shake us.
Major Shifts are Coming
It is good to mention some of the things that the Lord is going to use to cause a major shift in our lives. It is likely that each of these things is going to happen in our world and could happen at any moment.
• Crash of our economic system
• Crash of the electronic grid
• Martial law
• Destruction of our food system
• Death of a loved one
• Fill in the blank________
As the household of faith, there are two things we need to ask ourselves before starting to stock up. They may seem obvious, but that does not mean we should ignore them.
1. How much of you is still connected to the things of this world? “I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me” (John 14:30). As more of you rests in the Kingdom, that much less of you rests in the hands of the devil. Here is a good “test” for you: pretend everything you own is now gone. It’s easy to have a knee jerk, puffed up, spiritual reaction and think that you will start praising God. But, how about a week or a month down the road?
2. What is the Lord leading you to do? “But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come” (John 16:13). The reality is the list of what is coming is too big and too vast to prepare for all of it. You cannot do it, neither can I. But God can lead each person in the way that is needed. Take a close look at the Scripture here. I see a chain of command listed with the end result being that you can rest on the fact that your orders are coming directly from the King.
What do answering these two questions accomplish for us? They help to clean things off of us so that we can more effectively work from a place of confidence. Confidence from the Lord is an excellent seed bed for knowledge to grow in. The knowledge of what He is leading you to do will point you in the direction of what your own personal preparedness needs to be.
Dropping the Weight
As my wife’s new Facebook post says. “You can spend a lot of money trying to maintain your “comfort,” or you can adjust your point of view and relearn what comfort is.”
I have often heard that faith is spelled, R-I-S-K. Our willingness to risk our own comfort often times is a key to unlocking the door of faith the Lord wants us to walk through. Our own destiny is placed along that strange and unfamiliar path that is just beyond the next door. Taking that first step might mean that you learn to set comfort aside.
When I first got married, I put everything I owned into the front half of the bed of my truck. I remember my wife raised an eyebrow and said, “Is that it?” Seventeen years later, the Lord had us move 400 miles inland. I remember making several trips, renting storage units and having the stress of figuring out how to “take it all.” Six years later, we sold our farm and moved across the nation. We sold most of our stuff or gave it away, and we even left a lot behind. If it could not fit in our 6X16 stock trailer and truck, then it got left behind.
We soon discovered that my truck and trailer was highly overloaded, and I was going to need to drop some weight. The next day, we stopped at a friend’s place in Oregon and while there, I made the painful decision of what to leave behind.
We had packed as many dry goods as we could and also a large collection of Kathy’s Grandfathers ministry books. So I emptied most of a 55 gallon barrel of wheat and barley as well as other containers for a total of 500 pounds. Much of it I had collected from local farmers.
Then, we unloaded about 500 pounds of books. That was painful because those books were important to me, some were over a hundred years old. Grand total, we left behind about 1,000 to 1,200 pounds.
Readjusting to the New Way
The prophetic picture to me was that He was changing my physical and spiritual food. If I would have kept the comfort of the old, I would most likely have not made the journey. But my willingness to drop the old meant I could embrace the new. Our ability to make the transition into new things often means “dropping some weight,” and most of that weight has a certain level of comfort to it because we are familiar with it. Many ministries and people suffer under the same problem, the tyranny of the familiar.
Every time we have moved, we try gardening the “way we used to do it back home.” But what we find it that we need to learn to readjust to each climate and soil. As we learn, we start finding the need to adjust how we do things from year to year. I have seen many people, and even ministries, never learn the lessons of this. One definition for insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. It’s the tyranny of the familiar that is comfortable and keeps us stuck where we are.
Readjusting our comfort is going to be a high priority in the days ahead. Learning to do some of it now is for the best. The local grocery store and restaurant is most likely no longer going to be an option for food. Remembering that, “A prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions…” (Proverbs 27:12), we, therefore, need to carefully consider what is coming and what our personal response needs to be.