I have always been minded to prepare. From an early age, I was a boy scout, trained to “always be prepared”. When my wife and I were newly married and living in a large metropolitan area, I felt impressed to purchase a 72 hour emergency kit of MREs, emergency radio, first aid, and radiation poisoning pills. In the event of a large catastrophe, a city is about the worst place to be, so I wanted to be as prepared as possible.
I recall the Katrina-fueled (no pun intended) gas shortage during 2007 in which the gas stations in the city we lived in were all but empty. Thousands of cars lined up to be refueled; rage enveloped many city streets; price gauging was rampant; heightened paranoia and anxiety were present. A city utterly dependant on oil came grinding to a halt and it wasn’t a pretty sight. Soon we felt the need to move (for a variety of reasons, one being our neighbors door being kicked in by thieves and two, we did not want to raise children in a city).
Upon moving to the area we live in now, I again purchased a 72 hour kit that included MREs and water. I began to stock up on potable water. I purchased rain barrels and a reputable filter system (namely the Katadyn pocket filter. Very portable, has a washable filter, and lasts forever). We do not have access to a well or even have a nearby water source within a ½ mile on a map, which was a sobering discovery. For the suburban prepper, rain harvesting, filtration, distillation, and conservation are an absolute must. I filtered some rain water recently and boiled it for a minute to kill any bacteria. The taste was rather flat, but I didn’t get sick!
I discovered that Costco sells incredible dehydrated food in large quantities for a very low price. I purchased non-GMO seeds: the kind that WILL reproduce seeds. I purchased an excellent seed vault on Amazon for only $40. Upon making this seed purchase, I realized how deficient a farmer I actually am, and how greatly I need to procure legitimate farming skills.
I soon discovered that a rocket stove is a must-have. It uses wood only, they are easy to light, and are protected from the wind. The directed heat these things put out is incredible and you’re utilizing an unlimited fuel source: wood.
I immediately bought an ax, some good files or a sharpener, and a hatchet.
Gloves, paracord, tarps, an iron skillet and bivy sacks are also items I’ve recently bought. In the event of earthquakes or powerful storms, your home or shelter may be destroyed. Tarps, paracord, and even a quality tent on hand will make a huge difference. Gloves may be an often-overlooked item, but consider the implications if you injure your hands and there is no medical care to be found. The same goes for purchasing waterproof quality boots/foot wear. I also purchased medicine (aspirin, children’s Tylenol) for my children, as it will be in short supply in a SHTF situation.
Granted, these are bare minimum purchases, but I was still operating under the assumption of great trust in my government and thereby simply being prepared for any eventuality.
But I digress. Something happened to me that eradicated my misplaced trust. I began to make these purchases in January of 2012 out of a deep spiritual conviction that is still planted firmly in my heart.
At the end of 2011, I felt impressed to pray and fast. Considering I am a full-time minister, this was nothing new in some respects. But this time, it felt different. God clearly laid on my heart to skip a meal for the first 40 days of 2012. For whatever reason, God really wanted to get my attention.
As I began my fast, the first two weeks had nothing to do with survival or great impending change. My prayers were centered around my community, my church, people I know, family, friends and the like. As I continued my fast, the weight of the sin of the world became clearer and clearer, crushing my soul with the levels of selfishness and evil that are in the world. I felt led to pray “intercessory prayers”: prayers you pray for people/situations/areas/towns when they don’t even know they need it.
Prayer and fasting can also be a powerful mirror to the soul, and I saw myself as being no exception in needing forgiveness. I pressed on and sought the Lord.
Soon my prayers were expanded to the world: praying for world events, nations, leaders, and decisions. I can’t fully explain it, but after two weeks of praying and fasting, God made it clear to me: start getting ready, and with urgency.
I felt my eyes being opened. I saw the governments of the world dealing with what they have: a losing hand, encumbered with debt so great there will eventually be no bail out for the USA – the world’s largest economy. Their actions are telling of a deeper problem: our leaders have no hope, and they are spending and leading in a way that is indicative of that belief. I asked myself, “If I managed my own finances as the government manages theirs, what would that say about my priorities?” It would say that a) I am a complete idiot when it comes to managing money or b) we’re already screwed, so let’s rack up the credit card and spend like there is no tomorrow, because I believe they know this is the case. The government has shown a shameful appreciation for both “a” and “b” characteristics these past few years.
In that same time period, Congress and President Obama passed the National Defense Authorization Act, essentially codifying martial law. The most alarming aspect is that there is currently no need for such an Act to be passed, unless there is a future event they are aware that will occur and we are not.
I began to watch online videos of reputable individuals stating dreams and visions they have received, telling of a future cataclysm of epic proportions, each person unknowingly corroborating the other’s accounts. If you know me, I am not a person who normally goes along with such things unless I am very convinced, as many “prophets” are unreliable. However, prophets are certainly present in our world today, as they have always been, and God has shown throughout history that they play an important role in foretelling coming events. Many of them have been having dreams for years leading up to this age in history, and their dreams are increasing with great frequency.
I thought of Joel 2:28
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.
Many of these prophets speak of asteroids that trigger worldwide earthquakes, famine, and flood. The apostle John speaks of an asteroid referred to as “wormwood” that will strike the earth and render 1/3 of all air and water as poison (Revelation 8:10-11). John also accounts that on the day of the Lord (when Christ returns) the “Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty,” are hiding in rocks and caves, pleading for mercy. Every knowledgeable prepper out there knows that the government has been on an absolute bunker construction frenzy over the past 25 years.
In the Bible, a call to fasting can either be a) in response to a grievous social/national/personal event or b) in preparation for a coming famine, problem, or situation. Consider Joseph in the book of Genesis: God warns Joseph of the coming famine, to stock up on seven years worth of grain so the people of Egypt would not starve. Likewise, God warned Noah to prepare by building an ark. Many forget that Noah built the ark for 40 years. Imagine the ridicule he and his family underwent as they pressed on, trusting the Lord in absolute faith, and in the end, their faith was justified. God uses prophets to warn of impending doom. If we ignore the crazy prophets out there and listen to the real people of virtue, then more might be prepared. [Editor Notes: Some references to modern day prophecy deleted for lack of a track record.]
Likewise, if we believe that God is a God of mercy and love, then God would warn us of impending doom or problems. While God may not always warn us of personal issues in the future, He does have a track record of warning his people en masse (see Joel 2:28 again). When I see thousands of people waking up to the fact that something is coming, I don’t see paranoia (as in Y2K), I see a deep instinct kicking in that is there by design.
For example, when cows begin to play, it is usually going to rain. Animals are aware of upcoming changes. Consider the signs of dolphins beaching themselves at Cape Cod (as they did in late February), thousands of birds mysteriously dying, bees just completely disappearing. Animals know something that we would also know if we would listen: get ready.
So what does this have to with prepping? Everything. I believe that not only does God want us to prepare ourselves physically: ammunition, water, food, medicine for personal use as well as corporate goodwill, but God also wants us to prepare ourselves spiritually. If we do not know Christ, God wants us to know Him. If we do not have peace with God, then God wants us to know that peace. All of the physical preparation in the world will still not account for your soul being lost when this life is over. As Jesus said, “Man does not live by bread alone, but on the Word of the Lord” and “What good does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul?”
More than anything, a living relationship with God is the ultimate prepper “must have”. God bless each of you as we prepare for the future, trusting in God for whatever may come. I pray for peace in the world, but I must believe the words of Romans 8:22 “For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” The changes that await the earth are ultimately for good, although that may be hard to believe when they come. God loves the world, and I believe God is calling certain individuals to be prepared, not just to survive, but to hopefully thrive in a much different society and world.