My first memory of SurvivalBlog is reading the Rawlesian precepts, almost a decade years ago. I remember quickly hurrying over to the ‘Quick Start Guide’ to find out where I should begin. It was there that I read the most important piece of advice for any prepper: “Before you begin to prepare, pray.”
Unfortunately, I thought that this meant little more than a salutary ‘tipping of the hat’ toward heaven before starting out on whatever I thought was best. ‘Do your best, pray it’s blessed, and let God do the rest.’ So I asked the Lord for his blessing and guidance, without really expecting any answer. And then I set forth. I looked for a job in the American Redoubt, began stockpiling guns, ammo, and precious metals. I read any material on prepping I could find. I devoured books and scoured the Internet. I kept a close eye on the news for any hints on what to get ready for.
And then I watched all my prepper plans lead to frustration. I couldn’t find a job outside the major urban complex where I lived. I have forgotten how many resumes I sent, and how many interviews I had. No bites. I wound up having to sell my stockpile when financial hard times came. My timing was always wrong – I would buy at high prices during panics and be forced to sell when medical or credit card bills came due. I struggled to build a common vision for the prepping life with my wife. Where and when should we move? Should I quit my career in the city and try something else? To homeschool, or not to homeschool? I couldn’t seem to get off the ground. I was frustrated, exhausted, and angry. I was stuck.
Maybe this is your experience too?
In this little article, I would like to share what the Lord has taught me about ‘prayer before prepping’ and how these lessons have changed my life and my preps.
We should not expect to hear from the Lord if we are attached to impurity (Exodus 19:10; Joshua 3:5). The impurity may be an overt sin (dishonest business practices, pornography, drunkenness), or it might be something that is simply not edifying in your life (junk food, binge watching television, endless Internet surfing). God has said that He will draw near to us if we draw near to him, but only if we have cleansed our hands first (James 4:8).
In my case, I had to let go of alcohol. I was using it as a nightly crutch to deal with stress (of which I had plenty), and it had to go. It led to dissipation and numbed my mind against hearing fully from the Lord. And it displeased the Lord. If nothing comes immediately to mind for you, ask the Lord! He wants us to be free (Hebrews 12:1, John 8:36, John 10:10).
Cry out to God
To quote a Zach Williams song, ‘bring it all to the table.’ If you are a prepper, you have to be concerned about something. Otherwise, why are you prepping? Talk to your Father about it. Share with Him your concerns, your burdens, as well as the desire of your heart for you and your family. He wants to hear from His children! Do not rush this step – be sure to get it all out before Him.
I actually didn’t have a specific reason for prepping, just a feeling that something bad was coming soon. Things just didn’t seem right. And the feeling would not go away. What are you worried about? What do you feel the need to prep for?
Submit to God
You must be willing to let God direct your life and your family. He may not lead you to move to the American Redoubt. He may call you to inner city ministry in San Francisco. Or He may ask you to stay right where you are.
I suspect that in most cases, however, His calling for you is not too distant from the desires of your heart. But those desires may need a little realigning to fit with His purposes. My brother says that if the Lord calls you to be a missionary in China, then He has probably already given you a heart for China. You might have had a lifelong interest in Chinese history, or the Lord may have given you a lot of Chinese friends. I know there are exceptions (see the book of Jonah), but in general it would be strange for the Lord to give you a love for India and then call you to Alaska.
In my case, I developed a loathing of big cities. I hated shopping malls and crowded restaurants. I longed constantly for the quiet of the outdoors. I would wait for the constant road noise to die down late at night, and then spend as much time as I could staring at the stars from my tiny backyard. I longed to leave the big city, but I had to be willing to stay put (if that was what He asked), before my desire would be realized.
Listen and wait
The Lord has many ways of speaking to His people. In some cases, the Lord answers by signs and wonders (Judges 6:36-40; Exodus 3). In others, He speaks in a still small voice (1 Kings 9:11-13). Sometimes He speaks in dreams (Genesis 41; Matthew 2:13-14) or in visions (Acts 16:9-10). Or through the word of a friend (Acts 10:9-19). Or even by angelic visitors (Luke 1:26-38). Who knows how He will speak to you? But it is so important that you expect Him to answer.
And then you must wait on His timing. Even if you have discerned God’s will, do not move until He says ‘Go.’ We should remember the story of Moses, and not kill the Egyptian (Exodus 2:11-22). Moses had the desire to see God’s people delivered, but had not yet received the Lord’s anointing or His calling. He didn’t wait for the ‘go.’ And he wound up for years in the desert.
Step out in faith
The Lord will not honor those that do not trust Him (Numbers 13 and 14). Once you have received the direction of the Lord and are assured of His timing, take the first steps. ‘Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.’ How was his faith demonstrated? By leaving Ur of the Chaldeans and heading out for the promised land. Let us remember that faith without works is dead (James 2:17).
My first step was to ask my boss if I could telecommute. I felt the Lord telling me to do so. I was sure my boss would say no, but I acted on faith and asked. And my boss said yes.
Brothers and sisters, I hope this small word will encourage you to reach out to our precious Father for direction in these stormy times. He has wonderful plans for our lives, if we will surrender our wills to His and follow Him in faith.
The Lord did eventually lead me to relocate to the American Redoubt, and we are busily preparing for the storm to come. And I still enjoy reading SurvivalBlog. The best part is that I have so much more peace now that I am listening to Lord’s voice in my life. Where will He lead you? Wouldn’t you like to find out?