Just yesterday I read of someone comparing our situation to following a guide and dim lantern in the dark. (Unfortunately I’ve lost the source link.)
There are two basic components upon which we will expound. These follow:
- Confidence in the Guide. This confidence involves believing that He knows us, knows the dangers, and knows the way through. Further, it is believing that He has the power to protect us against what is in the dark.
- Overcoming our fear of the dark and what it conceals. We don’t know what lurks in the dark. We can’t control what’s in the dark, and we can’t foresee what dangers lie ahead on the path the Guide is taking us.
All we are asked to do is stay close to the Guide. How hard is that?
I think it’s important to remember the distinction between what bad people intend to do, or are planning to accomplish, and what God is going to actually allow them to do. I don’t doubt Satan has some diabolical master plan (well, by definition…), or that occultists would love to see certain things happen, but God’s going to keep things within his parameters. I have more faith in his Providence than in the evil machinations of either demons or people.
Define the Goal
Following Jesus through the storm is no guarantee that you will “win,” that you will be comfortable and well-fed, and that you will keep all your wealth and possessions intact. We need to define the goal. The goal is not to die with the most toys. The goal isn’t even, exactly, surviving. Everyone dies. You’re going to die, should Jesus tarry, one way or another.
“Despair is a mental state which exaggerates not only our misery but also our weakness.” Marquis de Vauvenargues 1715-1747, French Militarist, Moralist
“People who have all the toys and piles of preps but who fail to invest in their own spiritual life can still fail, through a failure of will, through a failure of courage and morals, and through a failure to discern the path of God ahead.” – ShepherdFarmerGeek
Despair can only happen when we take our eyes off God.
We don’t know what we don’t know. We are ignorant even of the true extent of our ignorance. To allow despair to take root means we think we know enough to know there is no hope. Well, that’s kind of arrogant.
“Despair is for people who know, beyond any doubt, what the future is going to bring. Nobody is in that position. So despair is not only a kind of sin, theologically, but also a simple mistake, because nobody actually knows. In that sense there is always hope.” – Patrick Curry
Be Smart About Your Ignorance
Consider this, which states, “…we have to work to incorporate an understanding of our near-total ignorance into good decisions.”
Now read that again and think about it…
“…humility in the face of our individual massive ignorance dictates caution and small steps, inexpensive exploration of possibly-good futures?”
But our ignorance is, truly massive, and our ability to see into the future even one minute is hazy at best, much less one week or one month or year. We don’t have all the facts that could be had, and we don’t know the future. But the next best thing is we know the One who knows all that could be known and knows the future out as far as we could want.
His offer is not to transfer all of that information to us so we can decide. His offer is to give us general guidelines to follow for now, and to give us directions and corrections as needed, as we’re going forward. It’s a good offer, and we’d be crazy not to take him up on it. Hey, we’d be arrogant numbskulls not to take him up on it.
I’ve heard words in my head (even “speaking” over my own thoughts at the moment), and have seen some amazing and highly unlikely things (and of course, Biblical signs in the heavens). I’ve been given specific dreams and been directed to amazingly specific Bible passages in response to questions or problems. And God has been providing for my wife and me with our finances in completely unexpected ways.
His providence has been like stepping stones. I step to one and wait, and just before I get pushed off that stone the next one pops up. They’re leading me in a certain direction. This is something I have not seen addressed in prepper circles.
God Still Leads His People
God still leads his people. This is a critical, vital, irreplaceable “skill”. However, it requires that we have ears to hear and eyes to see, and faith to step out and do what we’re convinced God has led us to do. (A few examples in Matthew 1:20, 2:13, 2:19, or do an online Bible search for “dreams” or “angels.”)
God Still Speaks
God still speaks. He doesn’t always give us an answer, but he does always give us something even better: Himself. If he spoke to you in some way would you even be willing to do it? Be willing to follow God when he does give you guidance!
If you lose the trail, go back to where you last knew you were on track. Don’t let sin or failure sidetrack you! Get up and move on.
“Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand.” (Ps.37:24, NKJV). “For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity.” (Prov.24:16 NKJV)
“…giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.” II Peter 1:5-9 NKJV)
Don’t Waste Your Sorrows
Don’t Waste Your Sorrows is a phrase from the title of the excellent book by Paul Billheimer.
A Potential Time of Transformation
The dark time ahead is an opportunity to reexamine, reorient, and reassess. It’s a potential time of transformation, not punishment!
Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome
Improvise, adapt, and overcome, yet how do we apply this to despair? And why don’t we? It’s because despair is surrender, giving up, and not even trying. And why do we give up? We give up because we have faith in the power of what opposes us, what attacks us. And that is because our faith, our confidence in God, has been shaken.
Every Opponent Has a Flaw
Every system, every opponent, has a flaw. You may not know what it is, but God does! Have faith, brothers and sisters! But be sure you’re holding on to what God showed you and not something else.
“We are never defeated unless we give up on God.” – Ronald Reagan
“Never doubt in the DARK what God told you in the LIGHT.” – Raymond Edman
““With Jesus, even in our darkest hour, the best remains, and the very best is yet to be.” – Corrie ten Boom
“…never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” – Winston Churchill
“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet go out to meet it, nonetheless.” – Thucydides, 430 B.C.
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” – G. K. Chesterton
The True Secret
Just as the true secret of patience is finding something else to do in the meantime, the true secret of hope is taking our eyes off the problem and looking toward the Solution. We just never know what God can do. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve experienced or read about “hopeless” situations that went from disaster to resolution with a single event. God can turn it all around. In fact, He’s promised to do just that.
“And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” ….” – Revelation 21:3-5
Trust God. Be prepared. We can do both.
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been another entry for Round 79 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
- A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
- DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
- American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
- A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
- A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
- A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
- A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
- RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
- Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
- Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
- Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances.
Round 79 ends on November 30th, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.