Friday, October 7, 2011

What is the Most Important Tool to Prepare for the Future


He was definitely a stranger in a strange land.  He was God on earth in the body of Jesus Christ.

He was locked into a specific body, time, and place.  He could have set Himself free, but He chose to stay and carry out His plan, His duty, and to be obedient to God His Father.

In this strange land, He lived in a nation occupied by Rome.  The government was hostile to Him and to all His people.

His adversary was the devil himself.

It was the devil who attacked Him in the wilderness.

At His disposal were legions of angels, not to mention His own power, a power so great it spoke the world into existence.

Jesus had prepared Himself for that day.  His weapon of choice was the Word of God. 

 Now it obviously was not fair that Jesus was tempted at all. 

He was prayerful.
He was humble.
He was obedient.
He was not in a place of obvious temptation.  He was in the desert.
He heart and mind were steadfastly set on doing His duty.
He was actually utterly perfect.

You could say Christ had His eye on the prize, His nose to the grindstone, His jaw set like a rock, or that He was single-mindedly doing what He was supposed to be doing.  All this is true.  He was doing everything right, but yet He faced temptation from the most dreadful of adversaries.  He faced the devil himself.

Jesus faced the devil with the same weapon that you and I have.  Jesus faced the devil with the written word of God.  That’s it.  To the devil’s temptations Christ replied by quoting what had been written down by men moved by the Spirit of God. 

What has been written down for us in the Bible is always for our good.

It is written to teach us.
It is written to comfort us.
It is written for our defense.
 It is written to people of all ages and sizes.
It is written to people of all economic stations.
It is written to people of all nations.
It is written to people of all social standings.
It is written to all skin colors.
It is written to people who are weak and to people who are strong.
It is written to people of all beliefs.  (It is written to convert those heading down the path to destruction, but it is written to all people.)
It is written to tell us the truth.
It is written for our defense.

 Seeing as this was the weapon of choice for Jesus Christ against such a powerful adversary, it is silly for Christians to choose any other weapon when facing such a foe.  Now if you are being charged by a grizzly bear and happen to have a 306 rifle in your hands, it is very likely that the rifle should be your weapon of choice.  There is a call for common sense here.  If you are being charged by a grizzly bear it would be a good idea to cry, ‘God help me!’ while you are aiming.  But, go ahead and shoot.

 Unfortunately, it might be easier to face a charging bear than to face the more subtle things that you face every day. 

 As a man, Jesus had nothing with which to face His foe. 

He didn’t have an earthly army, servants, personal possessions, political friends, friends in high society, or a computer on which to begin a petition to limit the devil’s power and influence. 
I was taught growing up, and have found it to be true, that you really only own one thing.  That is your attitude.  Your attitude is what you make of it.  It can be good or bad.  The more you know the word of God and the more you practice it, the better your attitude will be.  The more you know scripture, the easier it will be to quote scripture when you are tempted.  You will not face the devil face to face.  It will be more of a battle for your thoughts.  The first practice you will get at quoting scripture will be to the evil or rebellious thoughts in your own mind.

In past articles we have covered:

Self- reliance

 Knowing who you are is essential in preparing for the future.

 Preparing physically for potential difficulties, disasters, hard time, and even persecution is a very good thing.  You don’t want to be trapped in your home wishing you had bottled water, toilet paper, and a Twinkie.  You also don’t want to be wishing you had more than a rock and pocket knife to take down that rabbit that occasionally passes under the bushes near your driveway.  A nice fat rabbit would make a meal for a hungry family

 So, do be prepared materially as much as is possible and reasonable.  It isn’t a good idea to actually go hungry today in order to have food for a potential disaster in the future.  You can cut back on your how much you spend on groceries today in order to spend a little on a food stash for the future.  (I personally think putting in a fish pond in your basement is a little extreme – given the possibility of growing mold as well as fish.  But do what you think is best.) 

 However, no matter what the future brings, there will be a lot of ‘down time’.

You will be alone, waiting, trying to rest, trying to get a moments peace, trying to figure out how to ‘tweek your plan’, wondering how to better prepare for the future, or possibly even sitting in prison for exercising your faith.  That is the battle for which you must prepare.  Because Jesus Christ Himself used the word of God to answer temptation, we can be sure that is the best way to fight temptations our selves.

 Probably the most dangerous and destructive temptation the individual faces is doubt.

The best way to fight doubt is through knowing and quoting scripture.  I know I already said this, but everyone needs to have some scriptures memorized so they can quote them to themselves.  The second best thing to do is learn Hymns based on scripture. 

Are you doubting the power of knowing God’s word?  Psalm 149:6 says, ‘May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands,’

The praise of God IS a double-edged sword.  It was a powerful sword that cut through the chains of Paul and Silas when they were beaten half to death and then chained in the deepest darkest dungeon of the ogre’s jail.  I don’t think they were singing Amazing Grace because it hadn’t been written yet.  They were probably singing Psalms or some of the prayers of the Old Testament.  (Read Acts, Chapter 16.)  They couldn’t have sung what they didn’t know. 

Preparing for the future is difficult because no one knows exactly what the future will be specifically.  We should all use common sense and do the best we can with our current situations.  This varies person to person and family to family.  At best, try to have a few weeks food on hand. 

The thing everyone will face is a mental assault from the devil and his followers. 

The leading weapons used against you will be worry and doubt. 

The weapon with which we can defeat these terrible foes is the same weapon that Jesus used.  Use the scripture.

Use it to encourage yourself.

Use it to encourage and teach others.

Just like any soldier going into battle, you need to be very familiar with your weapons.  You need to know what is in the Bible. 

 Barbara Henderson

 Ps.  In this article I mentioned eating a rabbit.

I never ate a rabbit, but you can buy them in grocery stores in the frozen food section.  If you were ever actually hunting for your food, you would have to consider eating a rabbit if it was available.
I thought it a good idea to cover rabbit fever in case you ever wind up hunting wild rabbits or even growing rabbits as a food source.  Tularemia, or rabbit fever, is a very real and dangerous disease.  It is carried to the rabbits in the usual way – through bugs like ticks.  It is transferred to people through the body fluids of an infected rabbit.  This might happen when skinning the rabbit.  The blood of the rabbit might touch a scratch on the skin of the person butchering the rabbit.   Before you decide not to ever eat a rabbit, you need to remember that wherever there are ticks, fleas, flies, mites, and other insects, there will be bug borne illnesses.  You do need to be aware of them, and take precautions as much as possible. 

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