I don’t think people experience fear because folks aren’t spiritually minded. And I don’t think it’s because anyone is being unkind. But I’m getting a lot of feedback of folks not understanding why Spiritual Preparedness is the most important and thus the highest priority of preparedness. While I’ve attempted to answer this in part previously, I’m not exactly a pro when it comes to writing what I feel in such a way that it is conveyed very well. So today I’m going to give it another shot.
Fear plagues even the most sensible and hardened of souls.
A tough soccer mom can be crumbled to bits when her 16 year old daughter isn’t home by her curfew. She’s plagued by the “what if” scenarios. A guy in the most healthy of relationships can go crazy when his sweetheart doesn’t call him at their regularly appointed time. Many a marriage has been sorely tested and frustrated by a spouse who simply can’t figure out what is bothering the other. Even to the most honest of taxpayers the IRS still instills fear and panic when they send word of the audit—because no one ever knows what those guys are going to make up as a penalty. Not knowing what is going to happen leaves us all incredibly vulnerable. And most of us don’t “do” vulnerable very well. Vulnerability brings with it change. Change means that whatever process or equipment or scenario we were confident masters of gets thrown out the door and we have to start over in mastering anew. This is an even more painful thought when it comes to serious preparedness. When it comes to preparedness, the vulnerability and thus the accompanying fear isn’t simply derived from an outcome of “he doesn’t like me anymore” or “the IRS is fining us $21,000.” Instead, we tend to conjure up scenarios in our mind that are more like those we’ve seen on the action-packed big screen productions, or have read about in fictional books—scenarios of life and death, survival and suffering, as well as chaos and comfort. But…if we better familiarize ourselves with the scriptures—that will give us plenty of warning and explanation of what is to come in these looming tumultuous times; then when things get rough we can have a peace of mind not only because we are temporally prepared for them, but because we are able to eliminate the fear of the unknown as well.
Train to control fear
Let’s look at this example. A medical doctor is trained not only in what “IS” but in a litany of “what ifs”—so much so that his/her reactions on the operating table or in the emergency room are virtually automatic. This is necessary so that panic does not cloud the scientific applications the medical doctor must remember when successfully treating a patient. A well-trained soldier knows what to do in a proactive AND a reactive scenario. He/she is educated in the lay of the land. The soldier also takes control of their scenarios as much as possible by being prepared and having a plan, as well as maintaining the proper tools and knowledge to execute that plan. A successful boxer knows that the blows are going to come at him. But what makes him a confident contender is that he knows exactly how to counteract those blows effectively. The scriptures are our playbook, desk reference, or training manual. With a committed effort to read and understand them prayerfully, we will have a very clear understanding of what is to come, in what order it will occur, as well as the reassurance that if we prepare for such events that we need not fear in the least. In fact, we are assured that our preparation in understanding the scriptures will alter what could be a very traumatic time into one of unspeakable joy. Hmmm…hailstones the size of talents crashing to the earth or unspeakable joy? Uh. I think I’ll take the latter, thank you. (Revelations 16:21 By the way, a talent weighs about 75.5 pounds!) Throughout the scriptures the difference between fear and peace was simply a matter of knowledge and understanding. When Zacharias saw an angel in the temple he was initially fearful. The angel said “fear not” and then shared with Zacharias who he was and the great news that he would be blessed with a son. (Luke 1: 12-13) When Mary, the mother of Jesus, was visited by an angel, she too was initially fearful. The angel quickly attempted to allay her fear by saying “Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.” (Luke 2:30) In the Old Testament, Moses was bound by the words of a hard-hearted Pharaoh in pronouncing a curse of death to all of the firstborn sons and animals in Egypt. (Exodus 12:12) Surely the House of Israel had reason to fear the death of their own firstborn sons. But following the simple spiritual instructions of applying the blood of a lamb to their door posts resulted in exemption from this curse and instead was a beautiful reminder to the Israelites of the love and mercy of the Lord. (Exodus 12:7) My favorite “fear not” passage is when the angels appeared to the shepherds in the field to announce the birth of the Savior. At such a sight the shepherds were “sore afraid.” But the message was joyfully delivered by an angel, “Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tiding of great joy.” In each of these examples, not only were the recipients of the messages told not to fear, but they were also given a purpose in being joyful. While it’s not likely that any of us will have an angel appear to us today and say “Fear not the hailstorms Barbara, for they are to provide you a way through the wreckage in which you can get to your family.” Since the scriptures have been written for the benefit of all man, in any instance he may find himself in, then our responsibility is to not only understand what is coming, but to understand our part in that plan, so that we can be confident and focus on what role we will play in all of the chaos, survival, and the return to great peace; having been better nurtured in our efforts much more strongly then had the path not been taken at all.
Mind you, the same will occur as you study the scriptures, specifically regarding the events of the last days. There are some pretty atrocious prophecies in the scriptures that would make any sane person fearful. But be sure that you don’t miss the promises as well…the promises which tell us if we are prepared and understand these things we shall not fear. I know that such is the case for all of us. How would history have been altered if the three wise men were not familiar enough with the signs of the times in order to recognize the new star and were also willing to follow it? As a result of their knowledge of the scriptures, not only did they receive a great gift of being with the Baby Jesus, but they also helped to preserve his life from the hatred and jealousy of King Herod. I don’t use that example accidentally, folks. It directly correlates to us and our preparedness efforts. All of the mayhem and chaos that is to come is coming for one reason—and that is to culminate the Lord’s second coming. Will we get to be a part of the wondrous event and will we have a hand in saving lives as the catastrophic events take place to bring the event forward?
In closing I just want to say that I caution you in believing that these events will happen much later in life and as such will not have an effect on you. Make no mistake about it. These events apply to YOU. Whether you're living during the "sixth seal" or the "seventh seal" there's a great deal for us to do but I'm 100% certain that you are here on the earth right now for that very purpose. It’s not an accident. We don’t get to sit back in comfort thinking that it’s our kids or our grandkids that are going to go through all of it. It will be us AND our progenitors that will live through these events. Reading and comprehending the scriptures will be our ultimate guide in being ready with knowledge and ready with a willingness to participate in these events. And with such knowledge will also come peace amidst cataclysmic events, not fear.
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