Is It a Lack of Faith to Prepare in Advance for the Tribulation?
Is It a Lack of Faith to Prepare in Advance for the Tribulation?
Steve, I’d like to ask you a question being that it seems to be prophetically close to the time.
I know that in the end the famine is for the word not bread. And when the Israelites were brought out of bondage God provided for them they didn’t lack for anything. Also God provided for Elijah food by the ravens.
With that being said; my question is.”Do we need to store up provisions for the last 21/2 months when he reigns?”
I realize we will not be able to buy or sell unless we have the mark. Are we failing to trust in Him by storing up provisions?
Could you help me scripturally and advise to help me make the right decision. I have this prompting now to do this. I trust your opinion with the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
Thanks for your question. Basically, the general rule-of-thumb is that we’re first supposed to do everything within our power, for ourselves, and afterwards God helps us with what we can’t do for ourselves, when the time comes.
But He doesn’t want us to just sit around waiting on Him to step in and serve us like a waitress at a truck stop. He expects us to do that which is in our own power, first. Then He’ll do the rest, as the situation calls for it.
So, yes, I have food storage, water storage, extra medicine and nutritional supplements, some cash and a very small amount of silver coins stashed away, as “just in case” measures. I simply prepared as if I were preparing for an earthquake, hurricane or other natural disaster that might make it hard to “buy and sell.”
That’s perfectly within my power and financial means to do, right now, so I’ve done it.
But, let’s say that just before the antichrist arrives someone robs my house and takes everything I own, leaving me with nothing and no means to replace what was taken.
Well, I already did what I could, faithfully, right? And God knows it. So God will indeed handle the rest, because He knows I tried to do my part in advance. He knows I acted in faith on His Word.
Does Preparing in Advance Show Lack of Faith?
I have quite a bit of trouble with those who say “Well, God fed Elijah by sending him ravens with food. So when Satan is here, I’ll just wait for God to send me food, water, clothing, and other supplies. After all, preparing in advance shows a lack of faith in God’s ability to provide.”
Listen: We’re God’s servants, not He ours.
So if it was within your power to put those supplies together, and you failed to exercise that power knowing full well what’s coming down the pike, then do you really expect God to step in and help you, when you wouldn’t even act to help yourself?
That rhetorical question is not directed specifically at you, J.T. But instead, it’s directed at those who claim that preparing in advance for things to come constitutes a “lack of faith” on our part.
A Funny Story About a Flood
There’s a funny old story about a guy who received a notice that his town was going to be flooded, and he should vacate his home right away.
He said to himself, “I don’t have to worry about this flood. God will take care of me.”
Then the flood waters began to rise, and he had to climb up to the second story of his home to avoid drowning. A guy in a boat came floating by, saw him looking out a second story window, and called out to him, saying “Come with me. I’ll get you out of here.” But he simply yelled back to the guy, “No thanks. The Lord will take care of me.”
But the flood waters kept rising, so the man had to climb up onto the roof of his house to escape drowning. And as he got to the top of his roof, a helicopter flew by, overhead, and some men dropped down a basket for him to climb into, yelling to him over a loud speaker to get in the basket so they can pull him up to the helicopter and fly him out of there. But the man yells back to the folks in the helicopter, “No thanks! The Lord will take care of me.”
Well, soon the flood waters rose all the way over the guy’s house. And he drowned in the raging waters.
When he got to heaven, he approached God and said, “Sir, I kept the faith. I waited on you, just like the Bible says to. Why didn’t you see my great faith in you, and step in and rescue me or provide for my well-being?”
And God replied, “I did. In fact, first I sent you advance notice to get out of there before the flood ever happened. Then, when you chose to ignore the advance notice, I sent a guy in a boat to rescue you. But you ignored him, too.
Then I sent a guy in a helicopter to rescue you. But you refused to go each time.”
It’s called misplaced faith. The man thought he was being faithful to God by waiting for God to divinely intervene on his behalf in the middle of a crisis.
But that misplaced faith distracted the man from seeing that God had been trying to help him avoid the flood all along. He could have completely avoided the flood, for example, by believing the first notice that a flood was coming, and moving to higher ground in advance of the event. Yes, advance preparation. Biblically, it’s called faith in action.
The moral of the story being that if God has provided you with the ability to prepare in advance for the Biblical events that you know to be coming, but instead you sit around thinking, “I don’t have to prepare, because God will take care of me,” you might later find out that you squandered the opportunity God has already given you to be well taken care of during the coming time of trouble — this, just as the guy who refused to leave his home squandered his opportunities to avoid the flood or be rescued from it.
The Wise Prepare in Advance
In the Scripture, God tells us that the “wise” prepare in advance:
Pro 6:6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
Pro 6:7 Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
Pro 6:8 Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
The ant works all summer long to stock up food for the winter.
The ant knows that the summer abundance is her opportunity to prepare in advance for the coming scarcity of winter. (Just as we know that now is the time to prepare for the darkness and troubles of the coming Satanic deception.)
God calls the ant “wise” for preparing in advance for a known period of scarcity and trouble.
Five Wise (i.e., Prepared in Advance) Virgins,
Five Foolish (Failed to Prepare in Advance) Virgins
You might remember, too, the New Testament story of the 10 virgins (Mt. chapter 25), five of which were foolish, and five wise.
What distinguished the wise virgins from the foolish ones?
The wise virgins prepared in advance by filling their lamps with oil. The foolish virgins did not prepare in advance.
Maybe the foolish virgins thought God would fill their lamps for them, supernaturally, just as He kept that barrel of meal and cruse of oil full for Elijah in I Kings chapter 17.
I don’t know what their reasoning for not taking enough oil might be. But as you know, the foolish virgins got left out of the wedding celebration, simply for not being prepared in advance to the extent they could have been.
They foolishly waited until after the fact to fill their lamps with oil. God didn’t intervene and supernaturally fill those lamps with oil, for them.
Then, they had to go risk “buying and selling” among the heathen (Mt. 25:9) in order to find oil for their lamps. And in that time, the Lord came, and they missed out on the kingdom wedding feast.
(Of course, the analogy in that parable is that we do our Bible studies now, and learn to implement God’s Word into our lives now, while there’s plenty of time to accumulate and store up Godly wisdom. It’s called advanced preparation. We don’t wait until after a/c is already here to do so. We don’t sit around saying, “God will supernaturally rain wisdom and understanding down from heaven on me at that time, so why should I study in advance?”)
Do What You Can, Within Reason
So again, to sum up:
We’re expected to do all we can, within reason, first. Then, as events unfold, God will take care of the rest.
But He does not favor the unprepared. He favors the prepared. He views the act of preparedness as having faith that His Word will play out exactly as it’s written. And He views unpreparedness as sluggardly behavior, as we’ll see in just a minute when we take one last look at Proverbs 6.
But first, as an added example, in Joshua chapter 1, Joshua commanded his army officers to “Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the Lord your God giveth you to possess it.”
In other words, God had told Joshua three days in advance that they were going to have to leave their camp and go fight against Jericho. So Joshua gave explicit orders for his troops to “prepare you victuals” (i.e., stock up with food) for the journey and the coming battle.
Advanced preparation for what you know in advance to be coming is common sense.
Joshua and the Israelites had three days, in advance of the battle, to get their arms and supplies ready. But from what I’ve seen online, some of God’s so-called “elect” actually think they don’t have to do anything at all, because “God will always take care of us.”
He will. But such a person might be surprised to find out that God interprets their supposed “faith” in Him as sheer laziness and lack of wisdom.
It’s wise to prepare in advance for what you know is coming. Going back to the analogy of the ant and its summertime preparations for the coming winter, God chastises those who fail to prepare in advance like the ants do:
Pro 6:9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?
Pro 6:10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
Pro 6:11 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.
Failure to prepare in advance brings about unexpected poverty in the end. That’s Biblical.
People think it’s a sign of “faithfullness” to wait around and do nothing, under the claim that “God will always take care of me.” But as St. James once said, “…shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”
So one person might claim, “I have faith in God to take care of me during the coming time of Jacob’s Trouble. Therefore I have no need to prepare in advance.”
And a wiser person, in my opinion, might claim:
“I have faith that God’s Word is going to come to pass exactly as it’s written. Therefore, I’m preparing in advance for this coming time of trouble, so I can serve the Lord faithfully during that time without having to waste a lot of time scrambling for food, water and other necessities for myself and my family.”
The first person, above, thinks it’s unfaithful to prepare in advance for what God’s Word says is coming.
The second person above thinks it’s unfaithful NOT to prepare in advance, particularly if you know, from God’s Word, exactly what’s coming down the pike.
Who’s right? Well, I have to agree with the second person.
If God tells you, in His Word, that there’s a time of trouble coming, and you fail to prepare in advance for that time of trouble, to the best of your ability, and within your present means, then, in my opinion, God sees your failure to prepare as sluggardly behavior (Proverbs 6:9).
And as the Scripture says, “So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.” Again, lack of preparedness always brings about unexpected troubles.
As the old saying goes, “Fail to prepare? Then prepare to fail.”
But if you DO prepare in advance for what God’s Word says is coming, God sees that as you acting in faith on His Word.
That’s the way I want Him to see me. Not as some guy sitting around waiting for Him to supernaturally rain down manna from heaven on me and my family, but instead, someone who had the faith to believe His Word and to prepare in advance for the troubles coming, as best as possible, and within one’s present means.
Matthew Chapter 6
Now, some Christians might say that what I just taught goes against Matthew 6:25-34, where it seems that Christ is saying we never have to prepare in advance for anything, because God will always take care of us like He cares for the birds.
But in that passage, Christ was not addressing people who prepared in advance for troubles. Instead, He was addressing people who put off studying and integrating His Word into their lives, because they were too caught up in the cares of this world. Let’s take a quick look at it:
Mat 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
The phrase “take no thought” is translated from two Greek words that basically mean “Don’t let anxiety or worry distract you from what’s important.” Check your Strong’s Concordance, and follow the words back to the prime, and you’ll see I’m correct.
In other words, Christ was talking to worry-warts, and He was telling these folks not to get all emotionally worked up or full of anxiety over what they’re going to eat or drink, or be clothed in, tomorrow. Those kinds of worries are a distraction.
Mat 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
The birds don’t sit around worrying or allowing themselves to be distracted by anxieties and cares. Father uses very natural means to feed them. He’ll feed you, too. Sometimes, He feeds you advance information so you can get ready for what’s coming.
Mat 6:27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
Getting distracted by worries and anxieties won’t make you a taller person. In other words, worry and anxiety is useless. They’re a trap. They get in the way of getting things done.
Mat 6:28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
Are you being distracted from what’s truly important by worrying about your daily physical needs? Some folks are natural born worriers. They like wasting time sitting around worrying. It gives them an excuse not to accomplish anything for the Lord.
Mat 6:29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Mat 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
God will indeed provide your needs. And I’d add here, once again, sometimes He provides by telling you in advance what’s coming down the pike, so you can prepare yourself for it in advance.
Mat 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
Again, don’t let incessant worry and anxiety over earthly things distract your attention from the more important spiritual things. If your worries and care are keeping you from studying God’s Word and learning how to implement it into your life, then you’ve got a problem.
Hint: Preparing in advance for troublesome times you know for a fact are coming helps keeps such worries and anxieties at bay.
Mat 6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
Yes, God knows your needs. So don’t get distracted from doing His work by worries and anxieties over food, clothing or other physical things. Worry and anxiety show a distinct lack of faith in Him.
Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
That’s the clincher. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness.”
That tells us that the people Christ was addressing were allowing themselves to get distracted from His Word, and from their duties to His Word, by worries and anxiety over their earthly financial status.
Mat 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Some folks have focused so much of their attention on worries and anxiety over what might happen tomorrow, that they miss the important things of today.
In other words, their worries and anxieties about the things to come — whether real or imagined — were interfering with their ability to learn of the Lord and to serve Him.
Worries and anxieties were the subject matter being addressed by Christ.
He wasn’t condemning advanced preparation as lack of faith. He was chastising those who allowed themselves to get distracted from His Word, and from their service to God, by sitting around worrying over what might come tomorrow. They were more concerned about being fashion plates, and keeping up with the Joneses, than they were about God and His Word.
If preparing in advance for the coming “time of Jacob’s trouble” is freaking a person out, causing them anxiety and worry, then they have their perspective wrong. They’re obsessing over it, not preparing for it. Preparation brings about calm. You have nothing to worry about if you’re prepared in advance, and you know God will take care of you if you inadvertently forgot something.
God tells us in advance what’s coming down the pike so we can prepare in advance for it — mentally, spiritually and physically.
By telling us in advance what to expect — the very definition of prophesy — He’s removing fear of the unknown as a factor from our lives.
Knowing what to expect in advance (through God’s Word) gives you the opportunity to prepare in advance — mentally, spiritually and physically — without having worry and anxiety become distractions in your life.
Regards in Christ,
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