Thousands of years ago, God promised his people that he would one day pour out his Spirit over them. He has since kept his promise. God has been with his people through his Spirit ever since the time of Jesus.
Jesus is with us, too – both God and Jesus are with us, through God’s Spirit.
That is the meaning of “God with us” – not that God took on human form and walked among us, but that he is with us through his Spirit.
Along with the pouring out of God’s Holy Spirit, however, we’re also now dealing with a lot of other things being dumped on us. Those things are not from God, are not his Spirit, and are not holy. They go by the name of false prophecy.
Scripture says that where evil abounds, grace that much more abounds. By God’s Spirit, we can overcome evil that comes to us in the form of false prophecy, but only if we recognize it as such.
There is a big push in many Christian communities to “prepare”. Unfortunately, what’s being pushed as preps isn’t spiritual oil in your spiritual lamp, but food, ammo, and guns. At the same time, we’re constantly being bombarded with spiritual fear porn about the end of days, the tribulation, the rapture, and the mark of the beast.
I would be the last person on Earth to claim that we’re living in “normal” times. We’re clearly not. But even if the beast, the dragon, the false prophet and Satan all stood in front of us waving their pitch forks, our response to them should not change. Regardless of the age we’re in, as followers of Jesus and recipients of God’s promise to his people, our response to the world should not change. We are still required to keep the Commandments, still required to treat others as we want to be treated, and still required to love our enemies.
When Jesus told us to watch, he didn’t mean that we should only be watching for signs of evil. That is a position of fear, and Jesus did not teach us to live in fear. He meant that we should watch in order to be aware of what’s going on around us, to know the signs of the times, and always to be ready to leave – that is, to flee or to die – at a moment’s notice.
We are spiritual outlaws from the world. The Spirit that is in us is not the spirit that is in the world. This makes us enemies of the world. We live among enemies. The prepping we need to do, as Christians, is not material prepping – it’s spiritual prepping. If you’re being advised by a Christian to prep materially, you’re dealing with a false prophet. Jesus never prepped materially or told his followers to prep materially, beyond telling them to get a weapon as a deterrent,
How do you prep spiritually so that there’s enough oil in your lamp when you need it?
Read God’s Word every day. Read it and reread it until God’s Word becomes your words.
Choose to forgive. When you have the option to hold a grudge or let it go, let it go. Always choose to forgive.
Remember that Jesus and God are with you, through God’s Spirit, so spend time with them. Talk to them. Listen to them. Let them guide you in everything you do.
Practice what you preach. Jesus says that those who hear the Word of God and then do it are like people who build their house on a rock, while those who hear the Word of God and don’t do it are like people who build their house on quicksand. The metaphor is clear enough. Make sure you not only hear, but do. The doing is more important than the hearing.
God’s Spirit has been poured over you, if you’re genuinely born-again. The measure you receive is up to God, but he bases the measurement on how much you can handle. Show him you can handle as much as he’s willing to give you, and then go for double that. The more you get, the more will expected of you, but the more you get, the more joy you’ll have, and the closer you’ll get to home.