It never ceases to amaze me that Jesus went into the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights without any preps at all. Not even water. And yet, even after having starved for nearly 6 weeks, he still managed to outwit the devil.
How’d he do that?
People are starting to furiously prep again, like they did just before the “pandemic” was declared nearly three years ago. I overheard a woman today in the dollar store breathlessly detailing her latest prepping acquisitions to a friend she’d run into. She said she got most of her ideas from survivalist videos she saw on YouTube. Her friend was ooh-ing and ahhh-ing over her overfilled grocery cart and congratulating her on her alleged prepping acumen.
Meanwhile, in grocery stores all across Canada and the US, shelves are being emptied out of basic necessities like rice, pasta, canned vegetables, etc., causing food shortages for everyone else. That they’re causing food shortages doesn’t seem to faze the preppers one whit. They’re only interested in their own perceived needs.
Jesus, as demonstrated by his 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness, was no prepper. In fact, he stated his position on prepping quite clearly:
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink…. Is not life more than food?”
Jesus was notorious for having only enough supplies at any given time to get him through the day. When he needed food and none was available, he relied on God to supply it. Think of how he fed the thousands who’d come to listen to him preach the sermon on the mount. Even his disciples were at a loss to figure out how so many people could be fed in the wilderness, but Jesus just calmly held up the few fishes and loaves they had, said a silent heartfelt prayer, and God took care of the rest.
Because that’s what it’s all about – letting God do his job while we do ours. Jesus was able to go 40 days and nights in the wilderness with no food or water because God set that task to him and then supernaturally enabled him to do it.
When you prep, what you’re saying is that you don’t trust God to supply for your needs. You’re relying on your own strength and ingenuity and turning your back on God.
You’re showing zero faith in God.
Now before you start huffing and puffing, allow me to let you in on a little secret. I know that God doesn’t want us, his born-again children, to prep, because I was once a prepper myself. I still have around 10,000 pristine tea light candles in storage to prove it (lol). But then God started getting on my case a few years ago. He pointed me to various scriptures to show me that my prepping revealed I had a very low level of faith in him to provide for me in some future SHTF scenario. I got the message loud and clear, and from that point onward I stopped prepping altogether. Instead, because I move around so much and occasionally live out in the boonies, I only buy what I think I’ll need until my next shopping trip.
I know what a buzz it is to prep, because I’ve done it. It has addictive properties, in that no matter how much you buy, you still feel you don’t have enough and have to buy more. Many Christians have become prepping junkies who invest a good portion of their income on food and other supplies they may never actually need.
Imagine if they had instead invested all that money, time, and energy in the Kingdom.
If we follow Jesus, we live as Jesus lived. If he didn’t prep and he relied on God to provide for him, then so should we. I’m not talking to unbelievers here or to nominal Christians – I’m talking to born-again believers. The only prepping we should be doing is spiritual prepping, which means working on our relationship with God, treating other people as we want to be treated, and following ever closer behind Jesus. If unbelievers what to prep, let them. Don’t interfere with them. It’s not our business to tell them what to do. If nominal Christians want to prep, maybe remind them that Jesus was no prepper, and leave it at that. They may take the bait, but whether they do or not is between them and God. It’s out of our hands.
But for us born-again believers, we need to understand that prepping food and other items is not what we do. Prepping shows a lack of faith in God to provide for our needs. We are not in Old Testament times, where prepping was actively encouraged, such as in the time of Joseph, where his job was to prep in order to provide for his family. Let other people prep, if they want to, but we born-agains need to remain faithful to our calling to follow closely behind Jesus, who never prepped, not even when he knew he’d be spending 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness.
Whatever task God sets for us, he will provide for us ONE WAY OR ANOTHER. The “one way or another” part is really important for us to take on, because, like the disciples who wondered where all the food was going to come from to feed the thousands, we won’t always know how our needs will be provided for. That’s where having faith in God comes in handy. You may not be able to see how you’ll be provided for, but trust that God sees very clearly how it will be done.
And it will be done.
I had to learn the hard way that prepping was a no-no for me, throwing out dozens of cans of expired peaches, cranberry sauce, kidney beans, etc., in the process. God doesn’t want us to prep in that way. If he did, Jesus would have been an exemplary prepper. Instead, Jesus prepped in the only way that mattered – spiritually, and for all eternity, storing up his treasures in Heaven, not on Earth.
He taught us and showed us that we should do the same.
Now, if you have a basement or a garage full of preps, don’t throw them out. Use them and share them. And then resolve within yourself not to buy any more than you’ll need until your next anticipated shopping trip.
As born-again believers, we don’t need to be prepping junkies; we need to be faith junkies.
Jesus tells us that we’re to love God with all our heart and all our soul and all our mind and all our strength.
In other words, we’re to love God with everything we have and everything we are. We’re to give him everything, holding nothing back.
That is a Commandment, not just a directive.
If we love God with everything we have and everything we are, God will take that love and return it to us purified and amplified. God’s holy love then works through us so that we’re able to love like him, see like him, think like him, and operate in his strength, depending on the measure of our love that we’ve given him.
If we instead choose to invest our love in someone or something else, giving God only a little bit of our love (our leftover love), God will only be able to give us a little bit of his love back. So then, when we try to love like God, we’ll only be able to love a little bit, and when we try to see and think like God, we’ll only be able to see and think a little bit, and when we try to operate in God’s strength, we’ll fail, because we’ll have only a little bit of his strength. We’ll mostly be operating in our own strength, not God’s.
Loving God means giving him everything, like Jesus did. God advises us to do that because we were made to function optimally only when we give him everything. The more of ourselves we give to him, the more of himself he can give to us; the less of ourselves we give to him, the less of himself he can give to us, keeping in mind that when God works through us, so, too, does his joy and peace.
But remember – it’s up to us, how much we want to love God and how much of ourselves we want to give to him. God leaves that choice in our hands. We can give him all our love, or we can give him just a certain measure of it and give the rest to our spouse or our children or our friends or our job or our hobbies or our possessions or our money or our comfort, etc. We can invest ourselves in anything we want during our time on Earth. We have the God-given free will to do that. We can give God everything or we can give God nothing or we can give him something in between.
We can even give all our love to the devil, if that’s what we want to do, to the devil or to one of his earthly representatives. We’re also free to do that.
But the right thing to do is what Jesus modeled for us and what the Commandment commands us, which is to love God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength, and to give him the full measure of everything we have and are. What God then chooses to do with what we’ve given to him is up to him, but I don’t think we have to worry that we’ve invested unwisely. I don’t think anyone has ever regretted loving God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, or felt in any way short-changed by giving him their everything. I think that if we do love God as he commands us to love him and if we do give him our everything, we will not be unlike Jesus or Paul or David or Abraham or any of our other brothers and sisters who followed the Commandment to the letter and gave God their everything.
You cannot lose when you invest everything in God.
Even if you lose everything else in doing so, you still come out ahead.