A BORN-AGAIN BELIEVER

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Monthly Archives: January 2023

CONFESSIONS OF A (FORMER) PREPPING JUNKIE

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.

PRAYING LIKE JESUS

It always astounds me, what people pray for. Most pray for a miracle that involves physical healing or financial rescue. Very rarely does anyone pray like Jesus prayed, which was to go Home as soon as possible.

If you truly love God, you want to be with him in Heaven, because that’s where we’ll see him as he is. While we’re yet on Earth, we’ll likely only perceive him as Spirit, but in Heaven things will be completely different. We’ll be able to walk with God the way that Adam walked with him. We’ll be able to talk to him one-on-one and face-to-face, and we’ll be able to touch him and hug him (and yes, dance with him, if the spirit moves us).

If you truly love God, you don’t want to spend another minute in this valley of shadow and death than you have to. You’re not praying to stay here longer; you’re praying to get the heck out of here. That’s how you pray if you truly love God: You pray to do his will, you pray to follow as closely behind Jesus as you can, and you pray to go Home.

The world is not a welcoming place for born-again believers. Jesus warned us we’d have problems here, and so we do. What else can we expect, since the world is under Satan? The world will never magically change and become like Heaven. It will, however, change to become more and more like hell on Earth. That’s the satanic mandate. That’s where the world and all those who treasure and put their hope in the world are headed.

Jesus told us that where our treasure is, there will our heart be also. If we treasure God and want to be with him, our heart will be with God in Heaven. It won’t be on Earth or on earthly things. Our sights will be much higher. We won’t be praying for a long, prosperous, and healthy life in our human body; we’ll be praying for whatever it takes to get Home so that we can claim our perfected eternal body.

Some people reading this will be like “But, but, but… Jesus always healed people. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to be doing, too?” Jesus healed people who believed he could heal them, that’s true. But his purpose in healing them was to bring them back into alignment with God’s will, as they’d strayed off the path (as evidenced by their illness). Born-again believers shouldn’t be straying off the path or having to be brought into alignment with God’s will. And if we do stray, we should be self-correcting, with the prompting of God’s Holy Spirit.

Ultimately, what casual Christians pray for is inconsequential. God admits that he doesn’t listen to people if they come to him unrepentant, backslidden, proud, presumptuous, and demanding. But what we born-again believers pray for is critically important. Our prayers (the prayers of the saints) ascend directly to God. We have God’s ear 24/7, if we choose to. So what we communicate to God has eternal consequences.

Jesus admitted that he didn’t pray for the world but only for those in it who were God’s. In other words, he prayed for us born-again believers, the one true church on Earth. He prayed for our protection, but more importantly, he prayed that we would have the same relationship with God as he’d had during his time here. He prayed that we’d have the same intimacy with God and share the same love, and you know that Jesus always got what he prayed for because he prayed God’s will. Our intimacy with God and our love for God should be prompting us to pray to be where God is, not to stay here on Earth. It certainly is prompting me to pray to go Home.

One of the main reasons why God made us to love him was that we’d want to be fully with him, both spiritually and physically. He made us so that our desire to be with him would be stronger than our desire to be with his imperfect and decaying creation. The only place we can be with God both spiritually and physically is in Heaven, so that’s what we should be praying for: to go to Heaven.

Next time you ask God for a favour, ask him to take you Home at his earliest convenience. You wanna bet that Jesus prayed for that favour morning, noon and night. He knew what was waiting for him in Heaven, and he couldn’t wait to start his eternal life. We should be looking forward to our heavenly reward with as much fervour as Jesus did. If we’re not, we’ve got some serious soul-searching to do.

If your daily prayers don’t include a request to go Home as soon as possible, you’re not right with God. Imagine telling someone you love on Earth that you want to be with them, just not now or any time soon. That wouldn’t happen, right? You love someone, you want to be with them in person, one-on-one, and ASAP. If you love God, you want to be with him in person, one-on-one, and ASAP.

That’s the simple truth of the matter.

I hope you consider this the next time you talk to God. If you’re genuinely born-again, your prayers have eternal consequences. Make sure you pray like Jesus.

EVERYTHING

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.