By: Sade Nicholson
The National Weather Service suggests that every home has an emergency weather kit. In this kit should be a combination of things that would sustain you and your family in the event that an evacuation or an emergency weather alarm were issued. Though we wouldn’t wish this type of potential devastation on anyone, no one is exempt and therefore preparation is important. Preparation is a word many believers, including myself, have a difficult time dealing with. Honestly, we don’t take it seriously. Prepare means to put in proper condition or readiness. Preparation for something is normally completed during the “off season” of the thing you’re preparing for. Just as sports teams prepare during the time that the season of the sport is not in session.
As believers, we don’t take full advantage of our “off seasons”. You know, the seasons where we are storm free, experiencing the bountiful blessings and favor of the Lord, with increase on every side. We bask in these times. We float through our days, barely picking up our word and let’s not even mention our prayer lives. I mean what’s there to pray for when things are going well? Right? Wrong. See it’s in the “off seasons” where we should prepare, condition and be made ready for, the next battle. I can hear you now, thinking, does it always have to be so serious, so orderly, so stoic? Why can’t we relax sometimes and just enjoy life, have a good time? You can! There is nothing in the word of God that prevents us from enjoying life. However, we must keep everything in perspective and in balance. Let us not forget that we are soldiers in the army of the Lord! Ephesians 6:12 says:
“For we wrestle no against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
This is a war, whether you want to believe it or not. And during the times we are not personally being hit hard, we have to prepare our hearts with the word of God and continual prayer, for what‘s to come. This time with the Lord builds your faith, so that no matter what may come, your heart will stand firm in the truth and in the confidence of your salvation. I understand, talking about potential trouble or life storms is not the most exhilarating subject. But it is if you’re a believer! Exhilarating you may ask? Yes. Paul said in Romans 5:3 “..but we glory in tribulation..” Meaning we take great honor in our tribulation. The problem is, a disturbing amount of believers have been persuaded into thinking that hardships and difficult times shouldn’t “come nigh thy dwelling” (Ps.91:10). However, if you keep that scripture in context, he was referring to plagues.
Isaiah 50:10 says:
“Who is among you who [reverently] fears the Lord, who obeys the voice of His servant, yet who walks in darkness and deep trouble and has no shining splendor [in his heart]? Let him rely on, trust in, and be confident in the name of the Lord, and let him lean upon and be supported by his God.”
This passage of scripture implies that there are times when we as believers are obeying God, harkening to the voice and instruction of our pastors, but may still find ourselves going through difficult times. God is saying in that time, allow Him to be your life support! Support means to maintain by supplying one with things necessary to ones existence.
Let’s think about this. If you were knocked off a yacht into the sea with a full diving suite, flippers and oxygen mask on, would you panic? When getting back to the surface and back onto the boat, would you be confused if people were crying and suggesting that you almost died, asking you can you breathe? I would! Because even though I found myself underwater, in an environment that I’m not naturally conditioned for, I was fully prepared. I was armed with everything I needed to not only resurface, but to survive. That should be the life and testimony of every believer! No matter if we find ourselves in deep trouble or in uncomfortable seasons, we through the word of God, are or should be fully prepared to resurface and survive!
However, most of us slack off in our off seasons and are caught ill prepared when adversity comes. And so, we panic and pray to be sustained by miracles instead of overcoming by our faith built through the consistency of our spiritual life style! Psalm 16:7 says: “I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel; my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.”
I love the second part of this verse, “my reins also instruct me in my night seasons.” Rein, is the supposed seat of our desires and affections, often used metaphorically for “heart” but also meaning a guide. Therefore, the scripture is saying that our heart will instruct and guide us during the difficult times in our lives. However, if what’s in your heart has no substance (faith), you then begin to rely on your default setting, your mind. That’s why in Psalm 119:11, David says “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against it.” So, if we do as David did and hide the word of God in our hearts, when the “night seasons” come in our lives, our heart, which contains the word, will instruct us how to respond to our situations. This is why it’s important to read and meditate on the word day (seasons) and night (seasons)!
Take full advantage of your off seasons. Draw closer to the Lord in prayer and through His word! And no matter what season you find yourself in, I promise you will find comfort, assured faith, boldness, rest and victory!