Thursday, September 22, 2016

If Your Enemy is Hungry...In a Time of Crisis

In a time of crisis, the one thing on people's minds is survival. It is a human instinct. It is God-given. Does God want His people to survive during a crisis, and if so, how?

Jesus is Lord over all. He is Lord over everything. As Christians, we know that, and we know that one day everyone else will know that, and acknowledge it. But we know Him now, and because we know Him now as Lord, we also know Him as Savior. This is because we believe in Him, and have chosen Him now.

We were put here on the earth to make choices. We were sent here to choose Him and His ways. To make decisions that will honor Him and prove our loyalty and faithfulness to Him. The earth is a proving ground, a place where our faith is tested. As we make daily choices to follow Him and His ways, we are examples of His way to others in the earth. We are the light, as Jesus was the light, so those in darkness can see the ways of God, and that His way is truth.

So in a time of crisis, we are to pursue survival, but in way that honors the Lord--with choices that prove our faith and dedication to Him. Choices that are in agreement with Him. We don't pursue survival out of fear or selfishness, but in character with the Holy Spirit, in alignment with the Word of God, and in the way Jesus has taught us to walk. We don't strive to survive as cowards, as one who compromises our faith or cowers in fear. We don't look for the easy path, but the right path.

However, this is about more than personal survival. It's survival of the ways of God in the earth. It's the survival of those who will continue His ways in the earth. It's protecting, teaching and leading children who will perpetuate His way. We don't sit back while evil men rise to power. We fight, yet not out of fear, hunger, despair, anger or frustration. We fight so good, honest and innocent people can live in peace and worship God, populating the earth with those who love Him. We each have our own personal battles, but God's people survive as a whole by fighting our common battles. Each generation has their own Canaan Wars to fight.

In a time of crisis we must look to our purpose. The very first purpose God gave man was to be fruitful, multiply, replenish the earth and subdue it. To have dominion. God's plan was for His people to rule over the earth and to fill the earth with people--children--who would learn God's ways and perpetuate it. Of course we know that one day the earth will pass away. Jesus will come again and He will rule in the earth, and us with Him. But just because we know this will happen doesn't mean we sit back and do nothing now. We don't bury our talent, sit back and wait for Him.

Our purpose is not only to rule the earth by filling it with those who love God, but to worship Him from our heart and make personal choices that honor Him and prove our faithfulness to Him in the face of every difficulty. We have both a personal call to draw near to Him, and a call to unite together and take ground for Him. We may get by now without too much dependence on others for survival, but in a crisis, it would be extremely difficult to survive on our own, without a community of people to work with. What would you do if desperate, violent men beat on your door to take those things you and your family need to survive? If you martyr yourselves to them, who is prevailing in the earth?

You will often see missionaries feeding the hungry and preaching the gospel to them. Jesus miraculously fed the people who came to hear what He had to say. A time of crisis is a perfect opportunity to reach out to the needy and not only give them food, but the Word of God as well. However, this takes some planning in advance. Of course God can bless and multiply our efforts, like He did the little boy's lunch, but we give Him something to work with--like the widow with the jar of oil. There is something we have in our house, something we start with that we give to Him, and when we have faith in Him, He will multiply what we have. However, there may be a point at which you have to protect and guard what is in your trust, in order to survive.

In a serious crisis where travel and communication are affected, our neighbors will be our closest friend or our worst enemy. I would encourage everyone to have a plan that includes your neighbors. In a disaster, everyone will be brought back to examining the reason for their existence--their core purpose. Having a job to do during a disaster helps people discover that. Emergency services--police, fire and medical--would be overwhelmed. There are plenty of needs that would have to be addressed right away--security, communication, medical, sanitation, water and food. Realistically, all of these need to be addressed as a community--a neighborhood. Having a plan and assigning people to these teams will bring people together working for the same goal, rather than allowing a desperate attitude that turns to selfishness and violence to rise up. And of course our lights can shine bright as we share the love of Jesus, and our faith in Him, during times like this.

Ephesians 1:20-23, Philippians 2:9-11, James 1:12, Deuteronomy 30:19-20, Revelation 21:7-8, Genesis 18:19, Genesis 1:28, Luke 21:33, Revelation 20:6, 2 Timothy 2:12, Matthew 25:14-30, Proverbs 29:2, Matthew 15-32-38,  2 Kings 4:1-7, Matthew 5:14-16, Proverbs 25:21, Psalm 127

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