Perilous Times Primer #13

Does Preparing for Perilous Times Demonstrate a Lack of Faith?”

I recently received a very polite question on our website from a lady who was concerned regarding the above issue:
  • Is it evidence of a lack of faith for a believer to make preparations for what logically appears to be inevitable?
  • When a child of God sees a world in crisis and our nation in decline, is it somehow “carnal” or “worldly” to prepare for the worst?
Though I have written several posts concerning the downward spiral of conditions—both in America and worldwide—my emphasis has been primarily on the spiritual aspects of our preparations. I am convinced that spiritual preparation is primary over any and all material considerations. If our soul is not right, other efforts will be in vain. Furthermore, there is always the danger of coming to rely on our “stockpile,” whatever that may be, rather than trusting in the gracious providence of God.
Assuming that we are “walking in the light” (1Jo 1:7) and “abiding in Christ” (Joh 15:7), is it wise to acquire additional provisions? I was especially touched by the lady who said, in effect, “My preparations are not just for me, but to share with others in need.” This brings the question into an entirely new arena. If I am sure that trying times are ahead, and I take no steps to prepare accordingly, am I not only failing to be wise, but also failing to show love for my neighbor? Let me give a few biblical examples.
The first, and most obvious, example of wise preparation is found in the actions of Noah (Gen 6–9). He was given a mission (build an ark) and a message (the flood is coming). Though he was a “preacher of righteousness” (2Pe 2:5) for 120 years, none but his own family escaped the coming judgment. Yet there was room in the ark for any who would come.
Then secondly, there is that of Joseph (Gen 41–46). Being warned by God of the coming seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of famine, Joseph, promoted by Pharaoh, began an aggressive program of stockpiling grain. By his actions, the lives of multitudes were saved. This ultimately included his own family. In revealing himself to his brothers, he said, “Do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life” (Gen 45:5).
Since we are commanded, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head” (Rom 12:20), it may be worthwhile considering what effect the sharing of provisions might have on those who presently are enemies of Christ. We might take the “coals of fire” to represent shame at their former hostility, as Paul says in Tit 2:8, “that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.” It seems to me to be foolish in the extreme to take no action in the face of potential threat or danger. Those who live in areas ravaged by hurricanes, or in “Tornado Alley,” are regularly urged to make certain preparations, such as having on hand a surplus of non-perishable food, potable water, auxiliary power or lights, warm clothing and blankets, emergency radio, etc. This is only common sense. If we prepare for such emergencies, then why not for the far greater possibilities that lie on the horizon?
The next question is “What preparations should I make?” The answer differs with every family or individual, but a good start is, “Do whatever you can.” I recommend that you pray for wisdom, then begin to inform yourself about actual (as opposed to fantasized) conditions you may face. It has been estimated that one, large EMP (Electro-Magnetic Pulse) bomb, detonated over mid-America, would knock out most electronics, communications, transportation, shipping etc, throughout America. Think how long it would take your local grocery shelves to be bare. How long would it be before roving mobs would begin to rob, pillage, etc? Though this may be a “worse-case” scenario, it is worth thinking about.
One of the best ways to prepare is to start with the “basics” of survival. In a wilderness setting, I think of the five essentials (learned from survival experts and experience) that one should have packed in a bag and ready to go. These are:
1.  COVER (clothes/shelter),
2.  CONTAINER (water bottles),
3.  CUT (knife/hatchet),
4.  COMBUSTION (lighter/matches/tinder), and
5.  COMPASS (map).
Each of these comes with a survival skill (shelter building, finding and purifying water, camp craft, fire starting, and navigation. To the above, any number of things can be added, depending on the weight of the pack desired, length of time in the bush/wilderness, etc. Many, for example, would add:
6.  COMMUNICATION (signal, phone, radio), and
7.  CARE (first-aid items), etc.
For the purpose of home preparedness, go through the things you need and use most of the time. Be sure to distinguish between “need” and “want.” However, certain things that are not necessities may be of great value, simply as morale boosters. In the end, it is the will of the individual, combined with skill-sets, supplemented by tools. Thus I would put a successful “survival quotient” as being made up of the following:
   Attitude (greatly enhanced by faith)
+ Abilities/Skills (these must be learned and practiced)
+ Tools/Provisions (preparations)
x Team (the presence of a support group multiplies all the above)
It all goes back to the T.H.I.N.K. found in the Spiritual Survival Kit:
     H—have a plan
I—implement plan
     N—neutralize danger
K—keep moving
For those interested, let me give a few sources of information that can help start you (if you haven’t begun already) on the road to preparedness. Let me do this with a caution: no one can do everything. In any list, there will be things that are not practical for you personally. Some things will be beyond your budget. Do not worry (here is where faith comes in). God knows your situation, let Him guide you to wise preparation within your means. Never act out of fear, but always in faith. One other bit of counsel in making preparations, don’t forget that skills are far better than things. Those who went through the Great Depression survived largely through skills, shared by a large extended family, or with neighbors and friends. You go and do likewise.
Recommended Books:
  • The Modern Survival Manual by Fernando Ferfal Aguirre. The author went through the economic collapse in Argentina, and so has a very practical perspective that is valuable.
  • How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It by James Wesley, Rawles (the comma is not accidental). This man is a Christian with an extensive military background. All his counsel is from a biblical worldview.
  • One Second After by William R. Forstchen. This is a worth-while novel considering what the aftermath of an EMP bomb would be like.

Recommended Websites:

  • —especially look at the post “Ten Things to Do Now!” under “Popular Posts.” This is an aggressive, “do it now,” preparation guide. Again, just let it be a guide for you within your means.
  • —this is the website of James Wesley, Rawles. You will find many posts on a multitude of topics.
  • —the term “preppers” is increasingly being used by those who do not like the term “survivalist.” This site actually encourages networking with people in your area with ideas and skills, and is able to provide you with their names and contact information. The focus of this group is “self-reliance”—once a common American value!
It is my hope that these ideas and suggestions will prove helpful to you as you look ahead, and prepare, for the perilous times in which we live. Above all, keep your eyes on Jesus Christ, His Word in your heart, and let the love of the Spirit guide in all you do!
Your fellow-prepper,

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