This has been an unprecedented year for our country and each of our lives. We’ve seen and lived through circumstances that we’ve never had to face ever before. It has been unlike anything we have ever experienced. We have been shaken on many different levels. Our businesses, churches, schools, families and lives have been challenged to the core. It’s also been frustrating for multitudes of people due to ridiculous mandates by some of our states governors. Don’t get me started!
Regardless of the poor decisions of politicians, God is using it all to send us a message and to intentionally accomplish something in our country, churches, and individual lives. As much as we would like the think that the worst is over, I’m sure it isn’t. God is at work and he’s not finished yet.
What is God doing? Why is he making us go through this? How long is this going to take place? What does the future look like? Is there still hope for our future? Is our only hope that Jesus returns to get us out of this mess? Is everything doom and gloom from here on out? I’ll attempt to answer some of those questions here.
“The Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion; he will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of fire.” (Isa. 4:4). We don’t like to think or talk about God’s judgment, but it is a reality. It’s a reality that we have been experiencing and will continue to experience, at least for now. We know why God is bringing judgment to our country. We’ve rebelled against him and his commands, continue to murder the unborn and have turned to all forms of idolatry and immorality. There is a spirit of judgment upon our country as we speak. But what is God accomplishing through his judgment upon us? He is washing away our filth and cleansing us of our sins. But that will only take place as we repent as a nation. God’s judgment is not over yet. We will yet experience his discipline in other forms. What will that look like?
One way I believe God is going to do that is by taking away our supply of food. Concerning Jerusalem and Judah, Isaiah said, “See now, the Lord, the Lord Almighty, is about to take…all supplies of food and all supplies of water” (Isa. 3:1). I believe those words apply to us as well. He also did that in Egypt in Joseph’s day. “He called down famine on the land and destroyed all their supplies of food” (Ps. 105:16). But he also provided a way to survive the famine. Joseph stored up food for the coming famine. I believe we need to do the same. Let me just say right here that I don’t advocate hoarding. But I do advocate preparation for possibilities. God had Joseph prepare for it and I believe he would have us to do the same.
In our small 1200 square foot home, I’ve contemplated putting in a food pantry from time to time because we do not have one. After having put it off for so long, this very week it started weighing on my mind to get it done. It was during this time that I felt God speaking to me about this subject as if this was his confirmation to me. How much preparation does a family need to make? Let me answer that with an excerpt from one of my previous blogs in case you missed it.
“Because of the crowd he (Jesus) told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him” (Mark 3:9). There were times when Jesus would get into a boat and teach the people who were on shore because they were “crowding around him” (Luke 5:1-3) and “those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him” (Mark 3:10). In Luke, Jesus saw two boats and got into one of them. In Mark, he told his disciples to get a small boat ready for him. This could be the same event told from two different perspectives or it could be two different events. Regardless, it’s interesting to note that Jesus saw a need arising and had preparations made to meet the need. Even though Mark doesn’t specifically mention that Jesus used the boat, he still made preparations for the possibility – even if we make the assumption that he did use it. In either case, Jesus made preparations for something because he saw the possible need arising for it.
Notice it was a small boat. It wasn’t a large boat. It wasn’t something that would have been overkill for what he needed. He requested a small boat because it would have supplied the need at the time.
There is nothing wrong with being prepared for a crisis. On the contrary, it’s wise to do so. Yet, panic purchasing is not the preparation God would have us take part in. So, legitimate preparation would be to get what you think that you will need to make it through a season of crisis without becoming a hoarder. How much of a supply will we each need? That’s a good question. I would recommend at least three month’s of food supply, maybe more.
There’s a second part to this verse in Isaiah and that is, God is going to bring a “spirit of fire”. I believe that spirit of fire is going to be a spiritual awakening before Jesus returns. In the midst of God’s judgment he will send a spiritual awakening to our land. There is going to be a revival in the church and harvest of souls among the lost.
I talked about this in yet another blog where Jesus, Peter, John and James were on the mountain and Jesus was being transfigured before them. The disciples were “very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his (Jesus’) glory…” (Luke 9:32). It was after they became fully awake that they saw the glory of God displayed before them. The purpose of this “shaking”, the purpose of God’s judgment that is taking place right now is to awaken us from our spiritual sleep and sin because we are about to see the glory of God displayed. Notice what they were doing on the mountain in the first place; they were praying (v. 28, 29). This spiritual awakening is going to be a two-fold awakening in the church and among the lost. That’s only going to happen because of our prayer and repentance.
I look forward to Jesus’ return, but I’m excited about what God is going to do in these last days before his return. God’s judgment will continue and in different forms, but there is also going to be a spiritual awakening that will rock this nation! Prepare for both. Have supplies ready for a shortage of food and pray like never before. Pray for our nation and the church; that God would bring a breakthrough of his Spirit upon us. Get ready, it’s coming!