By Jesse Jost
I have numerous posts that come across my feed asking “Are you awake yet?” and telling me to “Wake Up!”
I hear warnings that a new world order is coming, the church is headed for persecution, our freedoms are a thing of the past, and that we are headed straight for economic collapse and communist dictatorship.
These things may all be true, only time will tell, but what is driving me crazy right now, is that hardly any of these posts give me any practical steps I can take to do anything constructive with this ominous information.
It’s as if people just enjoy casting prophecies of terror and just letting them hang in the air like a horror movie sound track.
I’ve seen over the years that God has given me a sphere of responsibility – actions He is calling me to take.
But there is also a sphere or jurisdiction that is way bigger than me, things that are out of my control. These things are God’s responsibilities.
One of Satan’s favourite ways to sabotage a believer is to get us to confuse these spheres.
He lures us to ignore what is right in front of us, the things we are called to do, and instead put our focus on the things that are out of our control.
When these larger issues arrest our attention, we become filled with a sense of helplessness, or anger, or frustration. There is nothing productive that comes from agitating about these things because we can’t change them.
We become so obsessed with the things out of our control, that we neglect the areas where we can make a difference. It’s a win-win for the Enemy of our souls.
God is always calling us back to a right view of life, where we trust God for the things that are out of control, and seek His strength and diligence for the areas where we can have an impact.
The New Testament tells us to wake up and be sober. It tells us to be watchful and vigilant. But Paul is clear that the most serious enemy we need to alert to does not have a human body: It is the demonic hosts in the spiritual realm.
Our war is NOT against flesh and blood. The enemies we need to be on guard against are not the wealthy elite or deep state. It is not the democratic party, or the world economic forum, or other world leaders.
When our eyes are distracted by a human enemy, Satan sneaks right past our defenses like a blood thirsty lion and pounces.
Since our real war is spiritual in nature we need a different set of weapons than if we were fighting against a human foe.
We need the heavenly armor: The belt of Truth, Shield of Faith, The Sword of the Spirit (the word of God.) We need to worship, and fast, and pray, and study.
So if a dark period, culturally speaking, is threatening us, what can we do? Here are 10 practical steps you can take:
- Turn your eyes on Jesus. Keep your eyes fixed on Him. Paul almost always reminds of the bigger picture of Jesus’s reign and ultimate authority before he gives us marching orders. Never lose sight of the big picture.
- Grow in your knowledge of God. Read A.W. Tozer and J I Packer and Puritan saints. The more you grow in the true knowledge of God the more you are filled with faith and boldness and spiritual power. Nothing sustains and comforts a person in tribulation more than a rich awareness of God.
- Memorize and meditate on His Word. If a prison cell is in your future with no access to a Bible or wifi, how much of God’s Word can you recite right now? Spend less time in the murky world of social media posts or TV news segments, and immerse yourself in the Real World: God’s Story.
- Read real history books, not just memes or articles. Understand how dictatorships operate, how civilizations fail. Read the stories of those who lived through it and glean from their wisdom and regrets.
- Read about the persecuted church: how they operate, what they have endured, what they are enduring right now. Instead of fearing a possible future of persecution, pray for the believers who are enduring it right now. Their faith and perseverance will give you courage if you have to face persecution yourself.
- Reach out to your neighbours and church family. Do all you can to strengthen those relationships. Forgive, and ask for forgiveness. If hard times are coming we will need strong communities. Don’t let petty debates divide you. We will need each other.
- Get involved with local government if God is calling you to do that. Talk to your MLA or MP, representative or senator. Ask how you can help.
- Pray, intercede for those in places of power and influence. Pray they will see the light and be good stewards of the power God has given them. If God can turn around wicked Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel’s day, He can convict and awaken anyone.
- Pray for spiritual revival. This is what we need. Not boycotts, or protests. We need revival. It makes no lasting spiritual difference to threaten the government or the opposition. We all need spiritual awakening. We need the knowledge of God. Read about the great revivals of the past. So many of them came out of nowhere when the times seemed darkest and hope was rare. But there were always Saints praying in the corners and God loves to answer those prayers.
- Speak words of life and hope. Satan and Dictators both feast on fear and despair. We have so many reasons for hope and optimism because of our God who is always with us, and knows everything the future holds. He is not threatened by man’s puny displays of power, or human declarations. If God is for us who can be against us? Nothing can separate us from His Wise, All-powerful Love.