Prepare but do not Panic

These last couple weeks have been trying times for many. Normalcy bias is being broken across the country. The belief that “It could never happen here” is becoming a reality in some ways. The realization that God can allow trying times to come, even to our own shores is shattering many a worldview. The Christian who remains steadfast and secure in God’s presence daily however, is not fearful. Do we have food to eat? Water to drink? A roof over our heads? A relatively decent state of health? These are basic necessities of life. Be thankful in all things.

Just as Joseph was placed in a special time in a special place to carry out God’s will, so are we as followers of Christ. Are you in a panic? Have you lost your focus on God during these past couple weeks? There is nothing wrong with wise preparation but please don’t lose your focus on God in the midst of this situation. We are here to be a witness for a reason. To the multitude of unbelievers that surround us daily it is our job to show people our eternal security in Jesus Christ. We must be strong, we must be courageous, we must be clean, we must live with integrity and without compromise to honor Christ and trust that he has a plan by allowing these things to happen at this time. Do we really believe God is in control.?

What do we mean by this? Is this real? Does the Missionhog really walk the talk? Well, to be frank we have a huge praise. An old friend that we grew up with in town called us up the other day with excellent news. He has finally given his life to Christ. What a huge praise. Praise Jesus! For years we have been trying to strategically sow gospel seeds and witnessing to this old friend who was for a long time hooked on drugs and alcohol. Now we are actively working with him to begin the path of discipleship. This is in the the midst of all this panic and darkness about a virus. God is in control. We also continue our efforts working with a couple brothers we led to Christ. New warriors for Christ are actively being trained for the battlefield. While people are in a panic and buying 20 years worth of toilet paper we are equipping the saints with the sword of the Spirit and helping to teach them how to wear Spiritual armor.

While everyone is worried about things that are here today and gone tomorrow we need the important reminder that God is in control and we need to live our lives with a higher purpose. That is to get His Word out to the lost and to make a many disciples as we can to join in these efforts. So the question is, what are your priorities today and in your life? The stock market? Stockpiling food, money, and ammo? Protecting your health and your family? These are all noble causes and good preparations but what about Spiritual causes? What about works that will store you up eternal treasure in heaven where moth can not eat and rust can not destroy? Put thing back into balance and perspective. Put Christ first and all these things will follow. We need to be salt and light, and continue to help others in this race to continue to run with endurance until the end.

The story of Gideon is an amazing one, but one that so many people have never read how it really turned out. Everyone knows about how Gideon was from the poorest and from a family of the lowest status. We know well that God likes to choose common people to do great things. Never underestimate what God can do in your own life if you let Him.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. (1 Corinthians 1:18-29, King James Version)

It was because Gideon was a “common nobody” that he had trouble believing that God wanted to do great things. He tested God many times to get a clear sign in order to be sure that God was going to do what He said He would do. Gideon was probably even more shocked when he was instructed to choose the army and God only ended up choosing 300 courageous, cautious men. God surely displayed His power and got the glory because the battle was a feat that only He could handle. How many of us who proclaim the name of Christ have been in the same position? We know we are ordinary people and have seen God do some amazing things that we never believed could happen in our lives? Here is the sad twist. Despite all that God had done, let’s read what happened after:

And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house. (Judges 8:27, King James Version)

Gideon used resources that God blessed him with to make a type of idol. You see, today we as Christians have seen God win mighty battles in our lives and bless us with many comforts of life and resources. These resources are supposed to be managed to bring God glory and to help proclaim His name throughout the world. Instead Gideon and his family were caught in the snare of idolatry which also influenced Israel to stray.

Will you still be found faithful in these days? Help us to continue the Missionhog ministry efforts. No effort is too small. In Jesus name, Amen!

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