Fourteen years ago, I drove my daughter to the hospital to deliver my first grandchild. What should have been a joyous time – wasn’t. It was a battle, one that took me months to recover from spiritually and emotionally.
With her suitcase in hand, I hastily walked down the hospital corridor when the Holy Spirit spoke sternly to me. He said, “You are going into this on borrowed faith.” At that moment I knew I was about to walk into a place for which I was not prepared. Life had become so busy I had not taken the time in prayer or in the Word needed to glide through this day.
That day taught me many valuable lessons. None more so than the importance of being ready in every season. God never intends for us to go into a battle unprepared. Quite the opposite. It is His plan that we are always ready for any battle that may come our way. He sees what is ahead and does everything in His power to make sure we are prepared – the rest is up to us.
We see this truth in 1 Kings 19:6-8, concerning Elijah, the Word of God says, “He looked around and saw some bread baking on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again. Then the Angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, for there is a long journey ahead of you.” So, he got up and ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to travel forty days and forty nights to Mount Horeb, the mountain of God” (NLT).
God knew what Elijah was about to walk through, He was encouraging Elijah to prepare before the journey ahead began.
Encouraging Elijah to eat bread (Jesus is our bread) and drink water (the water of the Word) was needed to prepare him for the long journey ahead. As we see from this story, that nourishment equipped Elijah for the next forty days!
We see this instruction again in Matthew 25: 1-12.
Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you’ Mt 25: 1-12.
As prepared people, we must be like the five wise virgins. We must make sure we have enough oil (anointing) to keep our lamps burning until Jesus arrives, or until we are on the other side of the battle.
Daniel 7:25 tells us the enemy (satan) will attempt to weary the saints. He is hoping we will run out of oil, thus dimming our light. But that is not God’s plan. God’s plan is that we stay ready in season and out of season. We do that by staying in the Word of God and in the presence of God.
I have felt for some time that there is a “journey” ahead of us. One that in the natural won’t be fun. However, as children of God, it doesn’t have to destroy or diminish us. We know this from the life of Noah and Joseph. God always has a plan for His people.
In Joseph’s day there was a time of famine coming upon the land. The Lord had spoken it and there was no stopping what was coming. Yet, God gave Joseph divine insight on how to prepare. God gave the strategy needed to get through the coming season or one might say, the long journey ahead.
The famine did come but were no effects of the famine for Joseph or his family. Why? He listened to God and prepared for the bad days coming and the bad days didn’t affect him. That is God’s plan for us.
Yes, I believe God is shaking our nation. However, if we are IN CHRIST, filled with His Word and spending time with Him, that shaking does not have to rattle us. God gave Noah time to prepare. He gave Joseph time to prepare and I believe He has done the same thing for us.
One good thing that has come out of this time of quarantine or pandemic, is time. We have had more time to spend with God. More time to spend with family. Essentially, we have had time to prepare for the journey ahead. I believe we still have time to prepare.
Things have slowed down. Events are at a minimum. Why not take that time and get into the word of God, making sure we have ample oil for the journey? Spend time in His presence, filling ourselves up with His peace and His anointing. Remember, our part is to shine in the midst of darkness.
I love a scripture I came across while studying. It is found in Mark 15:42 and it says, “Now when evening had come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath.”
Sabbath speaks of the rest of God. This tells us there is a preparation day before we enter into the rest of God. I believe we are in that time of preparation. I also believe the end result will be that when the challenging times arise, we are able to enter into the rest of God. The key is in the preparation. God has given us time to prepare. Are we using that time wisely?
That day when my daughter gave birth, I learned a vital lesson. I learned we must keep our faith built up continually. We must keep the word of God in our heart and in our mouth. If we wait for the battle to hit, we are too late. Now is the time for us to prepare for the journey ahead. No trained military person would ever walk into a battle unprepared. Neither should we.
(originally published at IFApray.org)