I have received correspondence from a number of individuals who lack the resources to make such preparations for coming days as I have described in a previous post. There are also those who find themselves yoked to a spouse who does not have the same understanding of the calamitous things which are drawing closer. Some have written to me to ask what they might do.
I want to share with you one particular letter that was written to a sister in Christ who wrote recently. I have omitted all personal references to her family for the sake of confidentiality. The message is relevant to all God’s people, and I believe it is one that warrants sharing here.
In coming days we are going to find that many who have been first will be last, and many who have been last will be first. A couple of years ago I delivered a message titled Compassion’s Silver Lining.
In this message I spoke of one of the greatest things the people of God could do to prepare for coming days of distress, famine, poverty, homelessness and trial. I used a large number of Scriptures that reveal one of the surest ways to insure Yahweh’s favor and provision in a day when we are ourselves in need. Following are a couple of the many Scriptures I cited.
“Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food, and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it.”
Sister, America is a land of great prosperity, even as Sodom and Gomorrah which lay in a fertile plain and had an abundance of all that the world offered. Yet these prosperous people did not use their abundance to help others. Instead they built themselves fine houses and filled them with luxurious furnishings. They spent their wealth on themselves, not considering that Yahweh had blessed them that they might be a blessing to others. There were needy in their communities, but they did not help them, for they thought only of self.
The church in America to a great extent has become as Sodom. Christ lived as a homeless man, and He went around doing good to others. Christ had compassion on the masses. He fed the poor. He bound up the sick, and He cared for those around Him. Christ did not seek out the houses of prosperity, but He worked among the poor and the rejected of society. There are few Christians today who have done likewise.
I once lived as the typical self-focused American Christian. I spent my money on self. I figured I earned it and I had a right to spend it upon my desires. As my income grew my standard of living increased. I bought larger homes and nicer vehicles. I had nicer furnishings, and this was the manner of my living. At the same time I believed I truly loved God.
On occasion I became aware of Scriptures that spoke of caring for the poor and needy, and I would be convicted that I was not doing so. I reasoned that I didn’t personally know any people who were in such a condition, so I gave some money to the church that they might care for people in need, but it was always a pittance of my income that I gave. Sometime in the 1990’s I became convicted of this matter again and I began praying fervently that the Father would order my life and direct my steps that I might be a channel of His love to others. I told Him that I did not know where, or how to give. I did not know whom I should help, and I needed God to direct my steps. This He did.
Interestingly, the Father’s way of answering my prayer was to direct me in 1999 to quit my job as a computer professional. He then began to direct me down a course where I began to divest myself of the multitude of possessions I had gained. House and custom van and furnishings and a home filled with goods was disposed of. We then began to live much more simply. Yahweh also instructed me to look to Him for all of my provision and that of my wife and two children.
I had no savings and no church supporting me, and day by day we were looking to Yahweh to provide for us what we needed. We no longer lived the affluent lifestyle we once knew. Our food was much simpler, and although Yahweh always kept a roof over our heads, and provided beds to sleep in, and the necessities of life, we knew what it was to live with meager resources.
Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
By allowing me to experience these much more humble circumstances the Father taught me compassion for the needy. More recently the Father led me to live and work at a inner city Rescue Mission for over three years. Daily I was confronted with men who had been living on the street, who were hungry and needed clothing. I was in a position to help many of these men, and it was a joy to do so.
About a year ago the Father directed me to leave the mission and begin to write and teach again. At the same time He continued to give me opportunities to minister to those in need. He has brought men across my path who needed bus tickets, or food, or medicine, or clothing. Oftentimes I would give nearly my last dollar to someone whose need was more pressing than my own, but God would quickly replace anything I gave away. He has never forsaken me, and He is using me as a channel of blessing to the poor and needy on a regular basis. I wrote recently about being blessed to be able to purchase a bus for a widow and her mother. This took over half of the money I had on hand. I could have kept the money for a rainy day, or used it to rent a nice place to stay, or spent it selfishly as I once did, but Yahweh has made great changes in my life.
I have sensed a leading from the Father to share these things with you. As you are concerned about the care and provision of yourself and your family in coming days, these are the things our Father would have you to be mindful of. The Scriptures declare:
He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be answered.
On the other hand, the Scriptures also give precious promises such as the following:
He who is gracious to a poor man lends to Yahweh, and He will repay him for his good deed.
It gives me great comfort to know that in coming days that I can look to Yahweh to provide for me. Because I have not shut my ears to the cry of the poor and needy, He will not shut His ears to my cry.
There are things people are doing in this present hour to prepare for coming days. Some are buying motorhomes and travel trailers. Some are moving out of the cities and finding a location in the country where they can plant a garden and have other provisions. Yet these things will avail them nothing if they have not also cared for those in need. Yahweh will make sure that their preparations fail them, or are given into the hands of others.
The surest thing a person can do in this hour is to open their hearts to those in need. True religion and undefiled is taking care of the widow and the orphan. It is feeding the hungry and clothing those who are in need. True religion that is acceptable before the Father is manifesting selfless compassion toward others, for all the Law and the prophets are summed up in the words, “You shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
There are multitudes of Christians in this season who do not understand the judgment that is approaching ever closer. God’s hand of judgment is upon many of them, keeping them blinded to what is ahead. Because they have lived selfishly, using their resources to satisfy themselves, build their own homes, and choose their own comforts and pleasures while neglecting the needs all around them, Yahweh is going to cast them into places of great need. Their money will fail. They will lose their homes, furnishings and many possessions that they might learn compassion. Sadly, in their poverty, many believers will only lament their pitiable condition rather than learning the lessons their Father would teach them. They will continue in their self-focus rather than becoming selfless, esteeming the needs of others more highly than their own.
I don’t know to what degree that you and your husband have cared for the needs of others. As a man who was raised in American Christianity, I know it is rare for any believer to care for the needs of others to any remarkable degree. The influence of the prosperity gospel, and the selfish indulgence of the church, has led the vast majority to give stintingly to others while spending lavishly on self.
If you would seek to make some provision for your family, knowing that calamitous days are close at hand, then begin now to seek every possible opportunity to give to those in need. Do all that your husband will allow you to do. Encourage your children who are at home to do the same. If you have clothes you do not need, sell them and use the money to minister to someone in need, or give them to someone who could use them. If you have possessions that are unnecessary, do the same. Dig deep, and do not be afraid to give beyond what others deem reasonable, for it is God who is our judge, not mankind.
II Corinthians 9:6
Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully.
As your children are also encouraged to do the same, they too will be assured that Yahweh will notice, and He will repay in their time of need. On the other hand, how can those who have been careless about the needs of others reasonably expect that God will hear their own cry? By the judgment we judge others, we will be judged.
If you want an abundant, extraordinary provision from the Father in the days ahead, then be extravagant and exceedingly generous in your own giving now.
He who gives to the poor will never want, but he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.
For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.
I suspect that those who have been the most selfish in their lives during a time of prosperity will experience the most severe distresses in the days ahead. Yet those who have been selfless, who have cared for the needs of others, will be greatly helped by Yahweh.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.
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