Written by: Josh Hawkins, Producer of Deliver Me at JahRock’n Records
When I lived in Brooklyn, NY, the term “grocery store” was always confusing for me. I am originally from the south and after moving to NY, I immediately noticed that grocery stores are more like tiny convenient stores that are extremely under-stocked. Every time I would go to Target the shelves would be empty like there was a zombie apocalypse coming. Only in Brooklyn would it be incredibly uncommon to go to the same store and find the same kind of cinnamon rolls that you bought the week before. Now try to imagine the desolate aisles of these grocery stores in the days leading up to hurricane Sandy! My wife and I were lucky enough grab some canned goods and several bottles of water before the grocery stores were completely sold out.
In addition to stocking up on food and water in preparation for the storm, we charged our phones, turned down the brightness completely, and collected all the batteries we could find. When you know the power could be out for days or you know that you can’t leave your house for a week, you stock up and prepare yourself, right?
This, however, is not how a spiritual storm begins.
Aside from scrambling through grocery stores like its black Friday, preparing for a natural disaster has a pretty simple set of rules. They are displayed all over the news and broadcasted on the radio. Don’t get me wrong, the destruction of hurricane Sandy is not something that is taken lightly, but if you pay attention to news sources, you can take all the appropriate steps to make sure you and your family are prepared for the worst. Everyone was aware of the impending storm. We all had plenty of time to either pack up and evacuate or stock up and endure the storm.
This, however, is not how a spiritual storm begins. Usually a time of trial or challenge arrives suddenly and can leave us asking, “Why am I going through this?” or “Why is this so difficult?” These questions are perfectly normal though. Even Jesus himself stressed about hardship and it made him sweat blood! Perhaps if we focus on the moments before our trials we can begin to understand and notice things that can prepare us for the difficult times that lie ahead.
Perhaps if we focus on the moments before our trials we can begin to understand and notice things that can prepare us for the difficult times that lie ahead.
2 Timothy 4:2 states, “Be prepared in season and out of season…” This might be one of the strongest passages in the New Testament regarding discipline in our spiritual lives. If we are constantly in a state of preparedness by reading the Word, praying, memorizing scripture and having accountability with fellow believers, then we can better endure hard times. Similar to how residents of the Northeast knew hurricane Sandy was coming, we all know trials will come in this life. Jesus states in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” As Christians living in a fallen world, we have to be constantly prepared for spiritual battle. If we think that praying or reading the Bible is only necessary when we are experiencing hardship, then we are setting ourselves up for failure.
Our battle may not be a tangible one, but it can bruise and harm us just as bad! That is why in Ephesians 6:10-18 Paul uses the imagery of a warrior preparing for battle against spiritual forces. The Bible tells us time and time again to pray and go to God’s Word daily. TheBible says “and pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” We cannot only pray in the midst of trials and hardships and expect our hearts and minds to be ready for a battle. God will answer us and come to our aid because He is merciful and loving, however our flesh will probably fight it and hold us back if we do not learn to discipline ourselves in prayer, and in spending time in the Word daily. In the end, Jesus overcame the world so we should all remember that preparation is fueled by our faith and hope in God. With those things in practice, we can handle a fallen world and all the storms that accompany it.
As Christians living in a fallen world, we have to be constantly prepared for spiritual battle.
Purchase a copy of the single, Deliver Me, on iTunes: “Deliver Me” Sandy Relief Project