Are you prepared, part 1?
1st of May
I will write about different types of preparation and have asked the Holy Spirit to help me.
I travel quite a bit and a lot of time is used before I actual travel, time of preparation. Some of these preparations can be quite likeable and interesting, but also very tiresome. I prepare myself much better when I am supposed to travel far away and when I am supposed to be gone for a long time. I do not need so much preparation when I travel by car, but have to be very careful about weight when I go by plane. The less I know about a place, the more I carry with me. I say: “Maybe I need this or maybe I need that.” I carried all kinds of soaps and creams with me on my first trip to India, not knowing that you can get almost everything there. They might even have more luxurious shops there than at home. There are very poor areas where I have to bring the most necessary things. I think according to the way I live at home and what I think is necessary might not be at all important for another person. I met an American woman in India and she carried her mattress around the entire continent. We all have our own priorities and I also take my own bed-clothes along when I go by car.
When I go by plane I have to think a lot and I have to leave a lot behind, sometimes with great sorrow. Just think of all the gifts I would like to take with me.
When I go to new places, I want to know about the most important rules and regulations. What kind of vaccinations do I need? Do I need a passport or maybe a visa? What kind of language do they speak? Maybe I should buy a small dictionary or learn a few words? How do they greet each other? What kind of climate might I expect? What are their codes? I am a lover of man wherever I am and want contact with the inhabitants of every country I visit.
A scientist might want to meet colleagues in the country he or she is visiting or exchange literature. I always want to bring a Bible in their language with me, especially to countries where it is difficult to get one. In India I can buy both Bibles and other Christian literature much cheaper than at home.
I will often travel for weeks and months at a time and I have to be sure that bills at home will be paid and that somebody takes care of my apartment. I am doing this since I am a responsible person. Some people live like an old refrain of a song: “ What will be, will be.” Some Christians might even say that they live by faith. That makes me angry since I do believe that a person should take care of his or her responsibilities. A person who lives by faith should not be lazy. I always ask God to be with me during my preparations. He knows what I need both in order to be protected and in order for His plans to be achieved. I ask Him to give me ideas and I ask Him if I have forgotten anything before I close the suitcase and leave my home. Just think if I got to the airport without the passport and the ticket.
I have been writing about a kind of preparation that I am well familiar with. Some details are more important than others. If you travel to a country where you need a visa, you will be stopped at the airport and will have to return to your own country. I know some people that had to do this. I have also heard a story when God showed special grace, but the situation was also very special. We Christians live in a covenant with a gracious God, but He wants us to do the things we can do and then He will do the rest. He will most likely do the impossible or the things that are very difficult for us to do. There are surely several ditches to fall into, but I will mention two. I have seen several Christians who are lazy and wait till the last moment and they think that everything will be OK. God will take care of it they might say. The other people are those who are constantly anxious and think that everything might go wrong. They forget that God is for them and not against them. He is a Good God. He will do the difficult or impossible thing, but expects us to do what we can.
I will testify about a thing that the Holy Spirit prepared on one of my first mission trips. Six of us were going to Kazakhstan. The Holy Spirit prompted the young man to bring a guitar with us. He didn’t have the money so I bought the guitar, but he carried it around all the way from Sweden and till the very last day of the stay. God did not tell us to deliver it before. Then we were told to give it to the leader of the mission work in the country. He started to cry since he had promised a guitar to a young man who should start a new work. The sad thing was that he never had the possibility to give a guitar to him before now. God saw the need and the desire and the unfulfilled promise. He spoke to the man who shared it with the team. I bought it and he carried it. We all agreed to give it to the mission director without knowing why. God cares about small and big details. This story shows the importance of obedience as well as preparation.
We have a song that goes like this: “Are you ready when He is coming?” We are naturally talking about the second coming of Jesus. You can read 1.Thess. 4+5. It says that Jesus will come back as a thief in the night. That means that none of us knows the exact time. All prophesies about the exact time of the return of Jesus are therefore false. Chapter 4 tells us how it will happen. In chapter 5, verse six we read: “Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.” It refers to spiritual sleepiness. Many are waiting to make spiritual decisions. They think that they can wait until they become old. Young people live their lives without God. Some people turn to God when they are exposed to an accident or some serious sickness. Others turn to Him when they get married, confirmed of when somebody close to them die. I am shocked over the amount of people who want their children to be baptized in the Norwegian church. Many of them have no relationship with God. They use God as an assurance without accepting Jesus. He has paid the price for our sins. Jesus is our insurance. He has opened a way straight to the Father. We cannot get to Heaven without entering the door called Jesus. Religious deeds cannot get you to Heaven, only a personal relationship with Jesus. Receive Him! Those who try to get to Heaven in any other way are called thieves. They will try to steal and destroy.
The first thing that we have to do in order to enter the Kingdom of God is to receive Jesus and make Him our Lord and Savior. Then we need to have oil on our lamps. We can read about that in Matt.25. Jesus tells a parable about ten virgins. All ten had their lamps, but only five had bought oil before He came. When He was there, it was too late and only five were allowed to come with Him, the Bridegroom. The Holy Spirit said that many will find a closed door to Heaven even if they have called themselves Christians. I am so glad that it is the Bridegroom Himself who is going to choose His Bride. She has to be ready and purified by the Blood of Jesus. We can read in Gal.5:19,20 and 21 about the works of the flesh. These are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outburst of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders drunkenness and revelries and the like. Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. You can be forgiven for such sins, but then you have to confess them and receive cleansing by the blood of Jesus. We will again see that we have to do the easy part, to confess and God washes them away by the blood of Jesus. He is our Sacrifice!
LIVE AS THIS DAY SHOULD BE YOUR LAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!