In Part 2 of the Preparedness Series, some of the more practical, everyday aspects of preparation for God's people will be discussed. In particular, this segment will concentrate on physical strength and psychological endurance.
Do you remember the story of Nehemiah and the conspiracy against him as he tried to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem? Do you remember how Nehemiah was oppressed and how God dealt with Nehemiah and the conspiracy? Let us review the story for a moment. In Nehemiah 2:2, the king asked Nehemiah "why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart." It is apparent that Nehemiah was depressed before he even got a chance to coordinate the rebuilding of the wall?
It is easy to understand how this occurred when we consider Sanballat's furious response toward the idea of Nehemiah rebuilding the wall and Sanballat's promise to retaliate. When we read about the accounts of men like Nehemiah, we would do well to put ourselves in their shoes by considering this situation from their perspective.
As servants of the Living God, what would you have done if you had been present? Would you have the mental endurance or the physical ability to be an active participant in such a bold endeavor? I have asked myself this question on many occasions and, reluctantly, have been ashamed to admit that my generation lives too easily.
I'm sure most of us would agree that these types of "hardships" are/would be too tough to survive! That is, without the direct intervention of God.
What Nehemiah did is recorded in Nehemiah, chapters 4-5. His response is a good standard for all of us to operate by. First, Nehemiah prayed to God for intercession between the children of Israel and the enemies of God. Next, he directed the builders and their families to be ready for any attack by the enemy.
And finally, he directed the brethren to stop "ripping off" each other. In obedience, the Lord helped the Jewish brethren to become overcomers of a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. Picture yourself in a similar position for a moment and evaluate your own mental and physical strengths.
This is not to say you should worry whether you are an athlete or that mental or physical handicaps keep you from being fit! But the ability to withstand stress that is beyond your control is a good parallel to the children of Israel and when they rebuilt the wall.
Have we prayed for God's intercession between us and the enemy? Have we fortified our families with everything possible to assure a successful battle? Have we stopped opposing our brethren so that no fault can be found within? If so, then you are as prepared as the Jews who rebuilt the wall.
If not, dear friend, the formula is simple. Start out with prayer, become prepared, and treat those around you as you would a loved one. It is a simple recipe but sometimes the most difficult to follow.
About the Author: David Moore is a dentist living in Carlsbad, California. Like his brother Mike, who authored last month's preparedness article, he is very interested in preparing for Christ's soon return.