ANXIETY or AWARENESS?
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2Timothy 1:7)
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; (Philippians 4:6)
“Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming– in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning– 36 “lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. 37 “And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” (Mark 13:35-37)
“Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 “But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (Matt 24:42-44)
We are not to be fearful, and yet we have been told of things coming upon the earth that will cause men’s hearts to fail for fear of those things. We are told to not be anxious, and yet we are told to watch and be ready for those fearful and dreadful things that are coming. Is it a challenge to anticipate and prepare for things that are going to bring deathly fear, without being fearful, afraid and anxious? It can be . . . if our preparation and anticipation is based on ourselves and what WE can do, rather than being based in ‘Christ in me, the Hope of Glory’ and what He has done and is doing, ‘for greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world’.
There is a fine line between ‘Anxiety’ and ‘Awareness’, and we need to realize and understand the delineation between the two, as well as how and where to stand so that we do not cross that line into anxiety, and, at that same time, are not ‘caught unaware’.
Yeshua stated His people should be able to discern the seasons and the signs of the times. We are not to be fearful, and at the same time we are to be aware of what is going on around us so that those prophesied events do not catch us unaware and unprepared. We are not to get wrapped up and bogged down in things such as’when does the the tribulation start’ or ‘when is the rapture’ or ‘who is the anti-christ’, and yet we need to know and understand there is both a physical and spiritual reality to these matters and we must, for our sake and the sake of our families, be aware and discerning. It is not for us to be focused obsessively on ‘the next great disaster’ or who the ‘man of sin’ is or is not, but it is for us to be aware and well versed in The Word, led by His Holy Spirit, to the degree that when these things do happen or this ‘man of sin’ steps on the stage, no one will have to give us explanation, for we will recognize them by the picture shown to us by The Ruach in The Holy Scriptures.
But how do we acquire this ‘awareness’ of which we speak? Awareness comes from being led through the Scriptures by His Holy Spirit, our teacher, knowing and understanding what it says concerning events coming upon the earth and the people, and simply paying attention to those things going on around us.
How do we ‘get prepared’? Preparation comes in many forms. First and foremost, we must be spiritually prepared by having a deep and abiding intimate relationship with our Father through the work of Messiah on the cross and the working of His Holy Spirit in us. Once that priority is in place, there are other forms of preparation, based on our awareness and understanding of current events as well as the things to come.
If the government suggests that every citizen should make preparation and have provision for at least 6 months’ worth of food, water and supplies, enough for themselves and their family, perhaps every citizen should pay attention to that ‘suggestion’. That preparation does not indicate a ‘fearful spirit’. It indicates common sense.
In the same manner, if The Word and our Messiah and The Holy Spirit tell us not to be afraid, and yet be mindful and prepared for those things coming on the earth, then perhaps we should pay attention to that instruction as well.
If awareness, discernment and proper preparation – under the leadership of His Holy Spirit – somehow indicate a lack of faith and a sign of deception, then what do we say to Joseph in the days preceding the 7 lean years? If awareness, discernment and action based on that discernment somehow indicates a lack of faith or perhaps being misled, then what do we say to Noah in the building of the boat and filling it with provision? .
“The discreet sees danger and takes shelter, the simple go ahead and pay the penalty.” (Pro 22:3)
One basic principle we see throughout Scripture is the concept of ‘balance’. Yes, it is sometimes possible to get side-tracked by important matters by giving them more impetus than they deserve. It can be just as dangerous to not give ‘the devil his due’. There is a difference between being obsessed with a matter versus being aware of, warned of and warning prudently about said matter. For our Father’s people in these days, we must be able to not only balance the knowledge of the reality of ‘fearful things coming on the earth’, without succumbing to a spirit of fear, as well as prepare for those things in every way our Father gives us knowledge, resource and opportunity, remembering that no amount of preparation will be enough and our Father is the only One that will get us through and get the glory.
Barrels of beans and bullets, or thinking we have discerned the identity of ‘the anti-christ’, or that we have achieved ‘knowledge of things reserved ‘only for our Father’, will not get us through the days to come. Only by a relationship with our Father through the Son and the fullness of The Spirit will we be able to walk through the valley that will lay before many of us. And at the same time we must also remember – ‘faith without works is dead’. Sh’ma means to ‘hear’. But not just to hear. ‘Sh’ma’ means that we have ‘heard’ in such a way that provokes us to proper action.
“Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 “So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near– at the doors! (Mat 24:32-33)
Therefore let us not sleep, as others, but let us watch and be sober. (1Th 5:6)
We are NOT to be anxious. We ARE therefore to Watch. Shalom