Friday, March 4, 2016

Be Prepared

If you know anything about the Boy Scouts of America you’re probably aware that their club motto is: “Be prepared.”  That’s a pretty good thing to live by in theory, but not always so easy to follow. 

Every day we make preparations for something. We get up with preparations on our mind. Whether it’s preparing meals, getting ready for work, planning activities or retiring at bedtime, we’re always in a preparing mode. 

With all the preparing we do, you’d think we’d always be ready for anything right?  So then how can prepared people get caught off guard in being unprepared so many times?  It’s easier than you think. Take a look at these three situations. 

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1 - Thinking you’re prepared but really aren’t … 

It was early in the morning when my husband was about to return some videos we rented from the library. After we exchange “kisses and I love you’s”, I run through a list of things that he needs to have in his possession everywhere he goes, such as medications, etc.  This way he’s prepared in case he is longer than expected.  With his hand on the knob closing the door he nods, “got it” and left the house . 

I barely had time to sit down when the phone rang.  My husband called from the car in the driveway asking me to unlock the door, because he had forgotten his water bottle.  Venturing out for the second time he was half way down the street when I heard the phone ring once more.   

Making the same request to unlock the door, I wondered what he had forgotten this time. It was the videos that he was going to return … the sole reason for his trip.  

This is why I ask him before he leaves, “Are you sure you have everything?  Keys, phone, wallet, pills, water?”  Even though he gave me an answer, he wasn’t really as prepared as expected.  Although a little inconvenient and comical, the situation didn’t have consequences that hurt anyone.  What caused hubby to be unprepared? He was distracted right before leaving the house. 

2 – Good Intentions Cake 

My brother was a newlywed and wanted to bake a cake for his wife’s birthday. He called and asked if I had any eggs.  A few minutes later he rang back and asked for several more ingredients, including icing for the cake.   

My brother wasn’t trying to be funny in his actions, but was totally unprepared to make what he had in mind.  Chalking it up to young love, we giggled and fulfilled his request. 

What was the cause of my brother’s being unprepared?  He simply didn’t think ahead to purchase the things he needed to make the cake.  In his defense, that was the only time it happened.  Being unprepared only left egg on his face. 

3 – Without Answers

Ellie had finished her shift at the hospital and was waiting for her husband in the parking lot.  When Don arrived she asked if he would go with her to visit a lady she met that day, who was extremely upset by the doctor’s report.

Sharon learned she had a brain tumor and was quite frightened by the procedures planned for her, and understandably so.  Don and Ellie told the lady she needed to have faith. At that time Don stated it was about all he could muster up in the moment, and they didn’t know if the woman knew Christ as her Savior. 

Not knowing what else to do, they told Sharon that they would pray for her and knew some people who would definitely pray as well (us). They exchanged phone numbers to keep in touch and were about to leave the hospital when something happened that made Don freeze in his tracks. 

Leaning forward Sharon stretched out her arm and slid her hand around Don’s squeezing it as if clinging to hope.

With a soft voice and tears filling her eyes she spoke, “It’s going to be alright, isn’t it?”  Don didn’t know what to say, but looking into eyes full of fear he confirmed, “Yes, it will be alright.” 

Later that night Don spoke to my husband, and confessed that he really didn’t know what to say to her.  He merely repeated everything was going to be alright because he couldn’t think of any scriptures that applied off the top of his head.  He wasn’t ready to give an answer because he wasn’t prepared for this to happen. 

When Being Prepared Matters

Trying to help Don feel better about the situation, hubby shared that God has given us favor through our journey with Jesus to speak His Word over any situation; we do that by being prepared with an answer in biblical form.

The Word of God is powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. (Hebrews 4:12) Jesus has given us permission to use this power by speaking, praying and sharing His Word.  In this case, healing scriptures were needed to give hope in what seemed a hopeless situation. 

Reasons to Keep Studying

Last week we learned that studying God’s Word has a purpose; gaining approval from God.  Christians are also supposed to study the Bible to “be prepared” to use it as a defense weapon against satan at any time for ourselves and others. 

Studying also shows us which verses are right for a given situation.  Using the verse “Jesus wept” (John 11:35) is not applicable for Sharon’s situation, but it does show the Lord had feelings.  However, quoting “By His stripes you are healed” is spot on and one of the many verses that could have been shared at that time. (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24) 

Ready with an Answer

In the first story distractions led to unpreparedness, while the second story not having what was needed was because the person didn’t think out his plan.  Our third story is the one we need to concentrate on, because it can happen to any of us at any time.  

Don knows the Bible, but he wasn’t used to encountering situations like this.  As soon as he realized it, he wanted that to change and did something to rectify the shortcoming and be ready with an answer. 

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready (prepared) to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you …” (1 Peter 3:15 NKJV)

This Week’s Challenge:
Be Scripturally Prepared 

Being prepared with the correct answers in anything takes time and we’re not always going to get it right.  There are times when quoting the gospel works, but others it’s not the best way to handle the situation. 

No one wants scriptures blasted in their face when in the midst of a crisis, but there’s a way of using verses to give someone hope during that difficult time.  Knowing the correct timing of a situation takes walking in God’s favor for discernment, and that comes with spending time with Jesus along your journey. 

When Sharon reached out to Don, it was because he already laid the groundwork in his own journey of faith.  She realized there was something to what he was saying and in desperation wanted him to ease her fear with words of hope, not just agree with what she said. 

Our challenge this week is a follow-up from last week in studying the word for a specific topic.  Since health was the subject that God has put in my path this week, that’s the one we’ll learn.

I could go into all sorts of ways to go about this, but there really isn’t any point if we don’t know any scripture to back our words. To put it bluntly, get scriptures in your head that apply to what you are doing or your situation. 

Take out some paper and put it in your printer, then print out the verses from the link provided.   Make multiple copies so that you always have an answer of hope available in your hands. (Be sure to use the translator tab before printing.) 

Keep a copy in your purse, wallet, car or desk … any place where you may need to grab it in an instant.  Memorize them so that they are the first things that come out of your mouth in prayer or conversation when confronted with a situation like Don was. There are many more promises of God concerning specific types of healing, but these are basics that cover them all. 

See Details
Having a folded paper is great, but if you want to go one step further purchase the book of the week by Charles Capps. I have lost count of how many of these little pocket sized books we’ve given out over the years. At any given time I have a least 6-8 on hand with one by my night stand. 

We’re not always going to be prepared for everything that may pop up along our journey, even if we’re walking in faith. 
This week I wasn’t prepared to receive a call that my Dad was in the hospital for the second time in a month.  I wasn’t prepared to care for a rescue cat that had been shot and has a shattered leg, nor was I prepared to hear about Sharon’s illness.  

My husband and I learned to be prepared in speaking and singing the promises of God laid out in His Word, and we did so over all three of these situations.  If you have followed hubby’s heart, you know he has experienced favor in healing the past 18 months.
Healing is a gift from God and part of His favor on His children.
Learn to pray for others so you will be healed.
- Favored1

Start now by singing this scripture song: “I Am the God that Healeth Thee” by Don Moen.  Claim healing over your own life and sing God’s Word’s back to Him, so that next time someone asks what is your hope based on you will be prepared with an answer.   

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Until next time, may God favor you with healing!
“My favor is seen in healing.”
Jesus Christ 

*Unless noted, the names in articles are changed to protect the individual(s) privacy. 

Note: The words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives.

Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness. 

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Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Gateway Bible.
Image credit: Google Images or Dreamstime Creative Common License if not specified.
Image:  Boy Scouts Be Prepared  Cake Ingredients  1 Peter 2:24
Disclaimer Notes: Results may vary due to lack of belief.
Boy Scouts Motto Be Prepared Vanilla Cake 1 Peter 2:24 By His Stripes Healing  Charles Capps Favored1 Daily Favored Blog