When our Past is Past

Shared by Jeff Rowland.

Regardless of where we are in our lives everyone has something in their past that they often struggle with.  The past always rears its head when we are pressing toward a consistent walk in the Spirit of God.  Most are robbed of their present because they are still living under the bondage of their past.  As well we cannot look with hope toward our future if we are constantly going back to factor in our past to make decisions.  The past seems to affect every aspect of our life.  The sequence with which we look at things seems to be through the eyes of our past, then the present, then the future.  Somehow we need to be able to look at our future as a Child of God and factor our future into our present and this will release us of our past.

There is a problem as to why we cannot let go of our past.  The hurt our past has caused us and others should be enough of a motivator to let it go, but we seem to hold on to our past with a passion.  This perplexing problem has caused many in the body to lose control of their lives.  Paul teaches us in Phil 3:13 “forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.”  By these words we understand the things before can play a significant role in forgetting the things behind.

We live in a society that is constantly asking the question why we do the things we do.  Often instead of dealing with what we do we just want to find out why we do them.  Now we have a place to put our past.  I have learned through the years of pastoring and dealing with people that the past seems to take the blame for just about all of our present.  While there may be some truth from a psychological standpoint concerning our past dictating action in our present we must learn to get past our past.

One of the reasons that we cannot let go of our past is that it becomes an excuse for our behavior in our present

If the hurts of our past are gone then we are left without excuse to act the way we do or to hold on to an attitude that we are afraid we cannot break.  What would we do if we have nothing to blame for our behavior.  Then we are left to face the reality of our own selfish motives and sinful imperfections.  This would mean we would have to change our lives in order to live with ourselves and let go of the pain and hurt that brings about other behavior that is not consistent with our belief structure.

Another reason we cannot let go of our past is it often is the only victory we can remember in our lives

How many are still trapped living in the past victories we have experienced.  We should always remember the victories of our past but never let them to cause us to stop pursuing more.  Again Paul reminds us that we are more than conquerors.  A conqueror is one who doesn’t stop at one victory but presses on to new battles and new victories.  Some are looking for what God done in the past because they are hung on past victories and not living as a conqueror.

May God give us the strength to appropriate our future into our present thus destroying our past and go on to new battles and new victories fulfilling the soldier calling of being more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Rev. Jeff Rowland offers more insights on Last Days Preparation on his website at:  www.jeffrowlandministry.com

Preparation Through Provision

Shared by Jeff Rowland.

It’s hard to talk about preparation without talking about provision.  Where our faith resides will determine where our provision will come from.  As well, our fear will define what we lean toward for our provision.

Part of proper preparation is to move from fear to faith.  We need understanding from a responsible perspective on the times we are living in and then the proper perspective on where our provision comes from.

A casual observation of the things that are happening in our world should lead all of us to the same conclusions.  We need to prepare.  However, if we inundate ourselves with the information that comes to us from the news outlets through all the various media then we can end up in great fear.  Although fear is a motivator to get us to action, fear can also corrupt our spirit.  Proper preparation should take fear away not add to our fears.

We understand that from the beginning of recorded time fear has played a major factor in the affairs of man.  The first response to sin when Adam rebelled against God was fear.  He said, “I hid myself because I was afraid.”  Therefore fear finds its source in wondering away from God’s prescribed order.

While responsibility would teach us to do our due diligence to prepare in the manner that many our teaching concerning the ability to sustain through the chaos that is certainly ahead, we must not forget how to prepare our spirit.  You can have all the necessities laid in store but if your spirit is broken then hope is gone and there is no life.  This is not God’s plan for his people, Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.”  We must move from fear to faith in order to have life that is joyful and victorious in times of trouble.

Fear seems to touch believers and unbelievers alike.  I have never seen fear and concern in the hearts of people more than today.  Unbelievers that have their faith in government, money, security of jobs or relationships, now understand that all of these are crumpling and they no longer can find strength in any of their sources of faith.  Believers alike have exhibited faith in every source that unbelievers do because most have just a mere profession of faith in Christ instead of a genuine relationship with Christ which brings about real faith in him.

For years I have preached that God has already given us the provision before the need arrives.  I’m reminded of what Jesus told the woman at the well.  She was caught in the forms and cultures of her society.  She cited the feelings that Jews had toward the Samaritans and wondered why Jesus would have anything to do with her.  Jesus said, “drink of the water that I give you and you will never thirst again.”  The provision that comes through faith in Christ can prepare you not only for eternity but also for life today.  If we understood His power and the release of His power through the His Spirit in us I believe we could move from fear to faith and be able to bring order to a chaos that most can’t even imagine.

Amos the prophet of old said, “Prepare to meet thy God.”  Jesus said “I go to prepare you a place.”  The prepared place is for a prepared people therefore get plugged into His provision and your preparation can be complete in him.

Rev. Jeff Rowland offers more insights on Last Days Preparation on his website at:  www.jeffrowlandministry.com

Preparation Call and the Need to Share Love

Preparation Call and the Need to Share Love

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.   John 15:13

Preparation CallWith all the anger, fear, and violence around us, is it even possible to love in times like these?

With every new day there seems to be more pain, suffering, and dissension amongst peoples.  Innocent lives are taken by those who are driven by their own anger, hatred, intolerance, or extremist views.  How can we love in times when people are so consumed with themselves that they easily discard others – even family – when the relationship becomes an inconvenient burden?

We have to find ways to build relationships regardless of the lies that are hardening hearts and feeding self-preservationists.  We must never allow our efforts in preparedness to drive us to an isolated and ultra-protected lifestyle – dependent only on ourselves.   Being self-reliant in our lifestyle does not mean we must be self-focused to the exclusion of all others around us.

The truth is, if we are to find redemption in these difficult and uncertain times we MUST find love – and find the courage to share it.    I see the necessity to love – as part of the Preparation Call.  If we continue to harden our hearts toward others and deteriorate in our ability to love without conditions, I believe our lives will deteriorate into further bondage.  We are creatures created for relationships and to nourish those relationships we must have some reasonable ability to love.  Isolating ourselves will ultimately destroy us.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”  1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)

Preparation Call, and the need to share love” is not a suggestion that we should simply ignore the importance of preparedness and self-reliance.   By no means can – or should we – ignore the obvious responsibility to prepare our families for the things ahead.  The Bible clearly shows the importance of being prepared and understanding our responsibility of serving and loving others.  Preparedness is journey of Faith – and not a path that we walk in fear.

If you really listen carefully, you know that there is and abundance of fear and concern all over the world.  It seems that families (all over the globe) are pushing their preparedness planning because they see the uncertainties.  With bleak economic times, unemployment, natural disasters, rumors of wars, and distrust in politicians and government, people are very concerned about what lies ahead.  In every economic and social standing, families are beginning to prepare in anticipation of major disruptions in their “normal” life routines.

Unfortunately, what I am hearing is that many people are rushing their preparedness as a reaction to fear and, in some cases, conspiracy mongering.  In fact, many families are pushing forward with their preparation efforts because they are now hyper-sensitive to anything that sounds like doomsday news or end-of-the-world sensationalizing.

It seems with every news report that is released, more-and-more people are beginning to join the self-reliance and preparedness movement because they already sense that something is coming that will change life (as we know it) forever.  Certainly, in many ways that is a good thing.  I firmly believe we should all be getting prepared and more self-reliant, but I still have concerns about the path of fear that many families are jumping-on as they begin their preparedness.

Now more than ever, I see it is vital to prepare and to do so with courage and hope.  Contrary to what many critics suggest, Preparedness is not a pessimistic lack of hope for the future, but on the contrary, is very much an optimistic and prudent approach in protecting our families for what God has in store for us ahead.

So, with all the anger, fear, and violence around us, is it even possible to love in times like these?  The answer is an emphatic, YES.  We must.

Doomsday Survival or Preparation Call?

Doomsday Survival has become quite a popular topic with today’s media and politicians.   It is a telling sign that more and more people are concerned with events that are happening all across the globe.

Unfortunately, the concerns that people face are often fueled by the media in the form of fear.  News outlets and others often sensationalize events that are happening, in order to boost their following.  Regrettably, fear has proven to be a powerful agent in driving revenues.  The internet has made information immediately available so it has become very easy to follow events all over the world.  I suspect if the internet was available during the great World Wars or during the global depression, there likely would have been an even greater movement of people preparing for the ultimate destruction of society.

Certainly, (more than ever, in fact) I believe we all need to prepare, but I really do not believe that preparation should be a reaction to fear.  I personally am not interested in perpetuating fear or pushing a message simply to help drive revenues.

Today, “Preppers” is a popular name that is used to identify those who are somewhat involved in some type of preparation act.  I am not a big fan of the term Preppers, but I do understand the attempt to identify people who are a part of the preparation journey.  I have just never particularly appreciated how we have grown so accustomed to classifying people into categories, or sub-categories.  Our history is littered by too many terrible acts against people who were visibly identified, labeled, and branded as they were placed as a member of a certain group.

To me, preparation is not about fitting within a certain society niche or group.  Preparation is a journey, and a movement.   It is a community of people taking action and often coming together to prepare themselves for living – regardless of the circumstances they may face.  In my Faith, preparation is not particularly about special survival skills in a doomsday scenario, but far more about being ready and prepared for the soon return of the King of Kings.  It is about having oil in the lamps awaiting the Bridegroom.

It is ultimately pointless for me to rant about a simple term used for identification.  I am fine with anyone who wants to call themselves a Prepper, survivalist, hoarder, or whatever.  Over 18 years ago I heard a Preparation Call that has impacted my life in a profound way.  My desire is to remain faithful on the journey of that call, and to prepare my family and others for the difficulties and joys that lie ahead.

Doomsday Preppers
Doomsday Preppers is a new show on the National Geographic Channel.   The show follows the lives of Americans who are preparing for the end of the world as we know it.  Unique in their beliefs, motivations, and strategies, preppers will go to whatever lengths they can to make sure they are prepared for any of life’s uncertainties.  And with our expert’s assessment, they will find out their chances of survival if their worst fears become a reality.

Your Preparation Station hosted a radio show with Alan Madison, Co-Executive Producer for “Doomsday Preppers” on National Geographic.  Here is a special recording of that show.

Listen to internet radio with Preparedness Radio on Blog Talk Radio

 

 

Prepare Your Heart

I have such an incredible family.   My wife and children have been such an inspiration and support.

My oldest daughter shared this with me, and it is so pertinent to the Preparation Call and to the theme of this site.  I hope you enjoy…

Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.  Titus 3:1-2

This is such a spectacular verse!  You may not be a Christian or of the same beliefs, but there’s no denying that the above verse can be applied to everyone’s life.  It just isn’t something we always want to hear, is it?  Especially in the heat of a moment or time of frustration or those periods when you want to just isolate yourselves and take care of your own. But take a moment to really let that sentence sink in.

I find that the section in particular that sums up the entire verse is “to be ready to do whatever is good”.  To be ready!  That’s another way of saying ‘prepare’. Everyone should be ready to do whatever is good, not only in the easy times, but more so in the difficult times.  To be considerate, peaceable and gentle toward everyone!

As you take this journey and are preparing, you cannot neglect your heart. Preparation is a process that should go deeper than solely learning which alternative shelter to choose or how to store enough food.  This is a journey that takes heart and you cannot lose a grip on your foundation. Yes, learn all that you can and prepare in the physical and external sense of the word. Yet always remember that external circumstances can quickly shift.  Put your hope in the living God and not in how well you prepare. So that then you can be ready to do whatever is good even in the most difficult moments.