How to Prepare for a Godless America
“By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.” — Benjamin Fanklin
We’ve been taught that preparation is the key to success as Christian business professionals. On the flip side we know that being unprepared is a stressful and anxious place to live. Now as summer changes to fall and school buses fill the morning streets with kids and backpacks, the topic of preparation again comes to mind. Each morning as I drive to the job I’ve spent my life preparing for, and watch kids pile on to buses, God has been speaking to me about a different kind of preparation – a much more important one – one that Christian business leaders must not abandon. It is the preparation for the return of Christ.
The topic of Christ’s return can be a controversial one. To non-Christians, it sounds mystical and crazy. Even to Christians, it can be difficult to grasp and even more difficult to talk about. For Christian business professionals, it might even seem like a non-factor. After all, we’ve got plenty to prepare for today, so even thinking about the return of Christ gets pushed to the backburner. But as the world changes, and the attitudes of our nation shift, God has an important message about preparation that will have a dramatic effect on our lives now and forever.
As evidenced by the polarizing Chick-Fil-A controversy, a progressively godless government, and a world that is increasingly impatient and intolerant of Christian values, we need to be more prepared than ever in our faith. Americans have never experienced a full spectrum of persecution, but it is creeping into our society faster than you think. Now is the time to prepare for what scripture warns us is coming – before it is too late. As John F. Kennedy said, “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.”
You Will Be Tested
In a godless world, one that is endorsed by our government, it will be difficult to stand for your beliefs as a Christian. Just ask Dan Cathy, the CEO of Chick-Fil-A. You are going to be accused of things you’ve never been accused of before. Your beliefs, which were once freely tolerated, will become deeply offensive to others. In a false spirit of tolerance, your morals will not be tolerated. People will stop feeling apathetic about your faith and start lashing out against it. And you will be tested because of it. You will be challenged to stand strong. Are you ready?
As I drive to work in the morning, and God speaks to me about preparation, I too face this question. Am I ready to stand strong in my faith in the face of accusation and persecution? To be honest, I think the answer to that question is no. But God will guide those that hear his warning and he will prepare those that are willing to listen.
Hope is Not Enough
In preparation for a godless America, Christians must first understand that hope is not enough. This in itself has been a rude awakening for me. I’ve always hoped that I would stand strong in the face of persecution, but I never really knew because I was never seriously tested. People often say you just don’t know how you will react in certain situations. But that is only said by people who aren’t prepared. When you think about preparation of your faith in a godless America, remember that you are destined to fail if you are only hoping to succeed. You must plan and prepare to succeed.
Prepare Your Habits
The next thing you should do in preparing your faith is to prepare your habits. Develop longstanding habits of seeking God that are not easily broken when life changes or the going gets tough. Begin your day in scripture and prayer and develop a habit of maintaining that spirit of prayer throughout the day. If you keep these habits as the world around you changes, you will not give in to excuses and tribulations that seek to disconnect you from your source. But you must create those habits today, because someday the conditions won’t be so favorable for forming new habits.
Know God’s Word
As the world abandons the word of God as the foundation of its beliefs, Christians will be tempted into confusion, doubt, and shame. We’ve already seen the faith of Christians all over the world tested by the Chick-Fil-A controversy, left wondering whether what the Bible says about marriage is really true or not. Perfect truth is contained in the scriptures, and to stand on that truth you must know it inside and out.
Know What’s Coming
The Bible has a lot to say about the coming of Christ and the events that will lead up to it. It also gives plenty of counsel about how to prepare. As the country shifts away from a Christ-centered mentality, people will be increasingly offended with who God is and what He is doing. Since we have been warned, we don’t have to be surprised or caught off guard. But knowing what is coming will help us discern what is from God and what is not, and it will prevent us from being offended by God’s rule, justice, and judgment.
Prepare, but don’t worry. The sky is not falling. Act urgently but not irrationally. You can prepare for what is coming without being weird. Put Christ at the center of your preparation and trust His promises of faithfulness. Take what comes at you in stride, knowing that the testing of your faith develops perseverance, and that God will protect you if you remain faithful to him.
Are there other things you do to help prepare your faith for trials and tribulations?
Photo Credit: MCS@flick (via Flickr Creative Commons)