Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Current Study: First Peter
Today’s Topic: Be Prepared
In just 14 days, I will get to do something I’ve never done before. I’ve spent a lot of time preparing for it. I’ve watched several videos of the activity, and every chance I get I turn on the TV to the channel that carries such programming and try to learn some more. I’m practicing what I learn. I borrowed the equipment I will need and checked it all out yesterday so I knew how to use it. But I still have more preparation to do.
I have to dig out all the clothing for the activity that has been safely stored since last fall. It’s the same clothing I use for another similar activity. I still have to plan my location and approach. I still need to watch a few more programs about the activity. I want to know all I can about what I’m going to do so I can be as successful at it as possible. As I discussed yesterday, I have a need to know.
In this instance, my need to know will result in activity. I am preparing for action. I’m going turkey hunting. I can’t wait to see that first big tom turkey come lumbering towards me as I imitate a hen with my call. I am so excited about raising that shotgun to my shoulder and bringing home a family dinner.
Some people may laugh at such preparation. They are the same ones who don’t expect much action. People who expect action get prepared for action. Abraham Lincoln once said, “If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first hour sharpening the ax.”
That principle has a spiritual application as well. Donald Grey Barnhouse (1895–1960), pastor of the Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from 1927 until his death in 1960, and founder of Eternity magazine, said, If I only had three years to serve the Lord, I would spend two of them studying and preparing.
The Apostle Peter knew well the need to prepare for action. He had entered a spiritual battlefield unprepared once before. His mind had not been ready for real action. He thought he was, but the arrest of the Lord proved that his focus had been more on himself than on his Savior. When the action heated up, he denied even knowing Christ.
Now, with his focus firmly on faith, and his hope fixed on the return of Jesus and the culmination of his salvation, his need to know prepares him for action. He prepares his mind so that he thinks spiritually. He prepares his body so that it is self-controlled. He prepares his heart so that his hope is always on the finish line of faith rather than on the present world. He is ready for action.
His ministry partner Paul said the same thing in Romans 12:2. “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.” (NLT)
It all starts with the need to know. But knowledge is of little value if not put into action. The knowledge of God will change the way you think. As it does, God will give you knowledge of His will and purpose for your life. Get ready. You are being prepared for action. You may not feel like you’re able to do much today, but get ready for action. You may feel pretty obscure, but God is preparing you for action. My favorite preacher, Chuck Swindoll, said it this way –
Learn your lessons well in the schoolroom of obscurity. God is preparing you as his chosen arrow. As yet your shaft is hidden in his quiver, in the shadows . . . but at the precise moment at which it will tell with the greatest effect, he will reach for you and launch you to that place of his appointment.
Get ready. You’re about to be launched into the action of God’s will.