“Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purposes for me” (Psalm 57:1-2).
The hour is urgent. I remember a few years ago when a devastating earthquake and huge tsunami struck Japan. Massive walls of water caused terrified residents to flee the coast as houses and cars were washed away in a moment. Floodwaters shoved floating debris inland hitting highways, bridges, and homes. Heavy trucks were pushed aside by the power of those waves. Air travel and trains were shut down. It was the biggest earthquake in a century, so strong that even buildings in central Tokyo, 230 miles southwest of the quake swayed.
Survivors huddled on the airport roof and a flaming refinery like an inferno sent up huge columns of thick black smoke. Others waved white sheets from the upper floors of buildings. Residents ran into the streets as they attempted to leave the city. Two huge cargo vessels were tipped on their sides in one port. Thousands lost their lives suddenly in this enormous disaster. The hour in Japan was urgent.
Most of us sense in our hearts that we are moving towards an unusual time in all of history. In the last few days several policemen were shot and killed. No longer are days as they were in the past. What you read only in fiction books is now happening right before our eyes. We cannot escape it. It’s here and only going to increase as time goes on, but we as God’s children do not have to live in fear or defeat. Instead we need to move higher and find that place of peace in the center of God. He is our protection and refuge in the storm.
We have had a multitude of tornados in America, and I live right on the border of Kansas. This state is situated along “tornado alley” where there are a lot of tornadoes. Of course tornados hit almost anywhere and at any time, because the weather patterns are changing everywhere. There seems to be no certainty in anything anywhere, but God is stable and sure. We need not fear. He is our rock, our refuge, and our stronghold.
Just as I will run downstairs into our tornado shelter if bad weather approaches, we can run to God when storm clouds threaten our world. Jesus is our safe place. He is stronger than any cement fortress. He wants us to prepare and rise up to live where He lives during difficult times. There is no more time to sit on the fence. He wants to shake us out of complacency right where we are. There is always higher ground to ascend to in our prayer life, devotion, and intimacy with God.
As in the Days of Noah
“For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark” (Matthew 24:38).
As in the days of Noah, people are living life as if no tsunami, tornado, or racial tension will come. But look, it is happening before our eyes. Life goes on and so many want to live in denial and pretend that Jesus is not coming soon. They continue to live as if there is no seriousness about the hour in which we live. Eat, drink, and be merry. I remember a drama our evangelistic teams would do overseas many years ago called “Eat – Drink – Sleep.” Individuals would take turns visualizing eating, drinking, and sleeping, and in the end show the futility of life as if that is all there is!
There had to be a purpose to it all.
It’s time to build our ark for the storm is already upon us. Intercessors, it’s time to rise up and ascend the heights in prayer. God will help you to build your ark (prepare for the future). Others will continue to question and even mock those who are preparing and positioning themselves for the future. Our every step is vitally important to God. We must learn to live in the center of God’s peace and presence as the storm clouds come.
This is the most fruitful time in all of human history if we would only learn to get onto God’s wavelength and agenda. The day of the Lord is at hand. It’s a new day, but we must shake off the way of life of the past and live in the now. Regardless of our age or nation, we are all called to live in this present season fully and freely for God. As we live for eternity and for God, we will be most joyous and free. As we try to hang onto the past way of life, we will be most afraid. It is a new day.
What Can We Do and How Can We Live?
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak” (Matthew 26:41).
Rather than trying to escape and hide, perhaps there is a better way to live. A few years ago during an ordinary morning, I was upstairs running to answer the door to receive a new computer for writing these prayer articles. I missed the top step of a very steep stairway, hit my heel, and begin to fall. As I tried to regain my composer on the second or third step, I begin to fall forward. I fell the rest of the way down the stairs and landed on my wrist. As I lay at the bottom of the stairs, I looked at my twisted wrist and knew that I couldn’t walk or even attempt to stand on my foot. My husband and I went to the emergency room of the hospital and I knew that my life would change. I was in an emergency situation and there was no turning back.
You and I are in a world emergency. The financial crisis, racial conflicts, and violent weather should make us realize that God wants to get our attention. He is shaking everything that can be shaken. Most of us have been in a personal shaking of God’s own design. Falling down the stairs and experiencing a broken wrist and heel gave me a more urgent look at life. Hour after hour and day after day I was able to look more seriously at the situation in life. I was helpless and was able to see my desperate need of God in my most urgent hours.
God wants us to get into His way of thinking before His return. He wants us to prepare spiritually for the days that are upon us. In my own crisis of breaking bones, when I had to sit still, I noticed how most people were rushing around. They were running here, there, and everywhere. But to be still and in tune with the living God was not fully practiced. It’s time that each one of us stops and listens to the Lord. It doesn’t matter where we are or what we do. The Lord wants our attention.
Crucial Ways to Prepare for the Future
- Prepare in prayer – Prepare your own heart. Give yourself to prayer in order to prepare for what is coming. Worship God. The end times require it.
- Get rid of the secondary things in your life – In emergencies, secondary things don’t matter. In my own personal crisis, I realized this very quickly. I could do nothing but seek God. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t cook, and I couldn’t walk. I was helpless. Less important things did not matter. I was present in the emergency.
- Begin praying for the emergencies in your country and around the world – As the end times unravel before us, emergencies are increasing. God wants us to be passionate in prayer. The world is in crisis, and we must learn to pray for the difficulties around us locally, nationally, and internationally. We must fervently pray regarding our present racial conflicts and seek to understand.
- Live in God’s peace – He promises peace in every circumstance. He is our peace. When you feel frantic or uptight about what is happening, stop and center in on God. He is above and beyond all the tragedies. Your peace is an incredible testimony in hard times and will help those around you to find Him as their Prince of Peace. He wants to make Himself known in the midst of the present shaking.
As in the days of Noah, people will say what a fool we are to fast and pray, but when the rain starts falling it’s too late. We must position ourselves before God daily in prayer, seek His heart, and wait upon Him for direction. He will show us how to prepare in every way – emotionally, physically, relationally, and mentally. When I fell and was in a helpless state, I realized how very dependent I was on God for my very breath. I could not take anything for granted.
I had to rest in God’s presence in order to not get discouraged when the trial seemed so long and endless. I had to also work physically by doing daily therapy on my wrist and foot as I was in the healing process. It seemed so lengthy and time-consuming but I had to do it. We must prepare physically and spiritually for the last days. I had to position myself relationally. I needed to seek to understand those who were different than me. Friends helped me in my time of need with numerous calls and emails, and a word of encouragement at a difficult moment.
Mentally I had to position my mind. This was not going to be a quick fix. It was a long-term trial. I had to say to myself, “Debbie, this will take time. Be patient. God is your refuge, and He is going to help you through this one day at a time.” And He did. We must be alert to God’s overall preparation in our lives, not only for ourselves but so that we can help others in the days ahead.
Lets always remember as these exciting days unfold that God is our refuge, we will not fear, and He will be exalted.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Selah. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day… ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’ The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah (Psalm 46:1-5, 10-11).
By Debbie Przybylski