Preparing Now for What Lies Ahead

Preparing Now for What Lies Ahead

We have a work to do and now is the time to get ready.

Feb 23, 2021 | Justin Ringstaff | Secretariat

A few years ago, after a heavy snowstorm, I stepped outside and noticed that our neighbor’s car was stuck in their front yard. They had tried to pull into what they thought was their driveway, but with the blustering snow and winds they had become confused and missed it altogether. The way which, under normal conditions would have been so easy to find, was suddenly not so easy at all. 

My dear brothers and sisters, the storm clouds are gathering and the days of preparation are quickly slipping away. As members of the remnant church how can we believe that the Second Coming is a far-off event and that we can slumber? When the final storm comes it may be too late to find our way.

If we would stand up in this our day and take notice, we would see clearly that we are living in the time of the end and that the coming of Jesus is “even at the doors!”[1] So, lift up the trumpet and loud let it ring: Jesus is coming again!

Now is the time to be filling our lamps to let them shine ever brighter for Jesus. Now is the time to be praying for the Holy Spirit to fill us, mold us and use us to the glory of heaven. 

We must not forget that the remnant church of Bible prophecy has a mission, both corporately and individually. Our mission is that of heralding the message of the Three Angels to every ear that will hear the call to come out of the false teachings of Babylon into the beautiful truth as it is in Jesus. 

Let us not be deceived into thinking that we can go along just fine while the signs of the times all around us are declaring the end – that we can fill our lamps at some last signal moment and be found faithful to our calling. It’s before the storm that our work must begin. 

God’s messenger warns us about this very issue. She says, 

I was shown God’s people waiting for some change to take place—a compelling power to take hold of them. But they will be disappointed, for they are wrong. They must act, they must take hold of the work themselves and earnestly cry to God for a true knowledge of themselves. The scenes which are passing before us are of sufficient magnitude to cause us to arouse and urge the truth home to the hearts of all who will listen. The harvest of the earth is nearly ripe.[2]

If only we could fully realize that time will soon be no longer, how we might be stirred out of our sleep to entreat heaven for every promise provided for this hour.[3] How we might be fitted to arise to the challenge before us in the power and might of the Holy Spirit.

During the days of Pentecost, after Jesus went back to heaven... those who were gathered in the upper room prayed for the promise of the Holy Spirit and the help of heaven in no casual way. Notice their earnestness as recounted in the book Acts of the Apostles:  

These days of preparation were days of deep heart searching. The disciples felt their spiritual need and cried to the Lord for the holy unction that was to fit them for the work of soul saving. They did not ask for a blessing for themselves merely. They were weighted with the burden of the salvation of souls. They realized that the gospel was to be carried to the world, and they claimed the power that Christ had promised.[4]

Dear Lord, may we cry for that holy unction. Weigh us down with the burden of the salvation of souls. Open our vision to the work before us that we may realize how great is our need of the power of the Holy Spirit that Christ has promised. 

With the promise secured, they witnessed what the power of God can do. On that single day, when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon them, thousands accepted the Lord Jesus Christ and were baptized into the truth. 

The apostles were accused of drunkenness, but they exclaimed: "Not so, we are merely fulfilling the prophecy of Joel: And it shall come to pass in the last days that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh."[5]

They were not drunk or out of their minds. They were witnessing the power of God working in them for the fulfillment of Bible Prophecy. The wonderful works that day were accomplished only because the power of the Holy Spirit was manifested in the lives of those faithful servants of God who went forward in earnest to do battle for God. “And the Lord was adding to the church daily those being saved.”[6]

This day will come again. It will come to this church, for we, too, are called to fulfill Bible prophecy as we give ourselves unreservedly to the will of God.

Notice how the Lord encourages us again through His servant,   

Those who place themselves under God’s control, to be led and guided by Him, will catch the steady tread of the events ordained by Him to take place. Inspired with the Spirit of Him who gave His life for the life of the world, they will no longer stand still in impotency, pointing to what they cannot do. Putting on the armor of heaven, they will go forth to the warfare, willing to do and dare for God, knowing that His omnipotence will supply their need.[7]

What an incredible promise for those living in the last days of earth’s history! This is just what the early disciples of Jesus experienced as they surrendered themselves completely to the will and working of God – and it can be our experience too. As the storm clouds are gathering and we are seeing the beginning of sorrows that will continue to intensify to the very end, let us choose now to take our firm stand under the banner of the Lord. 

If there could be a positive attribute to this ongoing pandemic, maybe it has provided the opportunity for many of us to think about our priorities. It seems as if we are often too busy living in this life to spend time preparing and living for the life to come.

What priorities do we need to rearrange so that Jesus is first and foremost in our thoughts and lives? Are there strings to cut, schedules to change, habits to surrender? Maybe it’s a change of attitude or the letting go of bitterness or envy? Whatever it may be in your life, Jesus has promised to set us free. What courage and hope He brings – what spiritual power and joy are ours in Him! As we place ourselves under the control of heaven, we will recognize what is taking place in the world, be clothed in the righteousness and full armor of God and press into the battle on the side of the Lord. To Him be glory in the church both now and forever. Amen.

And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.[8]

[1] Matthew 24:33

[2] Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 1, p. 261.

[3] See Romans 4:20-22, 2 Corinthians 1:20, 2 Peter 1:2-4

[4] Ellen G. White, Acts of the Apostle, p. 37.

[5] See Acts 2:13-21

[6] Acts 2:47  

[7] Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 7, p. 14.

[8] Romans 13:11, 12