Stormy WeatherThe following are my (rather raw) notes from a meeting that was organized to hear from God on the question, “How do we spiritually prepare for the coming storm?” I strongly encourage you to read them prayerfully; with spiritual determination and discipline to hear what God would say to you (not every word is for every person). Remember, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God; but faith without works is dead. You are responsible for your response to what you hear the Lord say in this exercise. Please let me know what you are hearing; it may be something that we all need to hear.

  1. This meeting is about two paths. The first is our eternal path, leading to Revelation 21:3. On that same path, 1000 years ahead of that awesome day, the Lord will return for His Bride; because she has made herself ready (Revelation 19:7-16). Everyone in the meeting has the desire in their heart, placed there by God, to hasten the day of the Lord’s return.
  2. Along that same path is another path. It is the path all of us must take to be prepared for the storm that is coming. For us (and those we are responsible for) to stand in that storm, we need the path of transformation in our lives (2Corinthians 3:18). We need to behold the glory of the Lord. We need Him to manifest Himself to us. He will do so for those who have His commands and keeps them; the ones who love Him (John 14:21).
  3. There is a connection between 2Corinthians 3:18 (beholding the glory of the Lord), John 14:21 (He will manifest Himself to those that obey His commandments) and Matthew 7:24 (houses that stand in the storm are built by those that “hear these sayings of mine and do them”).
  4. In His providence, God has seen fit to intersect the paths of 22 disciples of Jesus Christ; those committed to making disciples in preparation for the coming storm. Our coming together is a purposeful act of God.
  5. From Philippians 4:4-7: We need the peace of God in the storm. Delight in God’s grace. We need calm water for beholding the glory of the Lord. The peace of God begins with us rejoicing in the Lord before the storm. Learn to pray out of the remembrance of God’s faithfulness; knowing He will keep us – “keep” being a stronghold; the stronghold of God’s peace. The Holy Spirit will keep our minds on the things of God. As we face the storm in peace, we are then encouraged to meditate on these things; and teach others to do the same (vv. 8-9).
  6. From Ephesians 5:15-16: We must walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
  7. A part of the treasure in the field is the fear of the LORD.
  8. Sargent grace. Boot camp. Break us down. Learn His voice. Be disciplined before Him. Have clear cut direction. Romans 12:2.
  9. Chris spoke of a dream he had months ago where the church was in an area guarded by rushing water, giving out supplies to those in need.
  10. Matthew 7:24 – The man is wise, not b/c he built on a solid rock (Jesus). He is wise b/c he did what Jesus said. The rock is obedience to truth.
  11. You don’t have to be a botanist to be a branch.
  12. Hopefully, we will not be like the people that lived below a dam, who met regularly to discuss the cracks in the dam, but continued living as if the dam would never fail. [I’ve heard Tom call this “cognitive dissonance”.] The foolish man knows what is right, but doesn’t take action. We must lay up treasures in heaven (i.e., stop investing in the house below the dam). We must buy truth.
  13. Words for the season: Extreme, radical and consuming.
  14. We should recognize that what we are talking about (becoming spiritually prepared) is something we should be doing anyway. The difference is urgency and opportunity.
  15. Not everyone will hear the same thing. Not everything shared will be for everyone.
  16. Let us be “dressed in readiness with our lamp’s lit”.
  17. From Daniel 11:32-35 and 12:10, we must be prepared to embrace the storm as something for the church; and good for us. The storm is not the rise of social ills (e.g., homosexuality, abortions, etc.). It is the judgment of God. Serve God reverently. Every weight laid aside in marriage, family, church, etc. Willingness to confess. Find people that can run with you (not all will). Become radical. They that know their God will do exploits. Many teachers and leaders will fall by the sword. Many shall be purified and made white. The storm is coming to bring purity.
  18. From Hebrews 12:22-29, there will be a shaking; to remove and remain. This will not only shake out things that don’t belong to an individual Christian, but it will shake out persons. [This was one of the more sobering things to me.] The shaking is also for things to remain (i.e., to strengthen the abiding).
  19. The storm is for the church, because the church is for the Son (i.e., it is for the preparation of His Bride). The storm will be exactly what is needed; nothing more or less.
  20. Storms are necessary to bring life to a forest that has been unattended. We need to recognize why the storm is needed.
  21. From Acts 5:41, they rejoiced because they were counted worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus Christ.
  22. God is about the business of revival.
  23. We must recognize the danger of idolatry and remove it. We must give attention to the things that the storm is coming to destroy; to proactively remove them beforehand.
  24. We must be intentional about finding someone to disciple us, and finding those we should be discipling. For example, who is discipling you to add the things listed in 2Peter 1:5-11 (i.e., virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love).
  25. Being spiritually prepared is knowing His voice in the little things. If we don’t know (and obey) His voice in little things, we will not be able to in the storm.
  26. We must break through to intimacy. [Get four other things from John]
  27. From Psalm 105:4, we must seek him continually. It is so easy to stay busy; to allow the enemies’ wedge to come between us and God. We must seek Him continually for His strength. “My pastor said, ‘Pray more'”.
  28. From Luke 12:35-40, we must be prepared as servants of the Master, for His return.
  29. If we know who God is and who we are to Him (i.e., the center of His creation), we will not need to fear the storm. We must take the full authority we have been given.
  30. Most, if not all, that has been said, has been said before. Is God saying anything that will make a difference? There must be a word that will become faith for this season. Let’s not miss it; and let’s do the work that brings that faith alive (for ourselves and those we are responsible for).
  31. We should be encouraged that we are being trained – so that when the storm comes, “it will kick in”.
  32. Most Christians just want to be “storm chasers”, instead of being listeners. They want to prepare in their own way and strength. Why are we living like the “pre-Acts 2” church? Are we doing what we are hearing?
  33. Once we are able to hear, we will find that the harder thing is to do what He says.
  34. You cannot fool God. There are no grey areas. You are either under His reign, or you are not.
  35. It is God’s mercy that the storm is coming; and that He is telling us that a storm is coming. We should be grateful.
  36. The first order of business is repentance.
  37. Is it possible that we are distracted by “how to prepare for the storm”; versus simply living like we were called to live.
  38. We are so mixed with the world, we cannot hear. What are the idols in our lives? What is the thing, or things, of the world that have become our idols? Asking the Spirit to search our hearts is a good place to start.
  39. The riches that the rich young ruler had were blessings from God. Now he was being asked to give up the very blessings God had given to him.
  40. From Matthew 13, He will remove all things from His kingdom that cause offense. Our offense deafens us to His voice [and His grace]. We must have intimacy without lawlessness. The one who found was the one who was seeking.
  41. We must have a love for the truth; and a fear of the LORD.
  42. We don’t need a new formula. The key to the Christian life is to just die. We are equipped for the death that is required in the exchanged life.
  43. Before His cross, He taught of their cross. We share in His life and death. Wanting to be a part in Jesus Christ is equivalent to wanting our cross.
  44. We will be judged by our response to the things we have heard. We don’t need to hear anything new; we need to be obedient to what we have heard.
  45. We must be lead to a radical extreme change from the status quo; we will be judged by that.
  46. We don’t need to hear anything new, we need to be obedient to what He has already spoken.
  47. The purposes of the storm are many: Judge the church (1Peter 4:17); Prove our houses (Matthew 7:24-29); and, Glorify God (Ezekiel 36:22; Matthew 5:16). To find the center of His will, we should prayerfully consider what He is doing to restore His reign (Mark 1:14-15), habitation (John 17:20-26) and intimacy (Psalm 91:1; John 15:9). All this culminates in Revelation 21:3. If that is our goal, we will find His way through this season.
  48. Now is the time to lean into the purposes of God for this season; like leaning into the current of a river. What is the first step? What is the “leaning”?
  49. Adventure is made up of excitement and fear. Behind every fear is a lie; deal with the lie and the fear will fly.
  50. This is not only about ourselves, but those for whom we have kingdom responsibility to disciple, through the adventure.
  51. We must be a cup – poured out, filled, and poured out again.
  52. The first step is to love God. He never asks anything we cannot do (in Christ); but it will cost us. If we love Him, we will do what He says. We must be attentive to wait on Him; pleasing Him by doing what He wants. We must flow with the (orchestra) conductor.
  53. It is one thing to say, “I love God.” It is another to say, “I am in love with God.” From Jeremiah 29:13, we must seek with our whole heart.
  54. We must love others (including our enemies) and share the truth. We will be judged as much for what we did not do.
  55. From Luke 17:32, remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. (v.33) The enemy desires to rob Jesus of the affection that He justly deserves. We should be repenting of the affection we have given to the world.
  56. The church burning with affection is the greatest sign of His coming. We are letting, even encouraging, the world to steal our affection from Jesus.
  57. It is not a matter of loving Jesus more than anything else, but loving Jesus exclusively.
  58. We love the world because we love ourselves; and the way the world satisfies our flesh. We think so highly of ourselves. We think our flesh has value. We should loathe our flesh; and we should loathe it when our flesh is being satisfied.
  59. (In response to this meeting), we need to be talking about what we have heard and how we can obey.
  60. We must be trustworthy to be used by God; and we must trust God to use us.
  61. The Gospel is the good news of joy. We should go away rejoicing.
  62. From Colossians 3:16, let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. So, we closed with I Love You, Lord.
  63. We must board up our house against the storm, with the truth.
  64. We must be attentive to the Father; disciplined to do what He says. From Ephesians 5 – we must make the most of every day. God tending His vineyard is a romantic thought; but the pruning will be difficult for everyone.
  65. Come out of her. Why are we investing so much into a life that we know will soon disappear? Do we really live like He is our Master? Do we run when He calls? Is He really reigning? To be bought with a price, that I am not my own?
  66. If we truly love Him, our preparation will not be an issue.

In closing, two important reminders: First, it is God’s desire and work to prepare each of His children. He is dynamic and specific, gracious and persistent, in that work. He is a good God that loves us and has an awesome plan for us.

Second, hearing and doing are the keys to a strong spiritual house. In reading this article, you should have heard a few things that Jesus Christ would have you do. Don’t delay. The time for preparation is growing short.

Humbly yours and forever His,