Preparation

<<groundwork>>

It is part of the planning process that starts with defining the goal, along with anticipation and belief in the outcome. Planning requires the ability to foresee by thinking through the various issues involved, together with any training required, and getting things organised or on-hand in advance so a project can flow smoothly. Planning and preparation involves faith being outworked in action to establish a solid foundation long before the goal is achieved, diligence rewarded and the realisation of the ‘promised blessing’. It is like seed sown before the harvest. There comes a time when the preparatory phase must yield to the ‘doing’ reality, when the acquired knowledge and resources are used or applied (Mt 7:24-27).

The greater the project or ministry the more intense and demanding is the preparation for it to be effectively accomplished. The parable of the ten bridesmaids indicates some were not prepared for the unexpected delay and it was too late then to do what should have been done beforehand (Mt 25:1-13). Preparation involves considering all the

It’s too late to prepare when the                             opportunity comes

different options, scenarios, possible difficulties, time frames and making provision or resourcing the project.

There is life after death and preparation for heaven must be made in this life by accepting Christ as Saviour because the message has been given – “Prepare to meet your God!” No one knows when their hour will come to depart this life and once this life is over no more opportunities are given to accept Christ (Eccl 9:12; Amos 4:12; Mt 24:36,42,44; Heb 9:27). As Christians, we also prepare for Christ’s return by living uprightly and walking in obedience. Each person is responsible for his or her own spiritual destiny. God is preparing an inheritance for us, but we can enhance it by wisely investing in His Kingdom now and doing the good works He has prepared in advance for us to do (Mt 6:20, 25:34; Jn 14:2; 1 Cor 2:9; Eph 2:10). Consistently practice and thoroughly prepare so when the opportunity comes you are ready and capable. Proper preparation prevents poor performance.

Deep ‘heart preparation’ is needed to fulfill the purposes of God so the challenge is to take active steps to remove from our lives what defiles and is not consistent with Christian beliefs and replace it with godly qualities (Josh 3:5;
1 Sam 7:3; Hos 10:12; Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:5-10; 2 Tim 2:20,21). By responding correctly to trials, hardship, correction and discipline we will enter into victorious living (Rom 5:3-5; Heb 12:1-13; Jas 1:2-4; 1 Pet 1:6,7). The Bible says, get ready, expect and prepare to meet evil and adverse situations, then you will not be caught off guard or ill equipped (Eph 6:13; 1 Pet 1:13, 4:12). Preparation is done ahead of time, before the problem or potential crisis exists – it wasn’t raining when Noah was building the ark!

While God’s commands and principles remain constant requiring the same unquestioning response each time in keeping with those directives, it is essential to be attentive to the Lord’s guidance as different everyday circumstances may require different directions in their outworking. This is highlighted when Jesus sent out the disciples; twice He told them to go without any provisions, then another time reversed that advice (Lk 9:3, 10:1-4, 22:36). The Bible counsels us to both live for today and prepare for the future; in both scenarios we are to have eternal values in mind (Mt 6:19,20).

While it right and sensible to make reasonable preparations for the future be careful not to place undue confidence in your human efforts. Jesus advice was, don’t worry, your heavenly Father knows your needs and will faithfully provide. He stressed our efforts should be directed towards His Kingdom besides being outward focused and responsive

Both faith and obedience to guidance                   are part of preparation

to the needs of others, which will not go unnoticed by God (1 Kgs 17:9-16; Prov 11:25; Mt 6:25-34, 10:42). Jesus spoke of the prosperous farmer whose confidence was in his ability and then reflected in his selfish attitude of being concerned only about himself and his planned comfort, yet his life was taken before he even had a chance use what he had hoarded (Lk 12:16-21). There was nothing wrong with the plan to build bigger barns, the problem was God was neither thanked for the bountiful crops nor consulted in what he should do with the excess produce, such as sharing some with others. In contrast, Pharaoh listened to and followed Joseph’s God-given advice to store up provisions during the time of plenty that later keep many people from starvation (Gen 41:15-41).

See also: actions/activity, dreams, forethought, foundation, goals, plans and purposes, practice, proactive.

 


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