Country Living Series

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Are you "no earthly good"?

I was reading a column on WND this morning entitled "Think a cell phone can save you? Think again" in which the author discusses amateur radio and the need for alternative communications under emergency conditions.

Among the spirited and intelligent comments posted after the article, someone rudely elbowed in and proclaimed, "Think a cell phone will save you? Think again only JESUS can save you from eternal Damnation."

Um, yeah. We all know that. But the author wasn't talking about eternal damnation, he was talking about amateur radios. Get a grip, fella.

See, this underscores one of my pet peeves when it comes to preparedness. There are those who, as the old saying goes, are so heavenly-minded they're no earthly good.


These are the types of people who claim they don’t need to be prepared because “God will provide.” Despite my total belief in God’s mercy and providence, I confess I have no patience with those who refuse to lift a finger toward their own physical safety or survival on the grounds that the Almighty will supply them with whatever they need. I’ve actually heard some people say with a straight face that they have no need to prepare because they’ll be raptured up before things get really hairy.

No offense, folks, but that’s about the stupidest contingency plan I’ve ever heard. In November 2015 when we had a massive region-wide power failure after a huge windstorm, nobody was raptured but a lot of people were very, very cold and miserable. It was a time we were profoundly grateful to be prepared.

Disruptive natural phenomena happen all the time. And it’s for these types of events that everyone must prepare according to their means and abilities.

J.G. Holland said, “God gives every bird its food but does not throw it into the nest.” Right now, God has blessed us with an abundance of goods and services in this country, but He isn’t throwing free groceries into our cart. Nor do any of us expect (I hope) to open our kitchen cupboards in the morning and find them magically filled overnight by Divine providence. It’s up to us obtain those groceries, not God.

Or, as one reader put it, “I have told the ‘God will supply’ people not to show up on my doorstep when things get tough because ‘I’ am not their God.”

It’s essential to place one’s trust in God, but to assume He will behave in accordance with our interpretation of what we want Him to do is foolish beyond belief. If you fold your hands and refuse to help yourself because of your sincere belief that God will give you full pantries when times get tough, then that’s slothful. It smacks of arrogance. You’re expecting Him to do the work he commands you to do.


I truly believe God expects us to prepare to meet the challenges inherent in life: natural disasters, terrorist attacks, economic downturns, and other natural or manmade calamities. In addition to our physical preparedness, we all need spiritual preparedness for comfort, focus, and protection.

But to do one without the other – to prepare our souls but not our earthly lives to meet physical challenges – is shortsighted and incomplete.

The Bible is absolutely chock-full of advice for a preparedness mindset, and it exhorts us not to be foolish, slothful, or ignorant. Everything from the stories of Noah or Joseph in Genesis, throughout Proverbs, up to and including Jesus’s Parable of the Ten Virgins, urges people to be vigilant and to keep their lamps lit.

And yet there is a certain subclass of people who won’t do this because, after all, God will provide. No one argues faith is an integral part of prepping; but to make it your sole and exclusive contingency plan is not only stupid, but highly unbiblical as well.

Just some thoughts on a snowy day as we split firewood for warmth, thank a neighbor for plowing our road and driveway, and wait for spring when we can become active in the garden.

33 comments:

  1. Well, as it says in the good book, "Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only." And "Faith without works is dead." Both can be applied to preparation and self-reliance. Of course God provides, after we've done everything we can.

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  2. Joseph didn't tell Pharaoh not to worry about the coming seven year famine.

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  3. Well done Patrice. I got into a discussion like this two weeks ago with a preacher no less. It was like trying to reason with a liberal.---ken

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  4. The problem with these people, is their God is the government.They think the government will keep the pantry stocked. That's what happens when they have the intelligence of a kindergarten drop out.

    Right on for a snowy spring day,has snowed all afternoon. Only saving grace is the temperature at 33 degrees.

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  5. We've been considered wacko nut-jobs for many moons because we've prepared for "things" & attempts to light fires under folks have been a waste of time.

    Prime example: Several times, the sister-in-law has stated that she "doesn't want to hear about it". Subsequently, they did three days without electricity following a major storm.

    No power was simply an inconvenience, until the first sunset --- when they found themselves sitting at the kitchen table with one candle & dead batteries in their flashlight. A trip to town for more candles & batteries solved that problem.

    Sometime during the night, their rapidly chilling bones advised them that their furnace wasn't going to work. Early morning meant another trip to town where they purchased a kerosene heater, a fuel can & probably one stinkin' gallon of kerosene.

    I'm thinkin' they learned next to nothing from the experience --- & I'm thinkin' that, if SHTF, they'll be at my door with their grown kids, grandkids & their stinkin' dogs, cats, gerbils & whatever else they might have.

    If they're lucky, they'll get to use my tents & I'll hand them some fishing line/hooks & a shovel to dig an outhouse hole.



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  6. Great article Patrice.. I wish I had a dollar for everyone that has told me " God will provide ". I am going to print this and start passing it out.
    Dee in the South West

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  7. God helps those who help themselves that's what my Mom use to say

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  8. God helps those who help themselves that's what my Mom use to say

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    1. that is EXACTLY what my Mom told me as well!

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  9. I have an ex-(thank God) brother in law that stated to my sister that if it all gets wacked "they will take care of us", She did not know what he meant but suspected he was referring to the government, what a horrible thought. On another note don't we say "thank God we have (fill in this space) for life's glitches? I'm pretty sure God did not chop and split my firewood but he did help me find it.

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  10. Thessalonians tells us a man who won't work won't eat.

    Well done Patrice!

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  11. My reply to these holier-than-thou smug little snits, ‘Said the grasshopper to the ant….’

    Out of curiosity I searched for this story. Believe it or not FedGov has it posted in the Library of Congress! Of course instead of ‘ant’ they use the plural ‘ants’. You know, the ‘It-Takes-A-Village’ version.

    http://read.gov/aesop/052.html

    Montana Guy

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  12. I for one believe God will provide. In fact, he already has. He has provided me the income, health and inspiration to begin storing up for calamity before calamity happens. For those who think God will just show up with dinner for them, what do they think God is... their personal waitress?

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  13. ALERT: RANT AHEAD
    Mercy, how many times must Christians parrot, "God will provide"?" Halleluiah, that was easy! It’s like God is standing by as their personal ATM machine.

    These Christians are simply looking for a reason to sit on their thumbs and do nothing. The possibility that God has ALREADY provided for them completely escapes them.

    Hypocrites, I say. Where is their faith in other areas of their life? Most still purchase health insurance, life insurance, dental insurance, prescription drug insurance, workers comp, home-fire-theft-flood and liability insurances, renters insurance, AAA road service, auto liability-collision-comprehensive insurances, and same for motorcycles boats and RVs. They take vitamins, get vaccinations, use sunscreen and bug repellant. They install smoke alarms and keep fire extinguishers on hand. They spend thousands on home security systems. They become obsessed with The Weather Channel. They lock their doors at night. They use seat belts. Buckle up Buckaroo! They give cell phones to their kids 'just in case'. Don't forget to buckle up. And the list goes on. Why do they do this if they believe, 'God will provide'? I've yet to hear anyone explain these contradictions. Interestingly most of these insurances protect blessings that God has provided. But yet they feel compelled to put their ‘Insurance company in control’.

    And what REALLY bothers me? Many of these dimwits have young children depending on them for protection. We may soon witness suffering of Biblical proportion. Pray for especially for these children.

    Montana Guy

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    1. Good points Montana Guy. Bunch of things I never thunked of. Gives me more examples for the next round.---ken

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  14. One of my closest friends WAS a staunch "God will provide, we'll be raptured out of here anyway" Christian....for years, as I prepped away. We remained long-distance friends, talking about everything under the sun and praying by phone each morning. Gentle reminders (Noah built an ark after all), and practical application "we had an outage for 9 hours, so glad I had a way to make coffee and gave my neighbors an oil lamp to use" finally...slowly but surely...brought her around. Now she encourages her family to prepare for job loss, earthquake, grid down events, and most importantly being heart-ready to meet our maker on any given day. Thank you for your always excellent articles, Patrice!

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  15. I've been reading your blog and articles for years now and STILL haven't found anything I disagree with - this article is spot-on, as usual!

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  16. AMEN and AMEN. You speak the truth my dear lady. Beth in Masontown , Pennsylvania

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  17. I, too, have heard Christians make that "God will provide". I always ask them if they work for their shelter and groceries or if God takes care of it.

    I believe God HAS provided for me. He provided the gentle urging in my mind to start thinking about all the "what ifs". He provided the ability to stretch a very tight income to cover all the "stuff" - even to being that still, small voice that told me to stop at a particular "inside yard sale" (I normally didn't stop at "inside" sales if I didn't know the people.) - at that sale I found a brand new Big Berkey water filter with extra cartridges for $20! (I could barely contain my excitement!) He provides the wisdom and guidance to learn all the "skills". He constantly brings to mind things I need to do, preparation-wise, just as He brings to mind people and situations that I am to pray for. God IS providing His leadership - I must follow that leadership and do my part.

    Thank you, Patrice, for all your wonderful articles! Just another example of God's provision - for those who will listen!

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  18. I said to a friend in Vegas, "Don't you ever worry about your water situation here?" and she said, "This is VEGAS! They will make sure we have water." I wanted to ask who the THEY was but I knew it was a lost cause.

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  19. A flood came. The water was up to the man's ankles when a car drove by.
    "Get in!" , they said.
    "No," said the man. "God will surely save me."
    The water was up to the man's waist when a rowboat came by.
    "Get in," they said.
    "No," said the man. "God will surely save me."
    The water was up to the man's neck when a helicopter flew by.
    "Get in," they said.
    "No," said the man. "God will surely save me."
    "But you will die!" exclaimed those in the helicopter.
    "My faith in God will save me," stated the man.
    Soon thereafter the man drowned.
    Upon his arrival to heaven he spoke to God.
    "Why didn't you save me?" accused the man. "My faith in you was unwavering!"
    God answered, "I sent a car, and a boat, and a helicopter. What else could I do for you?"

    Just a "joke" I heard years ago. Quite apt today.

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  20. I have heard these kinds of comments more times than I can count. Otherwise it's the "if anything bad happens I'm coming to your house" reply. In my opinion it's just another way of shifting responsibility for their well being onto someone else. To be honest I've given up trying to warn people. I keep a low profile and hope and pray for the best. I'm nowhere near prepped enough for my own family, let alone anyone else's.
    Sue

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  21. Proverbs 24:33-34
    A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.

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  22. God will provide... in fact, if that's you're only prep, chances are you'll get to meet Him personally!

    As I'm dealing with stage 2/3 head/neck cancer, being prepared to meet God is the prep that gives me the most comfort....

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    1. God bless you during your battle. Sounds like you have your house in order and your priorities right.

      - Patrice

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  23. I believe that preparing what you can is good but to think that "I've got this" and relying solely on your own power and abilities is a smack in God's face. We have no idea what's to come and to pretend we do tells God that we know better than he does. Yes we can all be prepared for some things. True. To be more simple and frugal absolutely. To do more and waste less. To be better stewards of what's been given us. I don't believe in Divine Providence. I rely on it. And mercy. Not everyone can prepare for every emergency. And we should not expect to rely on anyone but God does provide miraculously... even in the bible itself. i think it can come across as "I don't need God's help" to people when you think you're ready for anything.

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    1. Have I **ever** recommended relying solely on our preps and discarding God in the process? Of course not. But to solely rely on God and refuse to lift a finger to help yourself is just as unbiblical as putting God out of the equation. As I said in my post, there must be balance.

      - Patrice

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  24. Jesus told us, "You shall not tempt the Lord your God." (Matthew 4:7, Luke 4:12) We should never test Him, especially if we willingly put ourselves in danger and then believe He will protect and save us. Our Heavenly Father provides up to a point, and then He expects us to take over from there! --Fred in AZ

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  25. Yep, if you don't use the brains/talents/other resources God gave you to prepare for the future, God will provide...consequences.

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  26. excellent piece of writing! prayer works better if a little action is put behind the words.

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  27. Parable of the Rich Fool.
    16
    Then he told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest.
    17
    He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’
    18
    And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods
    19
    j and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’k
    20
    But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’
    21
    Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.”*
    Dependence on God.
    22
    l He said to [his] disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life and what you will eat, or about your body and what you will wear.
    23
    For life is more than food and the body more than clothing.
    24
    Notice the ravens: they do not sow or reap; they have neither storehouse nor barn, yet God feeds them. How much more important are you than birds!m
    25
    Can any of you by worrying add a moment to your life-span?
    26
    If even the smallest things are beyond your control, why are you anxious about the rest?
    27
    Notice how the flowers grow. They do not toil or spin. But I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of them.n
    28
    If God so clothes the grass in the field that grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?
    29
    As for you, do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not worry anymore.
    30
    All the nations of the world seek for these things, and your Father knows that you need them.
    31
    Instead, seek his kingdom, and these other things will be given you besides.
    32
    Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.o
    33
    Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy.p
    34
    For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

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  28. Well, I lived for a bit in Oregon as a child. We kids picked fruit for money for school clothes. We each took home a quart of berries every day for pies and dessert, a gift from the farmers. When the fields were finished for the season, the farmers let anybody who wanted the rest of the fruit to pick as much as they wanted for their own use. We froze, canned, and made jams and jellies.

    We had a neighbor that was a preacher. His wife did not work (my mom did). His kids did not work (we did). They would come to our house, eat our baked goods and jellies, and complain about not being able to afford it on their limited income. We told them that the fields were available and they could go pick all they wanted. "The Lord will provide!" they said.

    We were astounded. We thought we were in heaven with such beautiful, tasty fruit that was available for free. The fields were free of poisonous snakes, ticks, chiggers, mosquitoes and biting flies, unlike the south. We thought that the Lord has already provided. We didn't know that He was expected to process it as well.

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  29. Think of this photo the next time folks parrot, 'Have faith, God will provide'.

    http://imgur.com/HsY1dEM.jpg

    Montana Guy

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