Storms swept through our area before dawn today. Phones blared weather alerts, and a look at the television confirmed a tornado warning close by. We were parked in our RV.
For about an hour, we practiced situational awareness. We monitored the radar, made sure we were dressed in case a dash was necessary, considered our options for cover, and listened to the blustery wind and rain.
The RV shook a little, but, thankfully, we were fine.
Situational awareness – being alert to the area and conditions around, noting danger signs, staying prepared.
Tornado warnings are not the only reason to practice situational awareness.
Jesus told his disciples (and us) to
Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. Matthew 24:42.
This command followed a discourse on the many happenings that would occur before Christ’s return. Jesus wanted his followers to be on alert and aware of the troubles that they would face in the world. He wanted us to be prepared for the rising difficulties and dangers.
Jesus talked of wars and rumors of wars, and false saviors. He spoke of conflict and famine and pestilence and earthquakes. He warned of the persecution of those who follow Him, and He cautioned against the false teachers that would arise. (Matthew 24:4 – 11)
He warned that the abundance of sin would cause people’s love for God to grow cold (Matthew 24:12).
These warnings are also recorded in Mark 13 and Luke 12. Paul repeated the instruction to watch in I Corinthians 16:13 and I Thessalonians 5:6, and Peter also warned believers to ‘watch’ in I Peter 4:7.
Watchful anticipation is a theme that runs through the New Testament. We are to practice situational awareness. How do we do this?
Think about what we did when we were watching for the tornado.
- We monitored the situation. Christians are wise to monitor the occurrences in our world today. While we do not know the day or the hour when our Lord will return, we know He is coming, and He told us to be aware of the things taking place around us. He did not tell us this to make us fearful (more on that in a minute), but to encourage and strengthen us. He is coming back, and we can see His Word taking place today.
- We made sure we were dressed. If we are to be ready for the Lord to return, we must be clothed in His righteousness.
Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
Christ clothes us in His righteousness when we repent of our sin and call upon Him to save us.
Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Our own righteousness is as “filthy rags”, but Jesus died on the cross to provide His righteousness for us.
- We considered our options. Everyday we make decisions about what to do and where to go. In light of situational awareness, we need to understand that we have limited time on this Earth. We must pray and ask God to guide us in the best choices for the time we have.
Mark 13:33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
Proverbs 3: 5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Jesus has called His followers to “occupy”, stay busy, until He comes (Luke 19:13)
- We listened to the blustery wind and rain. We were aware, but we were not afraid.
Here I want to talk about the fact that Jesus did not call us to despair over the conditions of the world. In fact, He repeatedly encouraged His followers. Check out these verses:
Matthew 24:6 …see that ye be not troubled:
Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
II Thessalonians 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
These are just a few of the encouraging words that Christ left for us. We are to go out into this world as His ambassadors, bearing His name with gladness and joy. We know the end of the story, and that is good news!
Storms are sweeping through our world, and it is imperative that Christians practice situational awareness as we serve our Master, Jesus Christ. We are not frightened, but we are aware and prepared to serve Him in and through the storms.
If you do not know Him, then please, and I say this with all of the love in my heart, get dressed by calling on Jesus and asking Him to save you.
Romans 10: 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (NKJV)
Photo – Storm Rising, Beth Mims