Preparedness Wisdom from Ephesians
It’s been some time since we discussed the Bible, and this weekend of Easter makes it a perfect time to return to the best-selling book of all time.
This week takes us to the book of Ephesians.
To give some historical background, it was written after Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension – the time of the early church.
It is an epistle, or letter, from the apostle Paul to the Church in the city of Ephesus, a capital of the Roman province of Asia in modern-day Turkey.
It is presumably written from a Roman prison and is a product of the Roman persecution of early Christians.
In it, Paul conveys two themes – one more theological and one more practical. The theological lesson reveals the "mystery" of the church. Mystery in this context means "unrevealed truth."
Here it is from the King James Version:
Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ…That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs and of the same body and partakers of his promise in Christ by the Gospel. (3:4-6)
The mystery, which was not revealed to the prophets of the Old Testament, is that followers of Jesus would also be considered part of the "fellowship" of God’s chosen people "which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ" (3:9)
Finally, Paul concludes his theological thesis by asserting that the church and the Christians who composed it formed the spiritual body of Jesus Christ. We are joined in "One Lord, one faith, one baptism." (4:5)
Essentially, Paul is saying that we must join together as a community to spread our faith:
"From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth according the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."
As one spiritual body in Christ, we become bigger and stronger and improve others through Christ’s love.
The same is true for preparedness: the more we spread the values of our lifestyle, the better those around us become and the more resilient we all are. This preparedness proselytizing need not be separate from our Christian faith, in fact, fellow Christians have probably already internalized this concept, making it easy to translate to preparedness.
The second part of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is full of practical advice. It is delivered much in the style of Moses to the Israelites in Egypt, as he delivered the Ten Commandments. However, it is delivered to the children who must "obey your parents in the Lord" (6.1) or the followers of the church.
The best bit of wisdom from this passage that can be applied to preparedness comes from the end:
Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (6:11-13)
In Paul’s context, the principalities, powers, rulers and spiritual wickedness, took the form of the Roman Empire oppressing their right to freedom of religion.
However, we can broaden this context to mean any evil outside of our control – foreign enemies, corrupt institutions, and even natural disasters.
For these things, we certainly need the armor of God. To do so, we must prepare earnestly – in faith as well as physically. This enables us to withstand in the evil day.
So, two major lessons for our preparedness journeys. First, all of us who are committed to the lifestyle are one. We may prepare differently, just as Christians pray differently. But we share one vision and one goal – to be ready to withstand in the evil of a crisis. We must grow our communities, through wisdom and love – just as the Church has. We also know that helping fellow church members prepare is one of the best ways to strengthen our overlapping communities.
Second, we must continually prepare and strengthen our preps to the magnitude of God’s armor. Since we do not know the extent of the wickedness that will visit us, we must always prepare for the worst. Our work is never finished, but acknowledging this and continuing on is all we can do. In God’s eyes, this is sufficient.
I hope you have found this piece of wisdom insightful on this Holy Weekend. May your Easter celebrations be joyous! Please spread the good word of preparedness at this fruitful time.
Talk to you next week. Stay alert friends!
Preparedness Advisor, My Patriot Supply