Friday, 30 December 2016


A main reason the Lord sometimes reveals particularly severe future trials is so that we'll spiritually brace ourselves for them. This involves taking a particular battle ready stance that expects a massive spiritual and practical hit in order to not be bowled over by it. This guards against the power of emotion to try and wrench us from Christ, even as the disciples allowed such a thing to part them from Him for a while when they fled from the cross. The battle ready stance also involves refusing to let perplexity and pain undermine faith and trust. It is a resolving to walk by faith and not by sight, no matter what the cost, and no matter how random and naturally unexplainable our experiences may be. It dethrones 'reason' to throw itself on the character, all-sufficiency and all-knowingness of Christ. 
Bracing for what's coming involves EXPECTING trouble, and spiritually leaning into it. This means continuing to be open to the prophetic, the Lord's voice in His Word, and the 'watching' of the signs of the times. Such things are the Lord's way of preparing us emotionally and mentally as well as spiritually. Job was ready in this way for the tragedies that befell him, but his wife was not, and it showed. Job's wife let the emotion of the trial and its torturous pain cut her to the core and take away all her faith in God, to the point where she encouraged Job to give up, die, and curse God. Job, however, expected what came: ' He replied, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" - Job 2:10.
Bracing for the coming storm means praying about it in order to prepare our way spiritually in order to walk through it. This is what the Lord constantly did throughout His life, and particularly so in the garden of Gethsemane. Praying about what's coming also allows the Lord to change our hearts to be able to face it resolutely and head on. This is why the Lord eventually prayed, "Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done". The Lord showed us throughout His life that we always need to pray, not only for present grace, but also FUTURE grace. Without prayer, we cannot spiritually brace ourselves fully, or in the way God intends.
Bracing for what's coming also means taking the time to decide how much we're willing to give up to continue on with Christ. This is a process that often takes time and considerable thought (honest thought which challenges our own hearts/expectations/desires etc.), which we won't necessarily have much or any of when all the future trials of the storm hit. The Lord reveals the future so that we'll be able to measure just how costly our crosses are, and what it will take to continue to carry them when things get harder and more costly:
Luke 14:
27And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
28“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?
Bracing is also a mental process that accepts that life will not always be rosy and will not necessarily follow our expectations or hopes. Bracing refuses to except that this present life is all there is, and that there are purposes far greater than our own which only God knows and is working in our lives and throughout the earth. Bracing even surrenders our own spiritual views if necessary, and owns that we only see and know in part. Bracing also humbles itself to submit to the will of the Lord, though we may not understand or agree with it in the natural, and owns that there is an end to all things, and that we cannot take one thing with us when we die (and thus that even loss itself is a temporary thing). Bracing is needed for all storms in life, and it will be particularly needed for the great storm which is ahead.


There’s a difference between experiencing the peripheral effects of a storm, and actually experiencing its effects in earnest and the actual heart of it. The outer storm of trial and God’s judgment has arrived, but what the world is experiencing at the moment is just that; the first touches of what is to be an absolute monster of a storm that will rock the entire world. This is a storm the Lord has repeatedly shown me in dreams and visions throughout the years. About a month or so ago I felt that by the Spirit this ‘monster storm’ had arrived, and I posted about it on my blog and online. We have already begun to experience the peripheral effects of it. This has been seen in various ways, though few in Christendom want to acknowledge it. Its arrival has been obvious during the last year by the worldwide avalanche of immorality and its institionalisation, terrorism (especially through historic mass immigration into most of Europe), economic and governmental instabilities and upheavals, natural disasters, a resurgent Russia and China, and increasingly strong North Korea. But knowing it’s coming isn’t enough; we need to be prepared for it. This being the case, I’ll be continuing the Coming Storm Prep articles I started writing about a year ago now. The one below is Part 5: Brace Yourself.

In one sense writing like this, at least to myself, seems a little redundant now. The arrival of the storm has already made itself obvious, yet we're still on the outskirts of it--the big stuff is still to come. Just over a week or so ago, the song 'It's the end of the world as we know it' started playing through my head. The Lord often speaks to me through prophetic songs, and this one has taken on a whole new meaning recently, especially living in America for the last few months. Many now believe we've entered a new time of prosperity and peace, and perhaps, for the short term at least, we have. Regardless, the long term future hasn't changed, and my personal feeling is that recent events have actually sped up and solidified the reality of what's coming. In the last few months the Lord has shown me the Red Horse of Revelation once again, and continued to reiterate the need for His people to enter the Ark of His protection--to remain abiding in Him. This article below, including its title, has stayed with me for a few months now. It hasn't left me. Precious Bride of Christ, the Word of the Lord to us for what's about to happen is summed up in these two words: BRACE YOURSELF

There’s a massive difference between a Christian who braces themselves for approaching tribulation, and one who doesn’t. We see this in the starkly different ways Job and his wife reacted to the suffering God allowed to come upon them:

Job 2:9
His wife said to him, "Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!"

But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

These scriptures reveal an obvious truth: Job was ready for tribulation, but his wife was not. People like to be exasperated and condemnatory towards Job’s wife, and even joke or completely write her off when they read her response. Yes, her words were awful and wrong, and we can’t excuse them, but we also need to consider something, which is this: if the tribulation that ended up rocking them had been tough, but ‘do-able’ so to speak, and nothing as horrific as it actually had been, it’s unlikely Job’s wife would’ve ever said such a thing, or anything close to it. But that’s the thing, the trial wasn’t just ‘bad’, it wasn’t just ‘hard’, ‘uncomfortable’, ‘irritating’, or even just pretty painful or fairly distressing. It wasn’t even ‘really rough’, it was completely and overwhelmingly agonising and heart-wrenching. It was life-altering tragedy after life-altering tragedy, and even that is putting it somewhat mildly. What came upon Job and his wife was so horrific it overcame and tortured every inch of their inner man in a vortex of life-crushing pain, and not just in a single moment or event. Their suffering lasted months (if his wife even stayed with Job. Pause for a minute. Really think about that and digest it. We condemn Job’s wife, mock, and write her off, but consider this: how would we have faired? How would we have responded to those around us or the Lord Himself if we had experienced Job’s sufferings? We probably already know, because we always know how we’ve faired under trials much, much easier then he faced.

On one level at least, nothing can prepare us for the great trials that lay ahead. In one sense they will be unprecedented, just like they were for Job. How does anyone prepare for trial after trial? And devastating/world altering trials at that? We’re all human, and what’s coming will all hit us all like a ton of bricks. But it’s clear that Job expected to see tragedy from the Lord, and that helped him guide his brokenness and overwhelming emotion in the right way:

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship
-Job 1:20

This is one major reason the Lord reveals difficult prophetic events of the future because He wants us to be ready for them:

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
-Ephesians 6:13

Being ready for what’s coming will mean we’ll arm ourselves with a soldier’s mentality, rather than a victim’s one, knowing that all things work together for good for those who love the Lord (Rom 8:28). This is how Paul encouraged Timothy:

Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
-2 Timothy 2v3

Knowing what is coming will help us to envision how to continue through the suffering and endure it. This we’ll be able to do by looking at the example of those in the Bible who endured great suffering. The Lord will also give us the hope of its end and the result He intends to bring about at its conclusion:

10Brothers, as an example of patience in affliction, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11See how blessed we consider those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen the outcome from the Lord. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
-James 5:10-11

If we don’t expect the great severity of the coming storm, like with Job’s wife, our perplexity, pain, emotion, and natural ‘unanswered questions’ will lead to faithlessness and a rejection of the Lord and His ways. We must also remember this: none of us deserve anything; not one single thing. All we have is by the grace, mercy, and undeserved favour of God. Even the very air we breathe is a gift of God, and if the Lord deems it best to take, not only a few things, but EVERYTHING from us, including OUR VERY LIVES (and/or the lives of those we love) for our eternal state and His own purposes, then we must accept it, just as Job did:

For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
-1 Timothy 6:7

This will be a continual battle of faith (a ‘fighting the good fight of faith’) and a daily sacrifice and death, but it will all be worth it in the end, whether we witness this in the present life or the one to come:

17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
-Romans 8v17-18