I was walking through a local big-box sporting goods store and noticed the shoe display depicted in the attached photo. The words “Always Be Ready” were printed on the side of a stack of boxes of tactical boots, the kind of boots worn by special weapons units and police personnel. The words caused me to pause and listen to the Lord.
We have all heard the phrase “sober thinking.” This refers to the need to be clear-headed, able to make rational decisions when needed. We live in a world where many have become intoxicated with the belief that all will remain the same. This is why the words of Jesus in Luke 21 are so sobering. His sobering content followed a question from His disciples, “Teacher,” they asked, “when will all this happen?” (vs. 7).
Jesus went on to say there will be false messiahs, wars, insurrections, earthquakes, famines, and plagues. There will be a rise in betrayal within families and friendships. Persecution will take place. All of these possibilities require the ability to move wisely free from intoxicating delusions all while wearing the tactical boots of a prepared mind.
Some have defined the sobering content of Jesus’ words out of their understanding of life and matters of faith. The words of Jesus spoken in Luke 21 can quickly sober up our drunken understanding of reality and cause us to inventory the stockpile of our faith and love. A sober view of the fragility of life requires that we live prepared. I am always nervous when someone seems to think they have the future all figured out according to the latest interpretation of biblical prophecy. We will all be surprised in the end.
The best way to get ready is profoundly simple – stay close to the Lord. Intimacy with God is the ultimate form of preparation for whatever comes in this life. Jesus said to His disciples “Don’t panic” (vs. 9). This worry-free way of living is only available to those who live in a moment-by-moment intimacy with Jesus Christ. To be prepared for every contingency in life is not possible. It is possible to focus on the single most important issue of our emotional and spiritual preparation – intimacy with God.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Garris Elkins