Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry

Q: “It is obvious we are living in very bad times. My question is can you give me any advice as to how to best survive these times, both spiritually and mentally?”

A: My advice would be the three E’s: exposure, environment, and examination. When it comes to exposure you must discern the spirit you are encountering because a wrong spirit can bring confusion, set you up to fall into temptation and bring you under some type of delusion that could cause you to end up operating in a false reality (Luke 9:55; 1 Corinthians 2:9-16; 1 John 4:1).

The next one is environment. To survive the days we are living in, we must ensure the environment of our soul. In other words, we must have a sanctuary. There are three types of sanctuaries. One is a building, one is a safe place where we can run to, which simply could be a room, and the other one is a personal sanctuary of soul and spirit where we can truly fellowship with the Lord. To ensure a right inward environment, we must beware of the company we prefer and keep, the type of activities we expose ourselves to, and that which we allow to influence us (John 3:19-21; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 5:9-13; 15:33; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; Ephesians 4:23-25; 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15).

My suggestion is you that expose yourself to people who will spiritually edify you, get more into the Word in order to influence how you think, and avoid as many vain, worldly activities as you can in order to keep your focus, heart attitude, priorities and agendas in line with God and His Word (Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Ephesians 4:12-16; Philippians 2:5; 4:8-9; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:15-17).

Finally, examine yourself occasionally and make sure you are being established in the true faith of Jesus Christ. At times of communion, whether with the Body of Christ or personally, make sure there is no breaking of fellowship with another because of questionable actions on your part, and if there is you must be prepared to make it right. There must not be any unforgiveness and bitterness towards somebody or because of some bad incident. King David asked the Lord to search him and see if there was any wicked way in him. He knew that he could not trust his heart, his conclusions, and his feelings about his spiritual life. The Lord had to reveal any personal deviance to him (Psalm 139:23-24; Jeremiah 17:9-10; Matthew 5:23-25; 6:14-15; 1 Corinthians 11:28-31; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Ephesians 4:26-27; Hebrews 12:15).

As you can see, exposure has to do with right spirit, environment is about establishing and maintaining that place with God based on who He is and His Word, and examination is about ensuring that you can come into a place of true worship and fellowship with God and other saints. Keep in mind we can only worship in Spirit and truth. To keep our temples (our bodies) a place of true communion and worship we must walk in the light of Christ to ensure that the darkness of this world is not clouding our vision, dulling down our hearts to a point where we can’t receive from our Lord, and causing a hearing problem that we can’t hear what the Spirit is saying (Matthew 13:13-16; John 4:23-24; Ephesians 5:8-13; 1 John 1:5-7).

Jesus gives us a special promise in Matthew 24:13, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”