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Dying Unprepared

““Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”” Ephesians 5:15 ESV

It is not what man thinks that is important, but what God thinks. The more we drift from this truth and understanding, the less likely we will be ready to die prepared.

Many are living to die, and not many are dying to live. In our day, it is the acquiring of many things, the rise to power, the increase of following, and the desire to be someone who gets along with the world that man seeks to fulfill. However, it is not what man thinks that is important, but what God thinks. The more we drift from this truth and understanding, the less likely we will be ready to die prepared.


Many of us are coasting on. We do not think about the time that is to come when we draw our last breath. We do not think about the reality that one day we will stand before God Almighty. We do not meditate and think about ourselves standing before the Great White Throne and giving an account for our life. The reason we don’t think about such things is because we are content with being complacent and neutral. By subconsciously seeing others drift and coast on with no direction, we ourselves think it is okay to drift along in the same boat. Is that the company we want to be with when we die? Do we want to blend in with transgressors? The slothful? The apathetic? The sinful? The selfish?

Without realizing, many of us are on the path to living an unproductive life. We neglect to reflect and face reality. We find someone to point the finger at. We find something to complain about. Rather than seeking God to change us from within, we demand others to change.

Without realizing, many of us are on the path to living an unproductive life. We neglect to reflect and face reality. We find someone to point the finger at. We find something to complain about. Rather than seeking God to change us from within, we demand others to change. Rather than taking time to seriously reflect on the path we have been walking, we judge the paths of others. It is in this self-righteous apathy that we infiltrate ourselves and become our worst enemy.


Many are sleeping. We have many dump dogs lying down, not caring about anything or anyone. Many are on the path of Israel’s selfish and irresponsible leaders in the Old Testament. Isaiah 56:10-12 (ESV) declares:


“His watchmen are blind; they are all without knowledge; they are all silent dogs; they cannot bark, dreaming, lying down, loving to slumber. The dogs have a mighty appetite; they never have enough. But they are shepherds who have no understanding; they have all turned to their own way, each to his own gain, one and all. “Come,” they say, “let me get wine; let us fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow will be like this day, great beyond measure.””

Where are the men and women who will have the courage to say, “I have not been what You wanted me to be, God. I have desired an easy life. I have lived a life that is not prepared to die. O God, come quickly and help me”?

Where are the watchmen today? Where are those who will not merely indulge in the present, but will reflect on what needs changing? Where are those who will preach repentance in love? Where are the men and women who will have the courage to say, “I have not been what You wanted me to be, God. I have desired an easy life. I have lived a life that is not prepared to die. O God, come quickly and help me”?

Many of us on that Final Day will see ourselves living in this life, having spent the majority of our time watching the lives of others through a screen.

It is a scary reality to know that much of our time has been consumed in things that either do not matter or are unprofitable. Without us realizing, social media has robbed us of time that could have been spent growing in relationships, taking care of our body, training our mind, enjoying hobbies, pursuing passions, and utilizing our gifts and creativity to help others and further God’s Kingdom. Instead, many of us on that Final Day will see ourselves living in this life, having spent the majority of our time watching the lives of others through a screen.

We open social media and read social media posts more than we open up God’s Word and read God’s Word.

To reflect on this is to meditate upon a sad reality. It is to understand that we have not been living as we should. We have not fought the battle of distraction. Though these things are not bad, many of us are consumed by them. We open social media and read social media posts more than we open up God’s Word and read God’s Word.


This is one of the many things we have become negligent too. Rather than desiring to change, we have allowed this terrible cycle of going to social media to turn into a habit. As we continually feed this habit without any parameters of specific times to check our phones, we immediately pull up social media whenever we are bored or feeling alone.


Though we live in the most distracting day known to man, is that a proper excuse before God? Will we declare to Him, “well God, I just couldn’t help it. You know, I work so many hours. Surely you understand why I didn’t spend time with You. I was too tired and I needed to rest. That’s why I continuously looked at social media, watched T.V., and spent time playing video games. I needed the rest.”

Our excuse for rest has become the reason why we are restless. We see rest as being anything and everything but spending time with God. Dear friend, if God is not in our rest to some degree, we will not be refreshed and lively in the Spirit. We will be bogged down by the world because our soul never had a chance to escape the things of the world!

Our excuse for rest has become the reason why we are restless. We see rest as being anything and everything but spending time with God. Dear friend, if God is not in our rest to some degree, we will not be refreshed and lively in the Spirit. We will be bogged down by the world because our soul never had a chance to escape the things of the world! We feed the desires, appetites, and passions of the body more than we nurture our delicate and precious soul.

Not even the Devil must worry about a saint that lives an unprofitable, unprepared, unproductive life for God. The Devil is concerned with greater matters than the drifters of our day.

Due to this, time escapes us. We become robots. Our existence is barely existence at all. For not even the Devil must worry about a saint that lives an unprofitable, unprepared, unproductive life for God. The Devil is concerned with greater matters than the drifters of our day.

A man can read the most wonderful words or the most convicting words, but if he escapes the time needed for reflection and a desire to change, he ends up the same where he started.

These are tough realities that must not be merely read, but sink within. For information and knowledge is vanity without application and change. A man can read the most wonderful words or the most convicting words, but if he escapes the time needed for reflection and a desire to change, he ends up the same where he started. O yes, he may have gained a bigger head, but he remains in the same spot. Knowledge begins to weigh him down. The less he acts and moves, the tougher it is to get outside a fixed mindset. The more difficult it becomes to change the trajectory of one’s life from an unprepared one to a prepared one.


May the words of Henry Suso in his beautiful book, A Little Book of Eternal Wisdom, convict us all and lead us to not merely know that we need to change, but to seek God for the power to change. Here are the words of the unprepared dying man:


“O Lord, what bitter consolation is this! I am not without understanding. Those are without understanding who have not lived for Him, and who are not frightened at death. Such persons are blind; they die like cattle; they know not what they have before them. I do not complain that I must die; I complain that I must die unprepared. I do not merely lament the end of my life, I lament and weep over the delightful days which are so utterly lost and vanished without any profit. For truly I am like an untimely and rejected abortion, like a blossom torn off in May. My days have sped swifter than an arrow from the bow. I am forgotten as though I had never been, like a track which a bird makes through the air, which closes behind it and is unknown to all men. Therefore are my words so full of bitterness, therefore is my speech so full of woe! Oh, who will enable me to be as I once was, to have again those pleasant times before me, and to know then what I know now! When those times were mine I did not rightly estimate them; I, foolish man, let them pass swiftly away; now are they vanished from me; I cannot recall them, I cannot overtake them. No hour so short but I ought to have valued it more preciously and thankfully than a poor man about to receive a kingdom as a gift. Lo, this is why my eyes shed salt tears, because they cannot restore what I have lost. Woe is me, O God; that I should have feasted so many days away, and that it profits me now so little. Why did not I learn to die all the time? O ye blooming roses, that have still your days before you, look at me and learn wisdom; turn your youth to God, and with Him alone occupy your time, so that what has happened to me may not happen to you. Ah, me! How have I consumed my youth! No one would I believe; my wayward spirit would listen to no one. Alas, now am I fallen into the snare of bitter death! My days have vanished, my youth has sped. Better were it for me had my mother’s womb become my grave than that I should so have squandered away my time.”

The way of an unprepared man is a tragic death. It lives out every day by the means and instant desires one possesses, but its end brings forth little (if any) fruits.

The way of an unprepared man is a tragic death. It lives out every day by the means and instant desires one possesses, but its end brings forth little (if any) fruits. As the unprepared man looks to the Heavens, ready to meet His Maker, in a flash he meditates upon what was done for God and what was not. The weight of the scale becomes outweighed by one side. His tears shed. His heart weeps. The vapor of time that once was, is no more. What was done in this life cannot be reverted or redone. The unprepared man shall die as he was, in what he did, and will give an account.

The unprepared man shall die as he was, in what he did, and will give an account.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight” (Proverbs 9:10 ESV). It is never too late to change. The fear of the Lord should draw us to not merely coasting on in life, but seeking the will of the Father Who sent His Son to die for our sins.

If we do not desire God each day, we shall die unprepared. We shall have little to show for the life we were given - the life which multitudes who have been aborted in the womb would have so loved to live.

We have all things in Christ, but this does not automatically guarantee a profitable life lived for Him. It takes striving, seeking, and surrendering daily on our end. If we do not desire God each day, we shall die unprepared. We shall have little to show for the life we were given - the life which multitudes who have been aborted in the womb would have so loved to live.


In my life, I wasted years and years doing nothing but what I wanted, when I wanted. I did not seek change. I enjoyed anything and everything but spending time with God. I was addicted to screens, whether that be video games or fulfilling the desires of the flesh. It was not until God awakened me from my spiritual lethargy that I began to make use of the time. It is not perfect. It is not always productive, but there is certainly a change of trajectory that I could not have done on my own. All it took was a willingness to go all the way with God. It was a willingness to truly reflect on how I was spending my time, and repenting of all my wasted years. In doing so, God is, and continues to make up for the years I wasted.


God can do the same for you, but only if you will humbly deny yourself, repent, and surrender all to Christ. Only then will God “restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten” (Joel 2:25 ESV). May we pray that God would “teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12 ESV). May we call out to God as David did in Psalm 39:4-5 (ESV) and declare, “O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah.


The breath of our lives in time is that which shall be expanded and reviewed. In one inhale we come into the world and in one exhale we leave the world. What is done in-between those breathes of God’s Power and, if we are born again, God's Presence within us, is based upon the decisions we make each day. It is based upon the intentionality behind living out what we believe and in the recognition that one day all will know who we truly were and how we truly lived in this life.

When our eyes close and when we breathe our last, what we did in time will echo into eternity.

May we die to the godless state of giving excuses. May we be mindful of the shortness of time. May God give us the wisdom to endure all seasons and work that which He has given us. “We must work the works of Him Who sent Me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work” (John 9:4 ESV). When our eyes close and when we breathe our last, what we did in time will echo into eternity.

May we ask God to make up for our lost time, in order that we may die not as one unprepared, but as a Saint prepared to meet our Blessed Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

May we ask God to make up for our lost time, in order that we may die not as one unprepared, but as a Saint prepared to meet our Blessed Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.



PRAYER


God in Heaven, Him Who is Eternal and Everlasting, there is none like You. God, You are the One Who declares what is, and it shall be as You command it to be. O God, You are the Ruler of time. You created time that we might work the work while it is still day. God, we are guilty of neglecting You. We are guilty of wasting the blessing of time that You have given us. God, we repent of indulging in the things of this world, the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life. God, we confess that we have wanted things easy. While you were calling us to Higher Ground, we wanted to do the bare-minimum. O God, we repent of our slothfulness, complacency, and idleness. A root of the world has grown within and we have not been productive in the things in which You have given us! O God, give us a heart of wisdom to number our days. May we continually reflect on the reality that we will stand before You and give an account. Holy Spirit, make up for wasted time and lost years. We know that You are able, O God. For You alone can do the impossible. Holy Spirit, guide us to know what has been given by God and to steward it well for the glory of God and for His Kingdom. God, so many are dying and going to Hell. So many are unconcerned about living in a Christ-less eternity. God, may we not be beings who blend in with the world, but stand out. Arise and awaken, O Holy One of Israel. Move throughout our being! Transform our hearts and renew our minds! Draw us back to You and Your Word. Show us the way in which we are to go, and we shall follow. All we ask is that You would bless us with eyes to see and ears to hear what the Spirit is saying. May this be the beginning of the end. The beginning of truly walking into the newness and fullness of life of being found in You. May our addiction to distraction and entertainment dissolve. For we are not puppets who are to be controlled by what the world offers. O Lord, we know that we are servants of You, made in Your image. We are those who are destined for greater things than we can ever come to hope or dream. Exalt Thyself through us, O God of Heaven and earth, as we die to self and live a life that is prepared to meet You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Lance VanTine

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