Summary: How wilderness survival basics relate to overcoming these challenging times.
The five C’s of the overcoming life
Survival, the subject seems to be popping up everywhere in these uncertain times. Many of you have probably seen the advertisement or have watched shows like Doomsday Preppers, Man Vs Wild, or Colony. The purpose of this message today is two fold: to give basic and practical survival skills and relate those same survival themes to overcome in these challenging times. Is the idea of survival even accurate for the Christian? It suggests scraping by in a miserable plight of want and near starvation. The Christian is called to thrive not survive. Yet if we consider for a moment the etymology of the word survival we see a glimmer of hope. "Sur" comes from a French word meaning "over" or "above". "Vive" or "Viva" come from Latin and means "to live". "Over" "life" "Over-Living" and The Overcoming life. This definitely has a biblical ring to it. It means to live above the threatening circumstances that are endangering you. Thirst, hunger, cold, heat, predators and loss of moral are all dangers that threaten you in a survival situation.
An overcoming attitude is essential in a life threatening situation. A will to live and brutal clinging to hope that I will not be overcome, but surpass these trials and live.
Think for a moment what the antonym or opposite of survival. It is submission, passivity and indifference. It is becoming subordinate to enemies that want to kill you. It is giving up and going to sleep. It is becoming a slave. Discouragement and indifference will lead you to give up the will to fight. The temptation is to escape the reality of pain and suffering and go to sleep. This is the way of the coward. These are the words Rocky Balboa said to his son when he was ready to give up and lead a life of mediocrity:
"Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that! "
Rocky has inspired generations to take the hits and come back and win. Giving up is not an option. Never give up!
Next to attitude in importance is the situation report or "sitrep". This is a military term which refers to the circumstances of your particular survival situation. A sitrep involves assessing your surrounding and forming a plan. The plan involves prioritizing according to the greatest needs, and dangers. Much of forming a sitrep involves common sense, but common sense and clarity of thought are often times in scarce supply. The temptation to panic must be resisted at all costs. Panic is dangerous. It will either worsen your situation or get you killed. Keep calm, sit down and prioritize. In an arctic climate, fire, shelter and water might top the list. In the desert water and cover are top priority.
The Bible contains situation reports for our benefit. These are warnings that describe the conditions believers would face in the end times. II Tim 3: 1-5 contains a sitrep,
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
The Bible says that in the end times there will be a dramatic increase in self love and love of pleasure. Matthew 24: 11-13, also contains a prophetic sitrep for our benefit,
At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
A virtual spiritual ice age is foretold as coming on the end-time generation. Persecution, apostasy and deception would mark the times. Even now the temperature is plummeting. Even now this icy hand is gripping Christian homes. The chill is seen no clearer than the passivity and indifference of believers. The coldness is evident in our preoccupation with worldly amusements and cares to the neglect of eternal matters. Webster defines "passive" as "not active, but acted upon; affected by outside force or agency. Receiving or enduring without resistance or emotional reaction; submissive. In an hour that calls for watchfulness and sobriety, much of the community of believers are intoxicated by the influence of the world.