Caught Off Guard

0211. Caught Off Guard

You see it leading off the news almost every single evening: a story that is portrayed as shocking and unheard of. Perhaps it was a violent crime, or maybe it was a natural disaster. The people being interviewed always say they were caught off guard, and were unprepared for anything like this. Whether it be a sports upset, a political or social scandal, financial turmoil, natural disaster, or violent crime, culture is constantly being blindsided, which is a reason why it seems so fractured. So when someone or something takes us by surprise like this, what is the rationale behind it?

With all the technological advances today, we have access to more data about every subject than in any other point in history. So it should not be ignorance or lack of being informed. After all, it was George Santayana who said: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Then perhaps it might be pride. However, pride is normally associated with over-confidence when things are going really well. This was the case when America was at its peak in 2000, and then 9/11 occurred. With bleak forecasts being projected each and every day, we are not suffering from an abundance of over-confidence or arrogance. So perhaps the answer lies in something simpler, like being close to the presence of God.

You see, God is someone who is not only omnipotent (Proverbs 15:3), but also knows the timing of things. And while we might get caught off guard, nothing surprises God, because he can see every move on the chess board. By studying the Word of God, we can discern his intentions and understand its meaning. Amos 3:7 (CSB) tells us: “Indeed, the Lord God does nothing without revealing his counsel to his servants the prophets.” And 1 Corinthians 2:10 (CSB) tells us: “Now God has revealed these things to us by the Spirit, since the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.” However, in a God-omitted culture, most people are unaware of and never use this untapped knowledge at their disposal. So when another fire is lit, it comes as a total shock.

So what does the future hold in store for a God-omitted culture? 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (CSB) reveals: “But know this: Hard times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, demeaning, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people.” Proverbs 22:3 (CSB) gives us this definition of our possible courses of action: “A sensible person sees danger and takes cover, but the inexperienced keep going and are punished.” And Luke 21:36 (CSB) gives us advice on moving forward: “Be on your guard, so that your minds are not dulled from carousing, drunkenness, and worries of life, or that day will come on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come on all who live on the face of the whole earth. But be alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Therefore, the next time you see something totally unexpected happen, ask yourself the following question: “Are you prepared for what comes next, or will you be caught off guard again?” Ponder that this week.

Scroll to Top