Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord God: “when I will send a famine on the land; not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the Lord, but they shall not find it (Amos 8:11-12). We know that a famine is coming, and need to be prepared for it. If we don’t get ready for it, we too will suffer in it. Joseph had a famine in his day, with the wisdom of God, he gathered food when he was able to. When the famine came, he had more than enough to eat. He had so much stock, that he sold to all people including his relatives who sold him to Pharoah (Genesis 47:13-31).
God is sending a farming of hearing His word this time. Gather as much as you can while there is still time: study it, meditate on it, listen to it, get grounded in it, so when the famine comes, you will avoid starvation for you and your family, and have enough left to share with those who need it. Make sure you are not found wanting when that time comes, you will not be able to survive without it. The word of God is the sword of the Spirit and you need it to overcome the ‘hearing the word’ famine. If you are left without it, you won’t have strength to fight and the famine will overcome you! What’s going on in your mind right now? Do you have a sound mind? Can you hear the word of God accurately anymore? Are you still able to find it, or are you still searching with difficulty to make sense of what you hear?
God always warns before the strike! He cannot tolerate sin and continuous disobedience from any generation. He told us this a long time ago; now it is here, what are we going to do? Do we even know that there is a farming in the earth and it is global? Have we prepared for it? If not, why? Do you want to starve to death? Well, now there is a famine of truth, and you can try buying some from those who think they might have it, but what are you going to do when you run out of money? If a sermon comes at a cost, then what you have paid for is not God’s truth, but lies.
While there is still time allocated for us to repent (Acts 17:30-31), let us do so and start listening so we can hear what the Spirit is saying to God’s people. He has something very important to say to us, it this repeated 7 times in the book of Revelation (Chapters 2, verses 7, 11, 17, & 29 and Chapters 3 verses 3, 13, 22 & 3). No one knows what He has to say unless they listen to Him. Seeing this repeated so many times, tells me that it is extremely important that His message is heard and we need to listen to what He has to say. This is not only for the learned, rich and famous but every one who has ears. No matter who you are, if you have an ear, make time to hear it.
This information can only be spoken to us by Him, and only the Spirit of God speaks it to us! Since this Authority in Revelation is given to Him after the apostles were dead, except John at the time of the revelation, we need to take it seriously. The word of God in its purest form, is spoken directly to us by His Spirit, we cannot be trusted with it, because our generation witnessed nothing of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Therefore He appointed Him, being the surviving witness to see know and can testify of Jesus’s birth, death and resurrection. He is the living witness proclaiming the word of God to His children. He witnessed everything, but the human witnesses, they are all dead, and to be sure we have accurate documentation of what they said, we need the Holy Spirit to lead us to all truth.
What other human witness is there to continue the witnessing after John died, or to verify that the scriptures we have today is accurate? None! That is why we need to hear from the only living witness appointed by Jesus and authorised by God following the same pattern they had when choosing Matthias to replaced Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:15-26). The Holy Spirit is the most suitable witness, His appointment is by the same method (John 14:16), and God has given the proof of it with a sign at pentecost (Acts 2:1-18). We all need to hear what He has to say. There is a famine of truth, and those who take the warning seriously and get ready for it, will know what the Spirit is saying to God’s people; before, during and well after the famine is over. As much as you can, store what you hear in your heart so you can use it when you need to. Don’t take this warning lightly by thinking that you have plenty of time; God’s Spirit will not always contend with humans (Genesis 6:3)! He is authorised to take what is from God, and deliver it to us, notifying us of what is to come (John 16:13). If you cannot hear what the Spirit is saying to the children of God, how will you know what is to come?
If we prepare well in advance for the famine, we will have no reason to be disappointed, we will be able to go to sleep and wake up refreshed. Everything will be just fine, because we will have stored enough ‘food’ to eat as the famine gets worse. We won’t need to go searching or need anyone to teach us (1 John 2:25-27), because we would have already been taught the word of God by the best teacher. It will be embedded in our hearts, with the help of His Holy Spirit, and that is only a taste of the promised eternal life to follow. When we get hungry, we just reach for it and use it to satisfy our hunger. God told us about this famine before, so we know what to expect. Years has gone past and we may forget about this, but it’s about time we wake up and keep watch. The Holy Spirit continues to help us store God’s word in our minds, hearts, and thoughts that will last forever, not for a moment. It will not be forgotten, or lack if He is with us, because He will be there to bring it to our remembrance (John 14:26). With this kind of preparation and partnership, you will be ok as the famine gets worse.
The foolish virgins thought they had time, when the groom came, where were they? They had money to buy oil remember? But did they got it in time to meet the groom? No, they were shut out (Matthew 25:1-13)! They prepared for him too, because they had some oil, but not enough to last till the groom arrived. Learn a lesson from this. You have little time left to get the word of God stored in your heart and your mind before it cannot be found. Don’t let the lifestyle of the world and what’s going on in it distract you. Think of pure things.
It is your responsibility to store it before the famine. Make it a habit of listening to the Spirit of God, because He is the only one leading us into all truth. Jesus did not promise any other helper but Him. He was the only Spirit of truth that was promised. If He is appointed by God and Jesus to lead us into all truth, you need to be submitted to His leadership. You will not survive the famine without His instruction. Give Him priority over any other teachers, because they too need to depend on Him. There is no need getting the information secondhand, when you can get it direct.
The word of God cannot be bought, it is given freely. God gave it to us through Jesus Christ, and as we received it freely, we need to share it freely, and accurately. Jesus did not charge for it, nor was He happy when He had to pay tax being the Son of the householder. Because He did not want to offend them, He paid it (Matthew 17:24-27). The Holy Spirit is not charging for listening to Him either. It is all free. Because of its significance to the children of God, what He has to say needs our ears and total submission. If you need to buy a sermon to hear the word of God, then I urge you, go to the Holy Spirit instead, its free. You will get an accurate and more up-to-date version than paying big money only to listen to what is not authorised by God. He will take what He hears from God and tell it to us. He won’t even be speaking of His own authority, but God’s (John 16:13). Be careful that what you are feeding on, is authorised by God before or during the famine, it could be the difference between life and death. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
This famine is very different than usual because it is not physical food this time but spiritual. This food cannot be bought or sold. You can only sell what belongs to you, not that of another; this would be selfish. This famine is from God, and what is lacking is His word. He gives it, and He takes it away. If you found yourself without God’s word, you are on your own and He has no part in it! You will not be able to find it anywhere else to buy, or sell. It will not be available, and no matter where you go looking for it, you will not find it. In Joseph’s time there was food to sell, but this time it is different. If you have not made God’s word a priority before the famine, you will suffer spiritual starvation, and this is not the same as physical starvation. Separation from God is not a joke, it’s worse than dying and we need to understand that this is a spiritual famine; humans were created to have a relationship with God, honour Him and live a happy life of obedience to Him as their Father. Without Him you cannot live; He is the creator of life.
This famine will show who is ready and for it and who is not. Those who got themselves ready for the famine will have no problem, not so for the ones who realises that they need the word of God and cannot find it! Just like our bodies cannot survive without oxygen, we cannot live without the Spirit of God. No matter what you do, if the Spirit whom raised Jesus’ body from death is not living in you, you have no life. He is the giver of life, and no one else is authorised to sustain that life to us in this famine except the Holy Spirit. They may think that they are alive with their selfish desires, but they are dead while they live (1 Timothy 5:5-6).
When all is said and done, the survivors will be the ones who made the word of God a propriety in their lives, led by the Spirit of God, and made preparation for the famine. Please, don’t let this famine catch you unprepared. I hope we have made preparation well before the famine, so we can enjoy the benefits that comes to those who has the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as their Father (Psalm 116:12). God bless you.