If I were to ask you, “What is the point of country living for a Christian?” what would you say?
Maybe you would tell me about all of the wonderful food you can grow in a garden: the delicious apples, peaches, and berries on your trees and bushes.
Perhaps you would tantalize me with tales of wide open spaces, no noisy neighbors, and freedom to live as you please.
You may also speak to me of the invigorating feeling you get from the fresh air while working outside or the delightful wildlife that come into your front yard and the birds that flutter overhead everyday.
Perhaps the conversation would take a darker turn and you would tell me of the need to become independent or “off grid” so that we will be ready for the time when we can’t buy or sell due to the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:17).
All of the above are important aspects of country living–yet they still don’t answer my original question, “What is the point of country living for a Christian?
The REAL Point of Country Living
I submit to you that God’s idea behind country living involves far more than simply self-preservation and getting further away from people.
I believe country living is all about developing the character necessary to stand through the final days of earth’s history.
Country Living is About Character
Below I’ve included a few choice quotes from one of my favorite authors, Ellen G. White, that speaks to this point:
“I urge our people to make it their lifework to seek for spirituality. Christ is at the door. This is why I say to our people, Do not consider it a privation when you are called to leave the cities and move out into the country places. Here there await rich blessings for those who will grasp them. By beholding the scenes of nature, the works of the Creator, by studying God’s handiwork, imperceptibly you will be changed into the same image.”—Manuscript 85, 1908 (emphasis added).
“Send the children to schools located in the city, where every phase of temptation is waiting to attract and demoralize them, and the work of character building is tenfold harder for both parents and children.”—Fundamentals of Christian Education, 326 (1894,emphasis added).
That also means that character building is 10 times easier in the country.
And one last quotation before we move on:
“What were the conditions chosen by the infinite Father for His Son? A secluded home in the Galilean hills; a household sustained by honest, self-respecting labor; a life of simplicity; daily conflict with difficulty and hardship; self-sacrifice, economy, and patient, gladsome service; the hour of study at His mother’s side, with the open scroll of Scripture; the quiet of dawn or twilight in the green valley; the holy ministries of nature; the study of creation and providence; and the soul’s communion with God,—these were the conditions and opportunities of the early life of Jesus…
So with the great majority of the best and noblest men of all ages. Read the history of Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph, of Moses, David, and Elisha. Study the lives of men of later times who have most worthily filled positions of trust and responsibility, the men whose influence has been most effective for the world’s uplifting. How many of these were reared in country homes…” The Ministry of Healing, 265-267(1905).
Regaining Our Focus
So many times we lose our true focus. We find ourselves in debates regarding which gear is the best, what gardening method will yield the best results, which country location will be the most remote and best suited to provide for our needs, and how comfortable and cozy we will be while enjoying the country living lifestyle. But friends, God has so much better in mind for us!
While we are getting so caught up in which axe to buy, how much food we should stock up on, how long a ferro rod or fire steel will last and why it matters, and determining how big our woodpile should be, we could be missing out on the biggest blessing country living has to offer–our best chance to develop a Christ-like character and reflect His image!
Please don’t misunderstand me here–everything listed above is important. We talk about the need to be physically prepared in order to ease the spiritual pressure placed on us by the beast of Revelation 13 (and to ease the suffering of others). Yet how often do we lose focus on the real point of country living–the development of a Christ-like character–while we obsess over our supply cache?
Yes, we will continue to make many videos and blog posts regarding the physical side of country living. No, I’m not saying we don’t have anything to do to prepare for those times, there is MUCH to do. But remember, country living without Christ only makes for well-fed unbelievers who will perish along with the rest of the world. It’s NOT all about self-preservation. It’s not about making sure I still have all of the comforts of life when I am forced to go off of the grid for good. It’s not even about avoiding torture, jail, persecution, or death. It’s about developing a Christ-like character that will enable us to stand and to help others find their way into the arms of Jesus.
God bless you friends and remember to “Pray, Plan, and Prepare” We’ll see you next time! Feel free to share and please subscribe to receive free blog updates!