When a prophet comes with a message of warning, often people want the prophet to give them specific advice about what to do in response. At times, God gives the prophet a word; but more often, it is up to every man of God to take the word into account for his own family. Just as a pastor has stewardship of the church, a man of God is to give an account of his own family.

Joseph heard God say to store up food for the season to come (see Genesis 41). Moses heard God say to receive gifts from the Egyptians for their journey (see Exodus12). We can also hear from God for our situation. Sheep do hear the Shepherd’s voice. Jesus will not only guide his people and comfort his flock but will also give them boldness and a heart to serve those troubled by afflictions.

The wisdom of Paul in his letter to the Ephesians speaks most to what we need. “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:15-18, NKJV).

We can hear from God. We must evaluate our own lives. Are we sitting on the fence? This is no time for compromise or close affiliation with the world. Partying in the house of an Egyptian on the night of the Passover is definitely not a good idea.

A prophet once came to Paul and prophesied that if he went to Jerusalem he would be bound and put in prison. The prophet was faithful to give his word; it was up to Paul to hear from God about how to deal with that warning. Paul still decided to go to Jerusalem. He was willing to risk his life for the gospel (see Acts 21). Some will hear a prophet’s warning and seek their own safety. Others will hear and search out a place to serve where people will need their spiritual strength and compassion.

This troubled time is an opportunity for us to call out to those outside the gate. Shrinking behind a double-locked door or fleeing to a rural farm does our unbelieving neighbor no good! Our desires should be like Christ’s: that all men should flee the wrath to come and find salvation.