The following is a brief excerpt from my forthcoming book The Gospel of Self-Reliance.
When will we use a Bug-Out Bag?
The Bug-Out Bag (B.O.B.) is designed to be used anytime you need to go somewhere, especially when you plan to evacuate a region. Again, if you are correctly tiering your tools and taking preparedness very seriously, you’ll have your E.D.C. (Tier 1), your main kit (Tier 2), and Bug-Out Bag (Tier 3) with you all the time and perhaps your Tier 4 gear in your trunk. If you travel more than five miles away to work, you should have your B.O.B. with you at least in your car. If you work in an office or school setting, carrying your B.O.B. into those areas may not make sense, so have what gear you require on your person to get back to your B.O.B. to make better decisions once it’s in hand.
When leaving the house, everyone in the family should have access to a Bag of their own. Alternatively, if traveling a short distance, you could take the main contents of one bag and distribute them among your family members as you travel, so collectively you can create a single gear bag to get you all back to a safe space. It takes practice and dedication to make this a reality, so if it’s something you feel strongly about, keep at it and don’t get discouraged. As inflation continues, supply chain issues worsen, and civil unrest boil over, our need for a B.O.B. will only become more prevalent. As the time of testing begins to fall upon the earth and governmental control over food distribution, work opportunities, and travel are implemented, we’ll need to listen to the voice of the Lord to know when to leave and where we’re to go.
What goes into a Bug-Out Bag?
The contents of a B.O.B. are personal and dependent upon the needs of the individual. School, work, location, disability, physical fitness level, knowledge, skills, ability, and medical issues will all affect what we deem necessary for our personal B.O.B.'s. Without a preplanned and readily available B.O.B., it's improbable you'll be able to make it out in time (Matthew 24). You do not want to rush back home to collect what you think you will need- that time will have already come and gone by the time you need it. The essentials for a B.O.B. should at least include what we call the Emergent C's or 12-piece survival kit:
1. Cutting Tools (Knife and Saw)
2. Combustion Devices (Fire starters and Lighters)
3. Cover Elements (Tarp and Rain Gear)
4. Containers (Steel Bottle for boiling & cooking)
5. Cordage (Paracord and Rope)
6. Cargo Tape (Duct Tape)
7. Compass (Compass with mirror and notebook)
8. Candle Devices (Headlamp and Lights)
9. Combination Tools (Multi Tools)
10. Cotton Material & Repair Needle (Sewing & Gear Repair)
11. Cerate (First Aid & Medical)
12. Circumvention (Water Filters, Food, and Hygiene)
Again, the selected gear should enable you to endure for at least three days (72 hours), preferably longer. Having the equipment and essential understanding of what to pack is one thing; where to go once you bug-out is entirely another.
Where do we go?
On the surface of this question, the easy answer is to say "off the X" or out of danger. If a storm or wildfire is coming, we evacuate to a safe area, which makes sense for a bug-out and our plan of action will directly affect what we pack into our bags. Adding in the spiritual ramifications of when to go; can be perplexing for many to wrap their head around. Without turning this into a theological discourse, suffice to say that most of those in the mainstream church are false converts. They have a form of godliness but deny the truth and don't live as a disciple of Christ (2 Tim. 3:5).
With false converts come false beliefs about the things of God. Anyone not conforming to their limited understanding of things is manipulated by fallacious arguments that either turn away the true disciple or seeker or beat them into submission by making them question the truth of the scriptures. This subject is what Jude wrote about in our New Testament and is likely why you rarely, if ever, hear about him (Jude 1:3-5). Many feel that they will be raptured away before needing to Bug-Out or Prepare anyway. They willingly go along with society for the most part because they have nothing to worry about until a temple is built in Jerusalem. They'll be gone before the mark of the beast is instituted. God has not appointed us to suffer, they say.
John 16:33 "... In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
James 1:2 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds."
1 Peter 4: 12-19 "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange was happening to you. But rejoice since you participate in the sufferings of Christ so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with God's household, and if it starts with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner? So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good."
No, the true doers of the word that are not deceived (James 1:22) shall endure trouble and hardship. It’s part of being a real Christian because it goes directly against the grain of society. Modern society is a construct of the enemy and because Satan is the ruler of this present world- we are to break through the societal norms with the Kingdom of Heaven to show them the good things to come through Christ Jesus. So, by celebrating and remembering the sabbath days (festival days) of God, we get in sync with the calendar of heaven for weekly (7th Day Rest), and quarterly (Passover, Pentecost, Sukkot) rehearsals or practices that equip us to endure the hardship coming, to face it with joy as the Kingdom of Heaven overthrows the kingdom of Satan forever. We’re given Old and New Testament examples that show us how to respond to these various trials and how to overcome them all through the grace of Christ.
The ancient church (Israel) watched as the plagues ravaged the Egyptians before the Exodus. They saw the carnage afterward but did not leave their homes because they were not directly affected. They were instructed to receive the Passover lamb and apply its blood to their home's door posts. They were given specific instructions on preparing their meal, dressing, disposing of their leftovers, and being prepared to go at any moment. It wasn't until after the midnight cry of the first born of Egypt being killed by the angel of death that Moses called for the people to gather their things to depart. The annual rehearsal of Passover- the preparation of the meal, receiving the blood of the Lamb, eating quickly, leaving no trace, and preparing to leave our home- is part of God's mark on his followers.
Exodus 13:9 "This annual festival will be a visible sign to you, like a mark branded on your hand or forehead."
Exodus 13:16: " This ceremony will be like a mark branded on your hand or forehead."
The celebration and remembrance of God's appointed times are the mark of God on the believer. To put it another way, the evidence of having the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, on the doorposts of your mind and heart is that you celebrate and remember God's appointed times. Without His direction, the Holy Spirit will not guide you where to go when the time comes. One's mind goes through a little system of logic and intellectually ascents to specific facts, even specific facts of the Gospel, such as:
Do you believe in Jesus? Yes.
Do you believe He came? Yes.
Do you believe that He died? Yes.
Do you believe that He rose again? Yes.
This logical ascent doesn't mean that a person is a true believer. They merely agree with the facts, and even the demons agree with that (James 2:19)! Thus, most believe someone is a Christian because they believe specific information. Others say that anyone if they choose, can be a Christian. It is as simple as signing a membership card, raising your hand in service, or walking down an aisle for a new member's class, ascending to living in agreement with these simple facts. So, people say they agree to believe those things, but there is no change in their life, no affection for God, or repentance of sin, simply a new group of people to see each week.
If you believe those things and it has not changed you, transformed your mind, or made you more into the image of Jesus Christ, then there's a big question mark on whether you understand and believe the Gospel of Christ. Once you encounter Jesus Christ, it wrecks your life in the best possible way. If you have been calling yourself a Christian for years and feel you're only going through the religious motions, P.U.S.H. through- Pray Until Something Happens. I shared this testimony in the Gospel of Survival, but it bears repeating here.
After a few years of struggling in ministry and things not going as well for me as my pastors said they should, I came home frustrated one evening. Check that; I was pissed off! We were in foreclosure, had been selling off all our belongings to get by, and were getting ready for a repo on our car. I went to my forty-square-foot home office and knelt to pray. I prayed a dangerous prayer. "Lord, I need you to teach me how to pray because I obviously don't know how. I'm losing everything; I'm not succeeding in what you called me to do, so please teach me to pray. I'm not moving again until you teach me." I called out in true desperation at around ten o'clock at night. A few minutes later, came a peck at my door from Robyn, my wife, asking if I wanted lunch. I sprang into action, thinking I'd lost my mind until she said she'd heard me talking most of the night. I didn't hear it, though!
So, I went back to church, told my pastor, who thought I was crazy, and we went on about our day doing church stuff. I returned home after dinner, went back in, prayed, and didn't come out until the next day. This process of praying 8-12+ hours a day continued for two months. I wasn't sleeping in there; I was communing with Jesus. After a while, He began to speak to me, then visit with me. Yes, I know how it sounds. It sounds 100% Biblical, so get your mind right! That's how he met with his disciples: I, you, are disciples. The final day of prayer climaxed as I knew Jesus would send me out, and as I prayed that night, I asked what he's appointed me to do. As I rattled off the ministry gifts of Ephesians 4:11, the Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, and Teacher, the atmosphere changed, which I was now used to. The air became heavy with a tangible dew; it became fragrant, and I knew I was in the presence of the King. He placed a weighted object upon my shoulders which I instantly knew was a mantle or prayer shawl. Then as his hands pressed upon my shoulders, He spoke from behind, and I felt his breath come past my right ear. "You are my Reformer," I collapsed under the weight, in tears at his feet, and he was gone as quickly as he had come. I knew I was His, He called me, and He had just sent me.
Once I composed myself, I responded, “What does that mean?” It took me another ten years to figure that part out. I challenge you to pray until something happens in your life. I was fully committed to letting nothing stand in the way of me hearing from Jesus. Not my family, my job, or my obligations. I had already allowed my finances to go to ruin as I tried to obey his call. Until you reach this place of determination and are willing to seek Him alone, you will not be able to determine His pathway for your life in these troubled times (Matt. 6:33). Have you obeyed the Gospel? If you have, it is a source of rejoicing, but if you haven’t, repent of your sin of unbelief and sinful behavior and believe in Christ alone, God’s only provision for sinners.
So, to sum up thus far, if you have packed your B.O.B., have P.U.S.H.’d through your spiritual oppositions, and are in a place of desperate reliance upon the direction of the Holy Spirit, you are ready to receive His guidance on where to direct your steps.