Introduction
 
The term 'self-sufficiency' is usually applied to varieties of sustainable living in which nothing is consumed outside of what is produced by the self-sufficient individuals.  Examples include simple living, homesteading, off-the-grid, survivalism, DIY ethic and the back-to-the-land movement.  Practices that enable or aid self-sufficiency include autonomous building, permaculture, sustainable agriculture, and renewable energy.  The term is also applied to limited forms of self-sufficiency, like growing one's own food or becoming economically independent of state subsidies. (Wikipedia)
 
This article looks at how positive aspects of 'self-sufficiency' and 'God-sufficiency' can be merged to help people prepare for what is coming.  The world is fast heading towards a 'cashless society'.  It will soon be impossible to buy and sell without the System's compulsory form of monetary identification. (See Revelation 13:16-18).  Experimenting with lifestyle alternatives outside of the 'rat race' now can help to prepare us for such a time.  Skills and resources shared within self-sufficient frameworks may enable people of conscience to survive and take a stand when that time comes.
 
'Self-sufficiency'
 
Individuals with an active interest in self-sufficiency often share a number of positive traits.  They are usually disillusioned with excessive and corrupt practices within society.  They have often courageously taken steps to adopt an alternative lifestyle, being marginalised and sacrificing much along the way.  They are often spiritually-minded, with a caring attitude towards people, animals and the environment.
 
There is a large amount of scriptural support for self-sufficiency.  What it takes to be self-sufficient is often what it takes to sincerely follow God; a need for faith, sincerity and self-discipline.  Revelation 11:18 says that God will: "destroy those who destroy the earth", which emphasizes our need to 'tread lightly', with care and respect, during our temporary existence here.  There are finite resources available to us all, so using what we have, wisely and considerately, also means that there is more to go around, in line with the 'Golden Rule'. (Matthew 7:12)
 
Jesus said: "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:3)  Being content with the "bare necessities" of life (even when we have the capacity to live more luxuriously) is being "poor in spirit".  This attitude enables us to take only what we need, and it teaches us to temper our wants with our needs.  All we need is food and clothing, with shelter being a bonus. (See 1 Timothy 6:8; Luke 9:58)  Learning to live simply inspires us to find what is freely available in our local environment and to use it sensitively and resourcefully.  Sustainable practices, like foraging, recycling and "upcycling" (where discarded materials are reused in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original) have creative, practical and intrinsic benefits.
 
Paul taught that: "Every man shall bear his own burden" (Galatians 6:5), which may be another way of saying that we should all learn to be 'self-sufficient'.  Our confidence grows as we hone our existing skills and develop new ones, enabling us to adapt to different circumstances, challenges and environments.  
 
While there are considerable benefits to self-sufficiency, there are also limits as to how far we can go with it.  Anything we buy - a house, plot of land, or vehicle - can be destroyed or confiscated by the System at any moment.  If we store up a heap of possessions (no matter how useful they may be), what happens if we are asked to flee at a moment's notice?  Have we thought through the ethics of shooting neighbours who discover our stash?  Accumulating more and more "stuff" may reflect the same hoarding mentality that causes people to put more and more money into a bank account - i.e. more and more faith in the System.
 
It is only when we merge 'God-sufficiency' with 'self-sufficiency' that we are going to be able to break totally free of the System and its values.  This brings us to the next section.
 
'God-sufficiency'
 
Paul wrote in his letter to the Corinthians: "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God." (2 Corinthians 3:5)  This same God, who rained down manna for the Israelites during their 40 year trek across the desert thousands of years ago, is alive and well today!  Jesus said that anyone who seeks God's Kingdom as a first priority will have his food and clothing looked after, which emphasizes the futility of spending time worrying about, or working for these things. (Matthew 6:25-34; John 6:27)  I can testify that I have found this to be true in my own personal experience, and in that of friends who have taken this approach.
 
Jesus taught that true sufficiency is more than just physical survival, and what we can do in our own strength.  When tempted by the Devil in the wilderness, Jesus said: "It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God." (Luke 4:4)  An important part of the Gospel message is that God has a bigger plan than our temporary existence on Earth; a plan requiring us to stop fretting about day-to-day survival if we wish to grasp a higher form of survival.

The word "survive" literally means "living above".  Our ultimate survival is eternal, and our primary reason for surviving here and now is so that we can point others to this higher plane of existence.
 
'Self-sufficiency' that views personal survival, or a plot of land, as an end in itself, is in danger of becoming too inward-looking.  In the same breath that Paul instructed us to bear our own burden, he also instructed us to "bear one another's burdens." (Galatians 6:2)  This concern for the needs of others may lead us to share what we have, even if it shortens our own chances of survival.  It may also cause us to leave the comfort and safety of our retreats to go into cities and towns to share what we have learned with others. (Matthew 24:14)  

Modern technology makes personal privacy less and less secure.  The tentacles of the System can, if they choose, locate us no matter where we might hide.  So it may be foolish to assume that we can find or create a safe haven, where we can bunker down and weather the storm, even though such a refuge may remain safe for a period of time.  The only fool-proof 'refuge' we have is sheltering under the wings of the Almighty! (Psalm 91:4)
 
It is prophesied that God will look after His people in a "wilderness" that He prepares (see Revelation 12:6 & 14).  This wilderness could be in the middle of a city, or in a remote natural setting.  People will need to remain sensitive and responsive to the promptings of the Spirit, in order to be in the right place at the right time. (Revelation 14:4)  However, even more important than being physically 'safe' is the need for us to be obedient to God.  God may guide us to a refuge, or feed and clothe us.  But He may also ask us to lay down our arms and accept execution as a witness of his bigger plan for "living above" (eternal life).  Jesus said: “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it." (Luke 9:24)
 
Conclusion
 
'Selfless-sufficiency' describes the merging of positives within approaches of 'self-sufficiency' and 'God-sufficiency'.  Both are helpful, as long as they do not become all-or-nothing, pitting Self vs God.  Even our failed attempts can become part of the whole learning process, if we remember that doing all we can will only take us so far… from there, we must depend on God's help.  
 
Self-sufficient outlets should not be seen as ends in themselves, even though they may be helpful for a limited purpose and time.  Maintaining an 'outreach' vision reduces the chance of us becoming side-tracked with a lesser vision of staying alive at all costs.  Paradoxically, it is when we Self-lessly focus on the needs of others (rather than our own), that we are most likely to be looked after by God, both in this life and in the next.
 
If we keep checking in with God, this should help us to keep on our toes, practically and spiritually.  God may guide us to develop a skill, or retreat in a discrete location... but He may also prompt us to drop these at a moment's notice to put our head on the chopping block.  So, an essential skill for survival in the End Times is honing the ability to 'hold lightly' to everything, including our own lives.