Well, I’ve been preparing to prepare 🙂 Lots of reading, listening, praying, …reading, praying, listening… In my last post I told you that the song, Lord, Prepare me to be a sanctuary came to mind immediately after I received my word. So I’ve been singing it and listening to it. I’ve been reading the Word of God in large quantities, preparing myself for whatever God brings my way. The best thing I know to do is to prepare my heart and spirit by spending time with my Father.
A few nights ago, I was laying in bed and simply said to God, “what is the next step in preparing?” He immediately brought the next lines of the song, …”with thanksgiving, I’ll be a living sanctuary for you…” So I responded, “Got it” and began giving thanks for all things in my life. I have tried to stay in a constant attitude of thanksgiving.
The second verse of that song says “Lead me on, Lord from temptation, Purify me from within. Fill my heart with Your Holy Spirit. Take away all my sin.”
I don’t know if you are familiar with the purification process but generally, it’s not pleasant. Purification normally requires fire. The thing to be purified is put in the fire. The fire separates that which is pure from that which is impure. Often the impurities rise to the top for everyone to see so that it can be removed.
I have been through the process before and, to say the least, it was unpleasant for me and everyone nearby. I tend to cry and whine when I’m in an uncomfortable place. I don’t go gently and stoically. I go yelling and screaming to the sifter. I would like to say that I believe this time will be different but I know me all too well and that probably isn’t the case. But knowing in advance, I am determined to go through it just the same knowing that when I come out the other side I will be more pure, more holy, tried and true. I have decided that I will prepare my heart like Israel did so that God can deliver me.
1 Samuel 7:3 (NKJV), “Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you return to the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and prepare your hearts for the LORD, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.”
2 Timothy 2:21, (NKJV) “Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.”
I’m determined to be useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. By preparing myself, I will be prepared to fulfill the purposes of God. Whatever, He calls me to, I will be ready. Whenever, He calls me!
2 Timothy 4:2 (NIV), “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.”
Ezra 7:10 (NKJV), “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel.”
Reading and studying the Word is just part of my preparation. Doing the Word is the most important part of that. James 1:22, says to be “doers of the Word, not hearers only”. By doing the Word or practicing the Word I am preparing myself for the next level of spiritual maturity. The next line of the song says “fill my heart with Your Holy Spirit, take away all my sin.” By being filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) I am also submitting to Holy Spirit’s guidance. Holy Spirit leads me in the preparation process.
So, while I continuously seek proper preparation, I will do what I know to do. I will prepare my heart and my spirit according to the Word of God. I will read the Word, pray without ceasing, sing songs of thanksgiving and praise. I sincerely want to be a living sanctuary for Father God to dwell in. I want His glory to shine through me. I want His love to flow from me, and His grace to operate in and through me.
“Lord! Prepare Me!