This is my third installment in MYOneWord 2013 – Prepare. I have been diligently seeking and studying and dwelling. My sincere desire is to be a living sanctuary. But preparations must take place in order to make this dwelling place suitable for My Father.
I have been listening to Jeremy Riddles, “Prepare the Way of the Lord”. I googled “what does it mean to prepare the way of the Lord” and I found this article.
What does it mean to ‘prepare the way’?
It means to create a favorable environment or to make it easy for one to come to you
and operate in your life. Let’s take a look at Luke 3:4-5, “As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,
saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill
shall be brought low; and the crooked
shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall
be made smooth.” Apparently, John the baptist was creating
a favorable environment and making it easy
for Jesus to enter into and operate in the lives of the people.
I believe that is what we should be doing. Preparing the way of the Lord. We should be creating a favorable environment for Jesus to enter into and operate in our lives. I am Preparing for Jesus to operate more fully in my life. I am creating a proper environment. Much like Solomon prepared a place for the presence of God to dwell, I am preparing myself to be a living sanctuary where God’s presence can dwell.
1 Kings 6:19 (NKJV), “And he prepared the inner sanctuary inside the temple, to set the ark of the covenant of the LORD there.”
The word prepare is made up of two words. Pre – a prefix meaning beforehand, in advance. And Pare – arrange, prepare, trim,” from L. parare “make ready,” related to parere “produce, bring forth, give birth to,”
So Prepare means to make ready beforehand, to 1. provide, arrange, order. Prepare, contrive, devise imply planning for and making ready for something expected or thought possible. To prepare is to make ready beforehand for some approaching event, need. To get ready for an impending birth.
To prepare is to get ready before the appointed time, before something happens. Pastor John Wood made a statement in a sermon in January, he said “Preparation is the proof of faith. By preparing for that which God has promised before it happens!”
1 Kings 18:44 (NKJV), “Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’ ”
In this story, Elijah directs Ahab to “prepare and go before” the promised rain comes. This scripture stood out to me as I was reading it yesterday. God spoke to me through this scripture “Prepare and Go, Before you see the promise”.
So I must examine myself. What have I asked God for? Am I ready for it? What has God promised me? Am I prepared to receive it? Is anything in the way?
Joshua 1:11 (NKJV), ““Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess.’ ”
Hebrews 11:7 (NKJV), “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”
Here is two instances when preparation was to be made ahead of time. The Israelites had to prepare to go and possess that which God had given them. They had to move out on faith that where they were going was already theirs. And Noah had to move out on faith that what he was preparing for was going to take place even though there was no physical evidence that it was so. “Preparation is the proof of faith.”
Preparation comes in many forms. Preparing for blessings vs preparing for difficulties. Preparing for action vs preparing for rest. Preparing for a promise of God vs preparing for the coming storm.
Am I prepared for the storm should it hit? What am I rooted in? What is my foundation? Is it firm? Where do I place my trust? My foundation can only be the Word of God. What have I built my life upon? Did I build it upon truth or self-reliance? Can I trust my foundation should a storm come?
My roots must run deep in Christ. By obeying His word, my roots go deeper. By weathering the winds of adversity and putting my trust in God, my roots dig deep searching after the strength of the Spirit. They delve deeper and deeper with each trial and difficulty. Therefore, when the storm hits, I am prepared for it. I am planted on the solid Rock. I am rooted and founded in the Word of God. My life is firmly set upon the one and only true foundation.
Preparation is an ongoing lifestyle. Everyday brings a new level of preparation to be made. Every step forward brings about new challenges, new wisdom, and new experiences. Each day prepares me for the next. Each level prepares me for the next. Each storm prepares me for the next.
Preparation is not a one-time, one year process that I can focus on this year and put it aside next year. Preparation is to become a lifestyle. God graciously spoke this instruction to me at this time. He said “Prepare”. That’s all that He needed to say. No detailed explanation needed or given. No step by step checklist given to me at the time. But daily He leads me to the next step. As I move out on one, He guides me to the next one.
Prepare, I will do. Not knowing where it is taking me but trusting in the One that is taking me!
“Here I am Lord, dwell within me, lead and guide me. Let me be a proper and fitting dwelling place for You.”