John grew up and became strong in spirit. And he lived in the wilderness until he began his public ministry to Israel. (Luke 1:80 NLT)
John right from his childhood lived up to His motto, “He (God) must increase and I (soul) must decrease!”.
The “I” he knew was his soul, which is his self will, emotion and intellect – these he made sure decrease; meaning these will not be strong enough to overcome his decisions and purpose for his life!
For this reason, he forced himself to live in wilderness where there is not much appetite for his flesh and until his soul (self will, emotions and intellect) submits to his calling.
As soon as he dominated his self, his spirit became strong by the power of God’s Spirit and His word – sharp enough to discern and pinpoint accurately the Lamb of God Jesus Christ, the Messiah to the whole world!
A great preparation was needed for that great calling and the great life of John the Baptist, it wasn’t automatic because God said so. Are we getting ready?
You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.” Luke 1:14-17