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
A year after Israel’s departure from Egypt, the Lord spoke to Moses in the Tabernacle in the wilderness of Sinai. On the first day of the second month of that year he said, “From the whole community of Israel, record the names of all the warriors by their clans and families. List all the men… (Numbers 1:1, 2 NLT)
People of Israel were brought out from Egypt with greatest signs and wonders. In wilderness they were protected and provided miraculously. Yet, God told Moses to mobilize an army to defend themselves.
God didn’t led Israelites like cattle by not requiring them to do anything but simply to trust Him. But made them to become responsible, trained them equally as any nations army existed at that time and equipped them with all supplies needed for their families so they can be devoted to these duties.
Only on top of all these necessary duties He entrusted on them, He showed up in their battles, in their weakness, in their impossibilities and made them to conquer!
A God’s child is never exempt from training himself/herself in all that is needed to defend including his/her faith. When we do all that we are required to do diligently by His grace and wisdom – He will add His favor and strength to make us win!
Let’s prepare diligently as we are called not just to conquer but to become more than a conquer thru’ Christ Jesus!
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37, 39
Lord, remember David and all that he suffered. He made a solemn promise to the Lord. He vowed to the Mighty One of Israel, “I will not go home; I will not let myself rest. I will not let my eyes sleep nor close my eyelids in slumber until I find a place to build a house for the Lord, a sanctuary for the Mighty One of Israel.” Psalm 132:1-5
Genuine efforts taken for God’s Kingdom will never go waste. Those are seeds planted which are meant to grow and produce much.
David suffered a lot. God used him and his people to prepare a place for God Himself permanently.
David knew not why he had to suffer that much, desire and long to build a House for God – but to his surprise God deferred it to his son Solomon.
God wants to make it clear: David would spend all his life, passion, energy and time preparing for God’s City.
God delights in preparation more than in actual building. Reason, preparation needs faith, needs work, needs suffering, face constant criticism, needs battle and much sacrifice – only Davids could do it!
Building in other hand is exciting, tangible, encouragement, inspiring, easily pull supporters to cheer and put stop to critics – Solomon can do it.
God’s very power in the vision He gave is in the preparation more than in the fulfillment. So, let’s be careful of how we prepare. We should have Solomons pleading to the Lord tomorrow pointing back how we suffered for this day of fulfillment.
When the priests came out of the Holy Place, a thick cloud filled the Temple of the Lord. The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple. 1 Kings 8:10-11
Preparation to serve the Lord and His people is imperative. Preparation expresses sincerity and desire to serve.
However, the very purpose of serving the Lord and His people is to bring glory to the Lord and to bring His presence to the people.
Once the purpose is realized it is easy to serve the Lord and His people. Our attention no longer will be in what we have to offer out of our preparation for the service, but keen to flow with His leading and willingness to surrender / cancel our agenda.
What a blessing every time His glorious presence takes over as we enter to serve and we simply left with nothing to offer to His people but total freedom for His Spirit to move.
God’s presence (His Spirit) loves to take over and make us to do ‘nothing more’ when there is a total surrender, sincere preparation, devote discipline, tradition-broken, opinion-broken and hunger for His move.
Apostle Peter while was struggling how to preach Salvation to non-Jews at the Cornelius house, His Spirit took over and adopted them as the children of God!
Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message. Acts 10:44