Preparing the Way for Jesus:
The Ministry of John the Baptist
A storm comes out a clear blue sky and soaks us as we walk
along. We are taken by surprise, but somewhere, far out to
sea perhaps, a weather system has been making its way
towards us. Few things happen entirely ‘out of the blue,’
Some years ago, every man in a village in Algeria received a
dream about the Lord Jesus. Behind the scenes, God had been
at work preparing for this extraordinary visitation. Way
back in the fourteenth century, the preacher Ramon Lull
declared that the only way to win Muslims to Christ was by
tears prayer and blood. He lost his life, a martyr for the
Lord He loved so much – in the very same region of Algeria.
Many hundreds of years later, the seeds that Ramon Lull
sowed came to life and burgeoned forth. It reminds me of a
particular species of bamboo shoot that needs watering for
five years before there is the slightest sign of any growth
– but then it shoots up at a truly prodigious speed.
We are going to explore the extraordinary ministry of a man
whom Jesus described as the greatest of all the prophets,
the one who God entrusted with the task of preparing the way
for His Son to come to earth in human form. It was a
powerful ministry that warred against the way that almost
all the people were living. His ministry constitutes a call
to us to prepare the way of the Lord in all that we are
We will then move on to consider a few key issues that are
happening in our society today at the social-political level
– things that are threatening the freedom of the gospel in
our midst, and which require the clear and outspoken
challenge of a John the Baptist.
The call of the prophet
Spiritually, no authentic prophet had brought a
living word from God for four hundred years. It
seemed as though He no longer had anything to say to
His people. So much waiting, with nothing to show
for it, tests faith to the limit. Did the creatures
of Narnia still believe the prophecies about Aslan
when the White Witch had imposed the iron grip of
winter on the land?
Do we still believe when
God seems exceedingly slow to resolve certain
difficulties and to advance certain projects?
Suddenly, (what a wonderful
Biblical word that is!) God commissioned John, not to assume
the priestly role his father had followed, but to embark on
something far more challenging, something that would take
him right off the career ladder. There are no slots in the
career office earmarked ‘prophets of the Most High!’
Centuries before, the Lord had commissioned Moses, Isaiah,
Jeremiah and all the other biblical greats so now, after
this four hundred-year gap, the Lord was set to revive the
prophetic ministry. Little did people realize that this was
destined to be the hinge the whole of spiritual history
hangs: the transition point between the old and the New
Covenants. The call of a prophet is so significant that it
is often specifically recorded in Scripture.
you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the
way for Him,
to give His people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
And the child grew and became strong in spirit;
and he lived in the desert until he appeared
publicly to Israel.
From our vantage point today,
we can make some sense of why God chose the particular place
and time than they did to send His Son to earth. Not only
did it fulfil many Messianic prophecies, Roman roads and
communication systems also made it possible for the gospel
to go out from the Jewish heartland to the ends of the
None of this would have been obvious at the time to John, of
course. Set aside from birth by an angelic visitation, he
lived an obscure life in the utterly inhospitable
wilderness, on the spiritual behalf of a nation that had
been reduced from a once mighty empire to a downtrodden
minion of the all conquering Roman armies, presided over by
the cruel Emperor Tiberius.
that God had called him to play a specific role,
John devoted all his energies to the task. As Jesus
would do for a much shorter period of time, he
followed the Spirit’s leading and went out to live
in the wilderness and to wait on God. Apart from the
dark side of the moon, it is hard to imagine
anywhere more inhospitable. But this was the place
where God would meet with him. He knows our address,
whether we are right in the midst of the action or,
humanly speaking, right out of the loop – as Ezekiel
was in Babylon and John was on the isle of Patmos.
The Lord knows our
address, whether we are right in the midst of the
action or, humanly speaking, right out of the loop.
Did the Lord send an angel to
give him the message he was to share, as he had done to his
father? Did He speak directly or use a series of dreams and
visions? We have no idea how God spoke to him; the means is
less important than the message. What we do know is that God
met with him – and when that occurs, things always happen.
In God’s eyes, John received a high calling. Prophets are
highly esteemed by God and the angels – but they are by no
means always esteemed during their lifetime. Paul declared
that he often felt as though God had made apostles and
prophets the off-scouring of all things – as it were at the
very end of the line. (1 Cor. 4:9,13). But John was destined
to be a voice in the wilderness, preparing the way for the
Saviour, calling the people to turn from their sinfulness
and to come home to their God.
The prophet’s role
John played a vital role by bringing people to such a point
of receptiveness that they would be ready to welcome and
receive the Christ of God when He came.
the cost of being prophetic intercessors is that we
will be burdened by things that people are taking
little or no notice of. This is how John and Paula
Sandford put it in The Elijah Task, in the chapter
‘In the spirit and power of Elijah:’
Much of the prophet's
work is done in secret, wrestling for people's
souls, paying the cost for meetings to be turned
into real encounters with the Lord, in which people
open up more fully to the Lord.
the church is rejoicing and celebrating the victory
of our Lord, the prophet is already called to the
next battle, the next pit of sorrow. The next work
of the Lord is upon him. When the body of Christ is
grovelling in pain and repentance, the prophet is
rejoicing both that the body is repenting, and that
the reward of the Lord’s mercy’s coming.’
The fact that someone is a
prophet does not mean they need to be doing all the speaking
or all the prophesying. Often they are simply there as
father and mother figures to encourage others to take the
centre stage and to do the talking, the praying, the
healing, the prophesying and all the other work of ministry.
It is their hidden life with God that makes all this both
possible and effective.
What on earth is a ‘staret’?
I learnt from Catherine de Hueck Doherty in Molchanie,
that the Russian Christian tradition is rich in starets:
pilgrims who are set apart to seek the Lord, but who know in
their spirits when the time has come for them to go public
and take what God has sown and nurtured in their hearts to
The time has come now for John to abandon these desolate
places and to move sufficiently close to civilization for
people to be able to come and hear what God had entrusted
him with. He preached the need for people to be baptized in
water that symbolized repentance for the remission of sins:
a washing of the inner as well as the outer man, even though
John himself did not have the authority to forgive people
are looked upon as being an inspiration to
believers, an example of saintly virtue, steadfast
faith, and spiritual peace. According to
The Holy Spirit bestows special gifts onto the
starets including the ability to heal, prophesy,
and most importantly, give effective spiritual
guidance and direction. Startsy are looked upon as
being an inspiration to believers, an example of
saintly virtue, steadfast faith, and spiritual
in prayer or in voluntary seclusion, starets receive
visitors (some who travel very far) and spend time
conversing with them, offering a blessing (if the
starets is an ordained cleric) and confession, and
praying. People often petition the starets for
intercessionary prayers, believing that the prayer
of a starets is particularly effective.
Many of them have a
reputation amidst believers of being able to know
the secrets of a person's heart without having ever
previously met the visitor, and having the ability
to discern God's plan for a person's life. This, as
all of the startsy's gifts, is believed to come from
the Holy Spirit acting through the starets.
Most of you who are reading
these words have certainly not been called to be starets,
but there may be are times in our lives when He withdraws us
from active ministry in order to spend more intensive time
with Himself. Whether on the front lines, or in some more
withdrawn position, God has things in mind for us to do. As
we are faithful in this, others will be drawn to Him too.
has things in mind that only we can do. May we be
prepared to do them!
Remind Him afresh today that
you are willing to follow wherever He leads.
Sharp axe and winnowing fork: John preaches to the
‘I baptize you with water, but He will baptize you with the
Holy Spirit.’ (Mark 1:8)
John "exhorted" people to flee from things that lead to
judgment. In 3:18, Luke uses the word laos to describe the
people who came to hear John, as opposed to ochlos (meaning
any old crowd). This was a potentially responsive group.
These would have been the ones who stayed on to hear more of
John's message – the proclamation of the ‘good news’ that
lay beyond the serious warnings. (Luke 3:18)
Image wise John the Baptist was far from being a prototype
James Bond. Here were no designer-label clothes to tempt
people out into the wilderness to visit him. Nevertheless,
commoners, Pharisees and Sadducees alike trekked out from as
far away as Jerusalem to hear him because they believed this
man, so uncompromising in both appearance and message, had
something of importance to communicate.
John neither flattered the great nor assented to the
prevailing morality. He warned one and all of the coming
wrath of God if people continued to sin. The commoner may
not have had the same faults as the Sadducee or the
Pharisee, but in God’s eyes they were just as serious.
John uses language as strong as that of any Old Testament
prophet before him. He was doing what every prophet must
always do, breaking up the fallow ground. (Hos. 10:12). The
difference lies in the declaration that is built into his
call to repent: the promise that the kingdom of God is at
Things happen when we proclaim Christ in this way. Many of
us have done something of the same when we have participated
in Make Way marches. Not only have bystanders been touched,
police have reported the crime rates fell miraculously
across cities during the hours these marches were being
held. Many are being led to go out on to the streets and
practice prophetic evangelism: speaking the things God gives
us to the people He brings across our paths.
height of his powerful ministry to the United
Kingdom in the nineteenth century, DL Moody preached
to vast multitudes. His American appearance and
idioms appeared positively vulgar to the
aristocratic class – but his simple and direct way
of communicating the gospel touched people’s hearts,
from highest to lowest born. (See Moody, by
Pollock). Can you think of modern day equivalents?
When it comes to explaining
how the coming of the Spirit can have the effect of fire,
John turns to an agricultural image. A preacher friend of
mine wielded a huge winnowing fork (Luke 3:17) to illustrate
what happens when grain is tossed in the air. The heavier
grain returns to the threshing floor to be turned into
wheat, while the chaff, being lighter, is first separated
and then burned up.
God is not squeamish. He really is ready to destroy trees
that bear no fruit. (Rev. 2:5) As if this threat is not
serious enough, there is then added the prospect of fire, a
theme that is central to Jesus own ministry: He will
‘baptize with fire as well as with the Spirit’. (Luke
3:16-17, cf 12:49-53).
||It is no
mixed metaphor when John speaks of fire and water in
the same breath. Water has long been associated with
the refreshing, cleansing work of the Spirit (e.g.
Is. 44:3; Ezek 36:25-27; Joel 2:28-29), just as fire
is often used to speak of judgment, refinement, and
purification. Such is still the twin thrust of the
Spirit’s ministry – though Jesus would later expand
the Spirit’s role in more detail, and include the
key qualities of comfort, counsel and gifting. How
would you describe the twin roles of fire and water
in your pilgrimage with God?
Barren trees will be cast
into the fire at length; it is where they belong. Every tree
that doth not bear good fruit will be chopped down and cast
into the fire. As Matthew Henry puts it, ‘If it serve not
for fruit, to the honour of God's grace, let it serve for
fuel, to the honour of his justice.’
Think of the kids on the streets who murder for the sake of
loose change and mobile phones, and who show no remorse even
when they are caught and convicted. Or the child soldiers
from Rwanda who went to the Congo, and who have become
perhaps the most completely desensitivised killers in the
world. Do such not perfectly fit the description ‘a
generation of vipers?’ In Matthew 23:33, a chapter full of
stunning denunciations of hypocrisy, Jesus described the
Pharisees as a "brood of vipers."
God destroyed this nest
of vipers once by water, and He will do so again at
the end of time by fire – but now is an age of
grace, in which mercy triumphs over judgement.
Christ’s love can transform even the most hardened
heart. (cf Luke 6:43-45, 13:6-9).
must let the axe strike the root of the tree and
take out our self-life in order that what Christ has
designed may shine through.
It is not following external
rituals or having a religious background that will be of any
eternal use to us. All too many who put their confidence in
their religious backgrounds ended up resisting the
ministries of both John and Jesus until the very end.
It is not enough not to do wrong either: we are called to
die altogether to the old way of living. The axe must go to
the root of our whole corrupt nature. There is nothing good
enough in us for us to be able to return to.
If we try to live up to God’s way, as so many people try to
do, it is like depending on social action for our salvation.
It is not that such involvement is not important – it may
often be vital, it is simply that it misses the most
important point if everything is done by our own efforts.
No, it is not enough to have Abraham as our father; we must
be born again by the Holy Spirit.
least there is hope for a tree:
if it is cut down, it will sprout again,
and its new shoot will not fail.
Its roots may grow old in the ground,
and its stump die in the soil,
yet at the scent of water
it will bud and pour forth shoots like a plant.
Wild honey and locusts?
John the Baptist ate a strange diet, and lived with a hair
shirt on, the sharp bristles of the camel skin pricking his
conscience and reminding him not to get too comfortable with
either the things of this world or its ways. He could never
take this mantle off, because he was called to lead people
to repentance – to change – to prepare the way.
Although the example of Rees Howells shows us that this sort
of thing can still happen today, the Lord rarely asks us to
follow weird and wonderful outward restrictions.
would usually be ‘religious’ rather than truly
spiritual. What we must realize is that we live in
an altogether softer age in which it is all too easy
to become wrapped around with easy things. Has this
been happening to you?
willing to make sacrifices and go the extra mile for
the Lord and His people?
As cardiologists know, it is
our heart condition that is all-important. Prophets see
through the deceptions we throw up. Most of us have parts of
our personality that incline to be calculating. It is a
great delight to meet people who are single minded for the
Lord. Most of the time, far too little of the Lord’s light
reaches our hearts in the Western Church. It is as though
the overhanging trees (our traditions and lack of hunger and
thirst for God’s presence) deflect the sunlight before it
reaches the forest floor – our hearts.
We need people who are so steeped in the fear and the
presence of the Lord that they can take us beyond people’s
desire to be entertained, and to show us how God really
feels about situations.
said of Timothy that he was the only one who really
had Christ's interest at heart rather than his own
self-interests. May the Lord develop that same
spirit in us. (Phil 2:20-21)
Pharisees and Sadducees were
present when John baptised, but we do not find them asking,
‘What shall we do?’ They thought they knew what they had to
do as well, so they weren’t going to take any notice of him.
Pride and stubbornness are such enemies of God.
Echoing Isaiah’s words, John tells us that every valley will
be filled in, and every mountain and hill low’. (Luke 3:5)
How does this translate in our own experience?
Perhaps we can represent the mountains as the peaks of our
achievements: our mindsets, motivations, and dominant
desire. These are the things we revolve around and gravitate
towards. If we are not prepared to submit our life and all
its doings to the Spirit’s searchlight, we will know nothing
of the need to bring things to the Cross and die to them so
that we can experience his resurrection life beyond them.
What about the valleys? They speak of our times of lowness
and depression. God is close to the brokenhearted and He
goes to great lengths to raise us up from our times of fear
and failure, and to turn even these around for His kingdom,
provided that we ask Him to. The rich and self-reliant go
empty headed away, but He receives fills and uses the needy
who come to Him empty handed.
let John the Baptist's challenge shake our
Break wrong patterns,
heal the brokenness,
and equip us to facilitate others to do all that
they are called to do.
In Jesus name, Amen.
Beware swinging axes
Axes are fundamentally dangerous things. Yes, wrong ways of
thinking must be handed over, and the axe be allowed to cut
its way through our life – but once the axe starts swinging,
as the Sandfords warn, it can acquire a momentum of its own.
out of hand and has an unstoppable life of its own .
. . Whatever bit of self-confidence you find to
stand on, the swing of the axe of truth finds your
hidden motives, and you slip into the pit of despair
. . . Many, unsure of trust and grace in Jesus, have
fallen into the pit of despair. Invariably in
counsel with the depressed we have seen the swing of
John's axe behind the depression . . . where there
should instead be freedom in the Holy Spirit.'
Because the Lord has come,
and sent His Spirit to empower us, we are not meant to
remain forever at this stage. That would be like a builder
concentrating only on the work of demolition rather than on
building. The Sandfords again:
need to abide firmly in the good news, for whoever
enters the process of dying to self, and falls back
from Jesus to John, gets beheaded! Once the mind and
conscience are moved to set in motion the axe of
self-perception they never stop. They continue to
work even subliminally, seeking weaknesses and
guilts which, without faith, destroy us through
tension and anxiety. Some have been driven to
Countless children of God, unable to stop their
accusing and excusing thoughts, have been driven to
drink, lasciviousness, anything to escape the
tensions of guilt. The mind over laden with guilt,
incapable of arresting the cutting work of
conscience, finally burns itself out. The person can
become depressed, manic, catatonic, flipped out in
drink or dope, or beheaded by the axe of thought.
But this need never be if the person has opened his
heart sufficiently to the gentle forgiveness and
healing love of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Claiming with their lips to honour the Lord, they
won’t let the slice of the axe though their hearts
when it should . . . For them, the facing of their
sinful nature ceased when they accepted Jesus as
Saviour. Millions of Christians are hiding from God
and from their own flesh in the very sanctuary of
Jesus said that since the
days of John the Baptist the kingdom is advancing violently
(Mat. 11:12). It seems an odd remark from One who more than
any other models true gentleness. Yet violence is needed to
put the old nature to death and to establish the new life,
in ourselves and in others, in societies, and in the way
churches and institutions operate. What happens all too
often in practice, however, is that people run from this
challenge and use the Cross more as a means of escape than a
means of transformation.
would grow in our Lord, there is no escape from the
sword of truth. We’re lazy spiritually . . . This is
why prophets of the Lord must rise and stand in the
spirit of Elijah . . . Their task is to cut to the
innermost being . . . through our encrusted thorns
of thought, that the Prince of Peace may call us
forth from death to life.’
Preaching that cuts to the
Spiritual indifference is a deadly matter, but most of these
people knew that they had done wrong – and were prepared to
ask what they could do to put matters right. This is such a
vital step. John’s reply was to tell people it was their
duty to share what they had. His challenge was intended to
goad people into doing what they could. Food and clothing
are the two supports of life; it is so important to be aware
of each other’s needs and to watch out for each other.
Only Luke records these conversations, (Luke 3:7-18) which
open up opportunity for some clear and challenging
statements about social justice and responsibility.
Of the three groups, mentioned, the tax collectors would
have been considered most in need of repentance for the
simple reason that their profit came from collecting more
than they paid the Romans. Their work alienated them from
Jewish society and made them sinful in people’s eyes. God
had a place and a role for them too, but first they must
stop exploiting people.
Whatever we do or do not have physically, we can be
rich in the presence of the Lord.
The soldiers mentioned in
Luke 3:14 were probably not Roman but Jewish. Like the tax
collectors, their role lent itself to threatening reprisals
against people and taking advantage of people in trouble.
John challenged them to be content with what they had (cf
Hebrews 13:5). Whatever we do or do not have physically, we
can be rich in the presence of the Lord.
They must neither do violence to their fellow men nor accuse
falsely. There is to be no oppression, no pique, no getting
even and settling old scores. The soldiers’ response
indicates just how acutely they felt being ostracized,
almost to the point of being outcasts from society. One
version puts their contribution rather emotively like this:
‘What about us?’ John does not tell them to hand in their
commission and to desert the army, but urges them rather to
live free of these tendencies. God would have a role and a
place for them too – right where they were.
preached a message of repentance that was tailored
to the hearts of his hearers.
What is the thing that God would speak to you that
will help you to draw closer to Him?
To repent of doubt or letting fear hold you back? Or
something much more specific?
Avoiding mistaken identity
The question that was naturally uppermost in people’s minds
was whether such a radical prophet might be the Messiah
Himself. (Luke 3:15) Yes, he was deliberately raising
people’s expectations that the Messiah was coming – but he
was taking good care at the same time not to let people
mistake him for the Messiah. The Messiah is far more
powerful than he is (v. 16), and worthy of so much greater
reverence that even the task of tying His sandals is more
than he feels worthy of. As Matthew Henry puts it:
no fullness of the Spirit to bestow, nor could
command that or work upon that; he could only exhort
them to repent, and assure them of forgiveness, upon
repentance; he could not work repentance in them,
nor confer forgiveness on them himself.’
“He is mightier than I, and does that which I cannot
do, both for the comfort of the faithful and for the
terror of hypocrites and dissemblers.” Christ can,
and will, baptize with the Holy Ghost; he can give
the Spirit to cleanse and purify the heart. John can
only promise them that they shall be safe; but
Christ will make them so: John can only threaten
hypocrites, and tell the barren trees that they
shall be hewn down and cast into the fire; but
Christ can execute that threatening.’
The transition takes place
We are drawing near now to the appearance in public of our
Lord Jesus. The Sun will not be long delayed now that the
morning-star has risen.
John had gathered quite a group of people around him to aid
him in his ministry. It was from this group, starting with
Andrew, that Jesus’ own core group would emerge. (Jn.
1:29-44). Greater love has no preacher than this. John was
willing to hold nothing back for himself, but to pass on all
that God had blessed him with to the One whom God appointed
to take the baton on from him.
it is immensely comforting to hear from God, the
prophet usually has to travel a very hard route in
order to be able to communicate a word from the Lord
without allowing anything else to colour or distort
it. They have to be dead to their own wishes and
The years in the wilderness
ensured that John never got so carried away with the crowds
flocking around him that it turned his head. His humility is
to be marvelled at.
It is good for us all to live as John did, in the awareness
that the Bride belongs to the Bridegroom. Suppose a special
friend gets married. You willingly let him or her go in
favour of their chosen one. To try to hold on to them would
be quite inappropriate – the stuff that cults are made of.
Our task is to get people following the Lord’s heart and
leading more closely – not to have them spinning in orbit
around ourselves. Some promote themselves far more than they
realize. John promoted Jesus, and his reward will be
The highest price possible
‘He must increase but I must decrease.’ (John 3:30)
Standing for truth is
sometimes more important than life itself. The
authenticity of John’s words moved many to
repentance – but they aroused resentment in others.
Herod and his family so hated being reproved by John
that he ended up sending him to the dreaded fortress
first to be imprisoned and then beheaded
The will of God often calls us to the zone of
maximum conflict and pressure.
John was Christ's forerunner
in suffering as well as in preaching; he had spent about a
year and a half preparing people for Christ, but now he must
give way to Him. The Sun has risen, so the morning-star
disappears. Now the nation was deprived of his instruction
and counsel. How hard this must have been for all godly
souls to bear, even for his cousin Jesus. It must have
appeared a sad and premature end for a fine ministry that
had brought hope to many.
Those who live in close obedience to the Lord’s ways have a
quality about them that is appealing to those who hunger and
thirst after righteousness, but which is anathema to those
who are hostile to God’s ways.
Herod and his scheming family appeared to have won – but God
was already on the move. When the witch slays Aslan on the
stone table, she imagines she has won the final victory. But
death could not hold Aslan, any more than the beheading of
John the Baptist spelt the end of God’s cause on earth.
The highest praise possible
‘True greatness is an inner self-emptying which manifest
itself in service to others.’
Jesus’ assessment of John is that he was the greatest of all
the prophets. It is the highest praise possible. (John 5:35,
cf Matt 11:9,11). The fact that John went through a period
of perplexity in prison in no way decreases his spiritual
standing. All of us, if deprived of light, vitamins and
fellowship are likely to experience sharp dips in our faith
levels – especially if, like John, we have been holding on
to some idea of a Messianic kingdom on earth. Jesus’
carefully weighted response to John’s concern queries were
intended to set such wrong perspectives to right. (Luke
John was a great prophet even though he did no recorded
miracles. It is important to spell out that New Testament
prophets (unlike some of their Old Testament counterparts)
are not the same as miracle workers (just think of Moses!)
Philip’s four daughters were prophetesses but we have no
record of any signs and wonders done by them. Even Agabus
did not necessarily do any miracles. They are primarily
facilitators and enablers.
We have been so grateful that the Lord has sent a number of
such people into our lives; people who hear the Lord in key
ways at key times. They provide reference points and
steering touches for our lives, as well as providing an
Jesus is quite content
to work with the few, the least and the last. It is
not necessary to produce evidence of miracles, size
of bank balance, a place on the podium to do well in
His kingdom. If you are following after God, things
will grow around you, like the bamboo shoot we spoke
of earlier that suddenly comes to life. When we have
finished our earthly pilgrimage, may He say of us,
‘Well done, faithful one: you have accomplished all
that I created you to be and to do.’
surely as John fulfilled his ministry and prepared
the way for Jesus, we must fulfil ours, too - and
live with just one audience in mind.
Appendix: Preparing the
way of the Lord
The Hebrew word for prepare is ‘pannu’. It speaks of
removing all the obstacles that stand in God’s path. It is
God who does the moving of the obstacles, but we must play
our part. If you are facing blocked paths at the beginning
of this New Year, how about using some of these verses to
raise your expectations?
No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him"
but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. (1 Cor.
In my Father's house are many
rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going
there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare
a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me
that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the
place where I am going. (John 14:2-4)
"Don't worry," Elijah said to her. "Go on and prepare your
meal. But first make a small loaf from what you have and
bring it to me, and then prepare the rest for you and
your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel,
says: `The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of
oil will not run dry until the day the Lord gives rain on
the land.' "(1 Kings 17:13-14)
Moses went down the mountain to the people and prepared
them for the holy meeting. (Exod. 19:14 Msg)
With all my resources I have provided for the temple of my
God. Now, who is willing to consecrate himself today to the
LORD?" (1 Chron. 29:3,5)
Sing to God, sing praises to his name; prepare a way
for Him who rides on the clouds. His name is the Lord – be
glad in his presence! (Ps 68:4 TEV)
"I myself will prepare your way, levelling mountains
and hills. I will break down bronze gates and smash their
iron bars. (Is. 45:2 TEV)
It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets,
some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,
to prepare God's people for works of service, so that
the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity
in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and
become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the
fullness of Christ. (Eph. 4:11-13)
Now may our God and Father Himself and our Lord Jesus
prepare (clear) the way for us to come to you. May the
Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and
for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May He
strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and
holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord
Jesus comes with all his holy ones. (1 Thess. 3:11-13)
I'm passing this work on to you, my son Timothy. The
prophetic word that was directed to you prepared us
for this. All those prayers are coming together now so you
will do this well, fearless in your struggle, (1 Tim. 1:18
"Now get yourselves ready. I'm sending my angel ahead of you
to guard you in your travels, to lead you to the place that
I've prepared. (Exod. 23:20 Msg)
All material by Robert Weston in this article may be freely
used if properly attributed.