Friday, 15 October 2021
As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’” -Luke 3:4
There is an important principle that we can learn from the life of John the Baptist. Even though the Bible seems to say little about John, he conveys to us a simple but important message on repentance that still applies today. We are told that John was sent to 'prepare the way' for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 1:2-3), but what exactly did he do in preparing the way?
Luke 3:3-4 says, “And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; 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.’” Also recorded in Matthew 3:1-2, "In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." So how did the people cooperate with John in preparing the way for Jesus? They confessed their sins and were baptized as a sign that they have turned from their sins- "And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins."(Matt.3:16)
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. John the Baptist was creating a favorable environment for Jesus to enter and operate in the lives of people. John the Baptist prepared the way for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ through preaching repentance and baptism for the remission of sins. Receiving Christ into one’s life acknowledging His lordship, allows His rule and reign.
The opposite can be true of those who live in deep sin or come under the dominion of demonic powers – they create within themselves a favorable environment for the devil and his demons to dwell and operate in their lives. 1 John 5:19 reminds us “…the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” Sin 'prepares the way' for the devil and his demons, while repentance and remission of sins prepares the way for the Lord!
How can we 'prepare the way' for the Lord?
John the Baptist was sent forth to prepare the way for Jesus. He was getting people ready for Jesus' arrival by getting them to repent! John was calling the people to purify themselves by repentance, as Hebrews 12:14 [NLT] tells us, "...work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.” If there are unconfessed sins in our lives, they can hinder us from 'seeing the Lord'. We need to repent of our sins and turn from them and receive forgiveness (1 John 1:9).
By repentance of our sins, we “prepare the way” for Jesus to operate in our lives! Proverbs 28:13 says, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” One has to acknowledge his sin, confess, repent and TURN from them- this may involve tearing out anything of the world planted in you from your former way of life and replacing it with God’s truth! Then we prove it by the way we live that we have really turned from our sins to God.
God is about to pour out of His Spirit in unprecedented ways. We don’t want to miss it! We must prepare for His presence by repenting of our worldly attitudes or any sin that has crept in, returning to our first love with Christ who gave His life for us. When we are prepared and ready, God will pour out His Spirit and equip and use us in amazing ways for His glory!
…“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)