A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” (Isaiah 40:3 ESV)
Today offers the second installment of Advent messages; this one focuses on preparing. And that makes sense, does it not? While we are waiting on the Lord—living a life of dependence on and trust in Him—we should be preparing for what we are waiting to receive from Him. No one just plants seeds in the garden and waits for the harvest to come in. They plant, water, nurture, and prepare in every way to maximize the harvest that will come in the fall.
So how are we to prepare for all we are waiting on from our Lord? Let’s look and see.
Life is full of distractions, with countless voices and activities vying for our attention. Those voices amp up during the Christmas season, with one advertisement after another for the latest products blaring how our lives will be fuller and richer and happier if we will buy this or that new thing. Church, family and friends, and often even employers invite/expect us to attend holiday events that keep us moving from place to place. It is all too easy to forget the real Reason for the season when we are so busy being busy! With everything that seeks to divert our focus from the Lord, we must simplify, and we do so by learning the way of our Lord in two vital areas of our lives.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. (Mark 1:35)
No one lived a busier life than our Lord Jesus Christ, yet His life was saturated in communion with His Father in heaven. Jesus continually retreated to pray; we read that there were times when He spent entire nights in prayer. Notice that Jesus went early before the demands of the day engulfed Him, and He went to a solitary place to minimize distractions. Is this the confession of your life?
“It is written . . .” “It is also written . . .” “For it is written . . .” (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10)
When Jesus fought His battle against the devil during His wilderness experience, He conquered Satan with the Old Testament Scriptures —which was all that had been written at that time. In order for Jesus to continually quote the Scriptures, He had to know the Scriptures, and to know the Scriptures, He had to be meditating on and marinating in them. Is this the confession of your life?
One of the very best ways to prepare for Christmas is to simplify our lives, and the best way to simplify is to consistently be on our knees with the Bible in hand.
On Friday we’ll look at the outcome of our waiting and preparing for the Advent season: joy.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!