I'M A CHRISTIAN...NOW WHAT?
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Preparation Precedes Power
“This is the one about whom it is written: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you”. Matthew 11:10
Jesus spent thirty years in private preparation for three years of public service. He knew the necessary need to wait on His Heavenly Father for the power of His blessing, before He embarked on His eternal mission. What passionate desire has the Lord laid on your heart that awaits your thorough preparation? Like Elijah, you first prepare an altar of sacrifice by faith, and wait on God to send forth His fire from heaven to ignite your work.
Similarly to Jesus, you probably depend on others as part of your preparation process. The creditability of John the Baptist paved the way for the “Lamb of God”. In the same way, the good reputation of trusted friends can accelerate your success. This is why it is wise to wait on the endorsement of other trusted leaders. Pay the price of being mentored, before you run ahead to your next assignment. New leaders need the old leaders’ approval.
Pain is another product of preparation. Until your perspective has been seasoned by adversity, your confidence has not been tempered away from arrogance and toward humility. God doesn’t waste pain, as it produces the character required to represent Christ. It’s in our hurt that we cry out in humble dependence, confession and repentance. We learn the good and bad about ourselves in pain’s process. Pain produces patience.
Are you expecting to receive the fruit of preparation without paying the price to prepare? Ministers who prepare are endowed with power from on high. Preparation precedes anointing. Parents who prepare learn from experienced parents. Preparation precedes obedient children. Students who prepare privately are recognized publically. Preparation precedes education. Leaders who prepare their minds and hearts feel God’s favor.
What is your next step in the process of preparation? Is it to silently serve the poor, or to boldly challenge the rich? Is it to earnestly work with your hands, so you can better relate with your head? Do not dismiss thorough preparation in place of zealous shortcuts. Stay the course in Christ’s school of learning submission, as His power rests on the prepared.
“Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again." Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "The LORD -He is God! The LORD -He is God!” (1 Kings 18:37-39).
What patient preparation do I need to complete? Am I serving others in my power or in God’s power?
Related Readings: Psalm 85:13; Amos 4:12; Ephesians 4:12; 2 Timothy 2:21
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Boyd Bailey is the author of Wisdom Hunters daily devotional
and three devotional books, Infusion, Seeking Daily the Heart of God
and Seeking God in the Psalms
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