If you were coming to my house for dinner, I’d clean my house, have good food cooking, and shake out the welcome mat. I’d want everything to be ready when you rang my doorbell.
Maybe those were some of the desires John the Baptist had when he began his public preaching. What was his message? Jesus is coming, clear the way. Get ready. Prepare for him. He wasn’t talking about cooking food or cleaning house. He was talking about spiritual preparation – getting ready to meet Jesus face-to-face.
Too often we have a casual attitude about God. We rush into his presence, present our list of needs, then leave wondering if we were even heard. Maybe we need some of the heart preparation John was talking about. He told the people to prepare the way for God’s Son by cleaning up their lives, by being honest and grace-filled in their relationships, and by not putting themselves first, but giving others preference. (Luke 3:10-14).
Does your spiriual life need a boost? Do you want Jesus to come to you in a new and fresh way? Are you ready for him to respond to your prayers? God’s Word tells us how: Prepare the way by humbly confessing sin and living in ways that please him. We may need to examine our attitudes, priorities, relationships, thoughts, and actions to see if there’s any rubble we need to get out of the way so the path is cleared for Jesus to relate to us in his fullness. And he will.
“Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight . . . and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” (from Luke 3:4-6)
“Certainly all virtues are very dear to God, but humility pleases Him above all the others, and it seems that He can refuse it nothing.”
― Francis de Sales
#humility #holy living
“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth.” – Acts 17:24
There’s a scene from the TV series West Wing in which the US discovers a nuclear explosion in another country. The president meets with the ambassador from that country and is told that it was not nuclear, it was an oil refinery fire. Not true. He gives the littany of evidence of their lack of security, training, and expertise in to be able to handle nuclear weapons and he offers to help. The ambassador says, “We don’t need your help.” The President leaves the room in anger, knowing she’s lying and, in not accepting expert help, is putting the world at risk.
Then I read the prophets of the Old Testament and realize the one thing that seems to make God leave the room in anger is when his people think they don’t need him. “We’ve got it covered, Lord.” And by covered, they mean they are hiding their messes, sweeping the dirt under the rug, putting false fronts on the disasters lurking, and hoping someone (other than God, of course) will step in to save the day.
The messes in our world are big. The messes in many of our lives are big, too. It may be time we admit we’re not doing a very good job of managing things ourselves. Maybe it’s time to turn to God and say, “I need you! I’ve needed you all along, but have been trying to do it on my own. Now look at this mess. Can you, would you, please help me?”
The believing man does not claim to understand. He falls to his knees and whispers, “God.” – A. W. Tozer
“He satisifies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.” – Psalm 107:9
Do you realize we sometimes vocalize feelings without using words? There are times we sigh and those sighs hint at something deep within us. Do you know who can read those sighs? God can. Look at this:
“O Lord, all my longing is before you. My sighing is not hidden from you.” – Psalm 38:9
Do you want to know the longings buried deep in your soul? Simply turn to the One who can tell you why you sigh. The best part? Once he shows you your true desires, he helps you meet them. Life becomes more focused, more fulfilling, and far less frantic.
It’s OK to sigh, OK to have longings, and more than OK to tell God about them all. He responds to cries of our heart we didn’t even know were there. Pretty amazing, right?
When I asked God to show me my deepest longings, I realized there was one more compelling than any of the others: The longing to know him and sense his presense. All other sighs are reduced to faint whispers when I am with God.
Maybe today would be a good day to sit with our Father in Heaven and talk to him about desires of your heart. Let him reveal the ones you may not know you have – the ones that reflect the true you. Then invite him to lead you on the journey to having your deepest longings fulfilled.
“The soul must long for God in order to be set aflame by God’s love; but if the soul cannot yet feel the longing, then it must long for the longing. To long for the longing is also from God.” – Meister Eckhart