PREPARE - how God desires to lead you
Before God does ANYTHING WITH YOU, He will PREPARE YOU. This is because He loves you. He doesn’t want you to fall or to fail. He doesn’t want the enemy to take you away from a close relationship with Him. Jesus wants a close and personal relationship with YOU. This is why preparation is crucial.
Good thing for us, God has made it easy. The key is to come to Jesus with complete transparency. If you are messing up, if you are going your own way – look, He already knows. You can’t fool God. He sees you. The important thing is to remember, if you belong to Jesus, God is not MAD at you. He recognizes who you are and sees all your failures. You cannot fool Him. What God wants, what God desires is sincere, honest, truth from you. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done – just turn from it, ask for God’s help. His strength is made perfect in your weakness.
Right now, no matter where you may think you are, ask Him to cleanse you with His blood. Ask God to come and show you if there’s any where He needs to help you. ASK. Plead the BLOOD of JESUS over yourself. REPENT. It is easy because God loves you and wants you to return to Him. If you think about it, God made us with places we need Him and nothing else will ever satisfy us the way He will.
Then, from that place, STOP and REST. Hand over the keys to your life so God can prepare you for what He wants your life in Him to become.
Now, I’m going to share a story to help you think about preparation. When I grew up, I learned how the ocean worked. It had a rhythm. It had ways the shoreline received waves. Each place had its system. You learned how each surf spot worked. If you took time to figure this out, it gave you an advantage. You want the ADVANTAGE in life don’t you? You want to have an amazing adventure with God in your midst, bringing you the best of what He created for you, right?
With waves, they come in sets of seven. There is a direction waves came in from. It’s based on storms and times of year how it all works. With waves there are lulls, times in between the sets where there are no waves. A time of rest. Also, each beach has a different make up. Some have sand bottoms and others are reef, where rocks and coral are your base. Then, there’s tides. They rise and fall at different times of day. You also discern the places where the waves break and which direction is better, left or right to ride on each wave. Next, you adjust for what the wind is like. With all these factors, you can decide the best place to surf. You also consider the temperature of the air and water. Then, the shape and size of the board you use. Assessing these factors and watching the surf before you enter the water gives you the necessary edge, the advantage. This way, you encounter the best possible experience of surfing.
You probably didn’t know there were so many factors to surf. You possibly don’t think of your following God this way, either. But there are many factors necessary to PREPARE YOU for the assignment God has for you. He needs to PREPARE YOU. And like a surfer, you may head out into an ocean of your plans and drown unless you are thoroughly prepared.
I have seen many people try and put their plan on God. We have all done it, haven’t we? Like hamsters on a wheel, we are moving forward at first. Yet pretty soon, we are circling and circling and just not getting anywhere. God takes a step back and watches when we do this. He waits until we have worn ourselves out. If we are smart, we stop and seek God. We learn that it’s Jesus who leads. We are to be followers. We make King Jesus the focus and trust that He knows what He wants to do with our lives.
It might sound scary to take your hands off of everything. Control can feel securing. But if you prepare and allow God to prepare you, then, you will enter a joy that’s not earthly joy. It’s a place of supernatural ability that can only be found in God.
It does not matter who you are, how old you are, what kind of a past you have, what kind of money you wield. What matters is your relationship with your Maker and whether you follow His Son, Jesus Christ.
I am going to move you to the Bible. This will give you the tools you need to start to prepare. The story in First Samuel. No matter what point of lost you are in, God is right there to retrieve you and bring you into His assignment for you. In this passage of Scripture, Israel had lost its way. They were far from God and had lost the Ark for twenty years. The Ark held God’s presence and favor in their lives. God’s presence helped them receive victory in their battles. It gave them relationship and favor with God. In this situation, what did God do? He sent a prophet. Samuel. And here’s what Samuel said to them. These words stand for us today just as well as they did for Israel then.
1 Samuel 7: 3 – And Samuel said to all the house of Israel, saying, If you are returning to Jehovah with all your heart, put aside the alien gods from among you and the Ashtaroth. And prepare your heart to Jehovah and serve Him only. And He will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines, And the sons of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtaroth and served Jehovah only.
Maybe you don’t think this translates to you – so let’s unpack it for our times.
1) The first instruction is to return to God with ALL your HEART. This is sincere, real, honest relationship. God can take your tears, your pain, your anything.
2) The second instruction is put aside the alien gods. This means ANYTHING you value, chase after, serve or do that blocks your relationship with God. Can you consider that? Do you want too much TV? Do you have a hobby or a distraction that keeps you from as much friendship with Jesus? The Ashtaroth was a sexual fertility demonic stronghold. With addiction to pornography invading our society like wildfire, this false invader tries through your eyes – to overtake your view – and compartmentalize women and men, body parts, into just that parts and pieces. It gets rid of your thinking of people as Spiritual beings, placed with souls, inside bodies. It destroys who they are and envelopes the person with a spirit of destruction that reduces behavior to animals. That is not God’s best for you. He wants you to have a full and complete relationship with Him. When He created Adam, Adam was both man and woman in one being. Then, that being was pulled out of Adam to form Eve. They are one thing and the intimacy between man and woman is a sacred thing to God. It is a oneness God desired for His creation to experience. The enemy comes to pervert this into one of outward needs being met rather than establishing the bond inwardly – in the Spirit and Hearts of man and woman – and then, uniting that bond with intimacy that results with two flesh becoming one.
Israel lost God’s presence when the Ark was taken and departed to worship a fertility goddess and it ruined Israel’s relationship with God. Secondly Baal, linked to Astaroth as a Canaanite[DPC1] and Mesopotamian diety, was associated with being a giver of life and they believed had power over farms, flocks and herds. The interlinking of sexual perversion combined with the promise of growth and abundance duped Israel into worshiping these false deities with the nations that surrounded them. Sound like what we are fighting against today? Instead of following the Lord God Almighty and His ways of provision, the people of God were deceived.
3) The third key component in 1 Samuel 7:3-4 is the last statement: to serve Jehovah only. God is clear and there are numerous Scriptures that assure you God wants you exclusively for Himself. It isn’t evil what He wants. It’s just that He is an amazingly good Father who wants to have you exclusively love Him and abide in all His good ways.
God sent a prophet to bring Israel back into its relationship and alignment with Him. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. He is the only way to the Father.
So, it would probably be good for you to assess where you are in this three-part restoration place, clean a little house, ask Jesus to set you in alignment. Then, God will assuredly prepare you for the assignment that’s coming to the entire earth.
PREPARE – This is what Samuel told Israel – and this is what John the Baptist did before Jesus came. John cleansed and baptized Israel to PREPARE them to meet the Messiah and receive their salvation.
FOR US –
PREPARE – by evaluating where you are in your relationship with God.
PREPARE – by asking the Lord to show you His ways, His rhythms, the Ocean of Wonderful He has set aside for you.
PREPARE – by studying Scripture to find yourself approved.
PREPARE – by finding time to rest and reflect on how good God is in your life.
PREPARE – because it is more and more necessary as we get closer to our Messiah, Jesus’s return.