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)
For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.
. . . Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory. (Hebrews 3: 4, 6)
John the Baptist fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy as he preached in the wilderness of Judea. He revealed that the way to prepare for the Lord is to repent and commit our lives to Him.
As God’s people, we are called to prepare the way for the Lord in both ourselves and for those around us. If we look at our lives as God’s building, we realize we’re in a permanent construction zone. Our building will be at different stages and in different phases than others. Our task is to ensure that what we’re doing is strengthening and advancing our building and those of others, and not dismantling what has already been constructed.
We can help prepare the way for the Lord in our own construction zone with this checklist:
Self Check – When I take an honest look inside, where do I still fall short of God’s best for me? What do I allow to come between me and God, and what am I doing about it? Am I properly trained to do His work? Do I really seek His will, or do I usually follow my own? Do my words and actions honor Him or myself?
Equipment Check – Do I have the right gear for the job? Do I use the tools He has provided, or try to make do with my own cheap knock-offs that keep bending, wobbling and breaking when I try to remove obstacles? Am I prepared to excavate any kind of contamination, or do I just cover it over and hope no one notices? Do I have the tools to make level paths and straight roads, and leave the mountain-moving to God – without creating them out of molehills myself?
Safety Check – Do I use the protective clothing God has provided? I’ll need the hard hat of salvation to protect and clarify my thinking.
The tool belt of truth will allow me to do the delicate work of building authentic and lasting relationships with God and with others. The safety vest of righteousness will guard my heart and my most vulnerable places; being right with God will enable me to be right with others, as far as it depends on me.
I’ll need the steel-toed boots that keep me ready to go without fear wherever God leads; then if someone steps on my toes, it won’t affect my walk. Boots with a solid Scriptural tread will keep my feet from slipping.
Holding up a strong faith will act like a welder’s shield against the flying sparks that Satan keeps emitting. I can use God’s Word to cut him off when he tries to infiltrate the crew. If I’m going to take on the work, I’ll need every one of these items if I want to protect myself and those who work with me.
Gut Check – Before I sign on, am I fully committed to the Master Builder, to the other members of the construction crew, and to the completion of the work? Do I keep in constant communication with Him and follow His plan? Am I working with care, or trying to cut corners to get where I want to go without doing the parts I don’t like because they’re too slow or painful?
Father, please help me to do an honest evaluation of how I’m building my life. I pray that I may be a round building – a person built around You, with You in the centre of everything I am and do. Amen.