Preparing for the Lord
As I was speaking last Sunday on the preparation of Israel for the coming of the Messiah, I believe the Lord spoke to me about our own preparation. Israel was prepared for the coming of the Lord during the time of Nehemiah and Ezra. This preparation took place during the time of the Maccabees, when Antiochus Epiphanes tried to destroy the Jewish people from the inside out. The preparation took effort, much effort on the part of many people. However when it comes to ourselves we have to walk that path by ourselves. The good news is we do have a helper but the original step we have to take is one into the unknown.
Yeshua is there for all and it is into His presence that first step is taken, “Come to me all who are heavy laden”, [Matthew 11:28] was the cry of the Lord. Why do we take so long to hear His voice when He is calling us all? [Isaiah 40:3] Is it the world or is it our own stubbiness in wanting to do our own thing that keeps us from Him? [Jeremiah 4:14] Or is it that we look into the Word of God and see the path that is required to follow Yeshua and it seems difficult? But we needn't be afraid as God is gentle [James 3:13] and is love, [1 John 4:16] yes there are rules we are to follow but He leads and will not put out a flickering flame [Isaiah 42:3] and will nurture all into the Kingdom, all who call on His name. [Acts 4:12]
As with Israel where there had to be a preparation, we are no different. We come out of the world and know nothing of what may lie ahead. We read in the Word: Take up your cross and follow Me, [Matthew 16:24] and wonder what this might mean, because everything is new and confusing and we wonder what we have to do when we cry out to Him. The first thing that has to happen is that we have to prepare our hearts made of stone for Him to enter. [Zechariah 7:12] A cry to Him is the first part of this preparation, [Psalm 120:1] when we admit to ourselves we can't go it alone which opens our hearts to allow Him into our lives. [John 5:24]
Once we let Him in the process of changing our heart from one of stone, the one that has been hardened by the things we have experienced and the hurts that have shaped our lives. [Lamentations 1:21] But once in, the Lord will change that stony heart to one of flesh, [Ezekiel 36:26] a heart that can feel love especially the love of the Lord. We are now ready to walk as He wants us to walk. That is to walk in His footsteps [Hosea 14:9] and not that of the way of the world [1 John 2:15] and all that leads us away from the Lord. [Deuteronomy 28:14]
We, the people have come to know the Lord, now for the next step the spiritual restoration. It is one thing to know about Yeshua it is something very different to know Him and stand in His presence. [Psalm 24:3-5] Reading the Word tells us all about the Lord but it is through those personal experiences that we get to know Him. [1 Corinthians 1:6] The first step in knowing Him is to believe every word He has written in His Word [Romans 10:9] and live those words. [Psalm 33:21] Live as He lived, in the Kingdom and not the World. [John 17:14] We need to love as He loved, a love that goes beyond the normal and reaches out to all people at all times. [Psalm 117:2] Then slowly but surely the spiritual knowledge of the Lord will grow within us if we continue on that narrow path. [Matthew 7:14] In Yeshua we can put the old life away and start afresh, just like being Born Again when the past is no more and we can look forward to a beautiful future. [John 3:3]
His path leads us into a wonderful world of beauty and yes knowledge of Him, because so many people go the knowledge path hoping to know Him. But it’s in knowing Him that brings the knowledge that we really need to be able to follow Him. Yeshua said He would not leave us or forsake us. [Hebrew 13:5] He left so we could have the helper, [John 16:7] the One who would reveal all things to us, the Holy Spirit. [John 15:26] The Holy Spirit is not someone we learn about but someone to experience. The power, [1 Peter 1:5] the force, [Acts 4:33] the revealer, [John 14:26] whatever name we place on Him is not the point, the point is to accept the one Yeshua sent to help us understand His Word, His ways and to know Him. Through the Spirit of God we learn about the reality and the actions of Yeshua, what they meant then and what they mean to us here and now. [Matthew 28:20]
The truth is all that has gone before us has been done to prepare us to be able to stand in His presence. [2 Corinthians 5:10] We cried out for help allowing Yeshua to enter our hearts. We allowed the Lord to fill our hearts with the Spiritual revealed through the Holy Spirit all to ready us for the day we stand before Him. [Romans 14:10] This meeting of the Lord can come in one of two ways, we go to meet Him or He once more stands on the Mount of Olives overlooking His city, the city of the Great King. Either way we need to prepare and be ready for the coming of the King. [Zechariah 14:4]
Israel was once prepared for His coming and I believe is being prepared for His return, whenever that will be. The question is are we allowing ourselves to be prepared through following His Word and learning what he requires of each and everyone of us? All this can be summed up in these words, “I need you Lord, help me Lord, I surrender my life to you Lord”. Then we will have the peace that passes all understanding and the preparation is almost complete [Philippians 4:7] which goes a long way to prepare us for what may lie ahead.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9