In the wilderness
As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.’” Luke 3:4
This scripture was a prophecy in the Old Testament about the ministry of John the Baptist. In the reading today, John’s ministry was the fulfillment of this proclamation made by the Prophet Isaiah. John the Baptist was called the forerunner of the Messiah because his ministry was to prepare the way for Jesus’ ministry. When Jesus stepped into His public ministry after being baptized by John, John announced: He must increase, and I must decrease. (See John 3:30) John fulfilled this prophecy to the letter: 1. He was a voice crying in the wilderness because that was where he lived. 2. His ministry was to prepare the way of the Lord’s coming, 3. he made the path straight and clear for Jesus so that people were ready and watching for Him.
So, what does this mean for us today? Since this scripture was fulfilled 2000 years ago, how can we apply it to our lives and world today? Is this just another history lesson, or is there something we can do with it now in our time? The answer is absolutely, yes! Today, we are the voices crying out from the wilderness of the wild world we live in. We are preparing the way for His salvation message to get through to hearts of the people around us. We are walking the straight path in this crooked and perverse realm. All people will see the salvation of God through our witness and through our testimony. We are the forerunner of the return of our Savior, and we are to get this world ready for His return by getting the message spread throughout the whole earth.
How can we do this? By being the hands and feet of Jesus right where we are each day. By reaching out to the hurting and lost people in our neighborhoods and communities. I know this isn’t always easy to do but ask the Lord to open doors and give wisdom and understanding of what will reach individuals. Share what God has done in your life and love people right where they are. Let them know God wants to help them, He loves them and made a way out of every pit they have fallen into. People need to know that all they have to do is call on the name of the Lord and He will save them. (See Romans 10:13)
Today I want to encourage you to prepare the way for the Lord from the wilderness of your world to reach those around you. Our part is not the work to save people, we are only to share the love of God and His great salvation message with them. The Holy Spirit does the work, and He is the One that does the saving. We just need to let those around us know that God is good and has a good planned for them. You can back it up by telling them about all His goodness in your own life. Prepare the way of the Lord today and He will show up and rescue people right where they are.
Today’s scripture reading: Luke 3:1-6
1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene,
2 while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.
3 And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins,
4 as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.
5 Every valley shall be filled And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough ways smooth;
6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’ ”