July 30, 2021
We often do not understand this of God, for we understand far less than we could. But if you study the ways of God, you will discover that God is always previous.
He is perfect in His timing and preparation. In the final verses of the Old Testament, God tells His people that Christ is coming. But before He arrives, God says, He will send someone to do preparatory work to get ready for the Messiah.
“Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.” (Malachi 4:5-6)
We know from our perspective that this prophet was John the Baptist. This God-called man was used to show people their sins and their need for a Savior. He constantly pointed them to the coming Christ so that their hearts were ready when Christ came.
HIS PREPARATORY WORK NOW
God is the same, and His ways are constant. This means that He is doing His preparatory work in at least two ways right now, first, in nations, and second, among individual people. Study the five Great Awakenings in American history. You will see that in the decade prior to the explosion of revival and spiritual awakening, there was always a rising tide of sin, desperation, and a new emphasis on what it takes for us to return to God. There is evidence that we have been in that process for several years.
But He is also always doing this kind of work in your life personally on a regular, cyclical basis. You may not realize it, but He’s getting you ready. He is orchestrating circumstances to bring you back to Him, to prepare you for the next step in restoring you to the “measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” To make You desperate and hungry for His glory. And this is because He loves you and knows what it takes to prepare you for what is ahead.
Don’t resist His work. Ask Him for understanding and then rejoice and cooperate, even if it is hard. Realize that each season of spiritual preparation is an invitation to draw near and experience more of His glory and more of His usefulness. God always knows what He is about.
Father, as David said, “Help me to know Your ways that I may know You.” Let me understand Your gracious work in my life and our land so I will not misunderstand and possibly resist Your activity. And lead me to cooperate fully with You. Let your preparatory work not be wasted on me or on our land.
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