A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
Prepare the way for the Lord!
Make straight paths for Him!
Matthew 3, 3
This is a prophecy from Isaiah. John the Baptist fulfilled it. He was in the wilderness, he was the voice of the Lord. His message was without compromise and without modern concessions: Repent! Confess your sin and forsake it! Walk in the ways of the Lord! – And all the people came to him and were baptised and cleansed of their sins. Even the Pharisees and the other pious people came, but John knew them and challenged them to show fruits of repentance, not just to talk piously.
It was John who prepared the people for Jesus. And Jesus thought highly of him.
It could be that we also wish for such “success” in preaching or witnessing. But this success was dearly bought. John did not get it for free, simply given to him or put in his cradle. He walked a hard path. He lived in the desert on locusts and wild honey, had a camel skin for clothes, tied together with a rope, unshaven, never a visit to the barber …… he looked really wild. But in the desert he got to know the Lord and learned to hear His voice. Without silence there is no spiritual power! All our activity cannot replace this silence, this listening to the Lord.
John was the voice of God in the desert; – and we? In fellowship with Jesus we get to know Him and He equips us with power and authority. Our human gifts are not enough to do spiritual work. That is why our churches are often so weak.
The goal of our preaching and conversations is always to pave a way for the Lord into the hearts of others. That which disturbs must be removed. And HE must be made great to the people, so that they also understand. And the Lord must give life to these words, no matter whether you stand on the pulpit or talk to a person in confidence. His power must work, otherwise your words will remain mere sound without effect.
O Lord, help me to listen to You! Oh, fill me with Your glory and power! Give me Your love for the lost! And give my words power, the power of life!