“Prepare To Encounter The Lord”
“He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord.“ (Luke 1:17b)
Whenever God is about to do something great, He makes all the preparations necessary for people to encounter Him. The story of the birth of John the Baptist illustrates this principle so very well. The Messiah was about to be born into the world; the greatest event in the history of the Universe! He raised up John with the specific purpose of preparing a people to encounter Him! God sends angels to people in impossible circumstances. He summons wise men from the East. He uses an aged Prophet to announce His arrival to the Temple as an infant. He’s about to manifest Himself to the nation, and the people must be prepared to meet Him, or they may miss Him.
As Senior Pastor of Lighthouse Tabernacle, it is my responsibility to prepare you to encounter the Lord! Certainly this pertains to His Second Coming when He will lift up the church, raise the dead and judge all mankind. It also pertains to preparing you to learn to encounter Him when He comes to your life in various situations now! The Lord comes to us in many ways, in different seasons of our lives. He comes to us every time we worship Him together, when His Presence fills our hearts as we magnify and enthrone Him. He also comes to us in times of need; or when He calls us to accomplish a special task for Him. Yes, the Lord comes to us in many ways. My concern is to prepare you to be ready for Him when He comes to you.
In order for us not to ‘miss’ Him when He comes to us, we need to be taught and trained to recognize Him. We need to know His voice; discern His will; and learn how to follow His directions for our lives and our Kingdom Mission while we’re still here. We need to hear His voice in our prayer time; sense Him speak through the scriptures and even through others whom He uses to communicate with us! It takes discipline and effort to prepare for the Lord’s coming. Most of all, it takes TIME!
I am persuaded that the Lord is preparing to do something great in our day. Yes, I am referring to something involving the entire Body of Christ. I also know that He will come to each of our lives in different situations. Will you be prepared for His coming to you? Will you recognize Him, or just see a babe in a manger like so many other babies you’ve seen and have no room for Him? Will you be so distracted by sorrow or grief that you mistake Him for the gardener instead of the Risen Lord? Will you be so distracted by your past sins and life’s failures that you fail to recognize the Messiah is standing before you; the ONE Who can change your life and heal your wounds? Will you be able to recognize Him when He arrives in common circumstances of life, in the ordinary course of living in this world and not recognize Him?
What is it worth to you to be prepared for the coming of the Lord? Is it worth learning to pray more effectively? Study your Bible more seriously? Join more frequently to worship Him together as believers? Let’s determine that we will take definite steps in 2013 to be sure we’re ready for the Lord when He comes to us! Let’s determine to recognize Him and be ready to respond to Him throughout the New Year!
May the Lord bless you continually!
Love in Christ, Pastor Damian