Luke weaves together Mary and Elizabeth, Jesus birth and the birth of John the Baptist in a very interesting manner. It began with the angel’s announcement to Zechariah and then the angel Gabriel appearing to Mary. Before Luke chronicles the birth of Jesus, he gives Zechariah’s spontaneous prophesy as he was filled with the Holy Spirit at the birth of his son John. In this prophetic declaration, Zechariah says that John will be the “prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare His ways” (Luke 1:76).
What I see important in this prophecy is that “the child [John] grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel” (1:80). The record does not tell us that John attended the most prestigious rabbinical school because of his unusual role as “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord” (3:4). He attended ‘The School of Intimacy with God’ in the wilderness away from all the religious and intellectual minds of the day. The wilderness is a humble place to be for preparation when you realize the importance of the public role ahead.
Notice also that in this hidden place, John “grew and became strong in spirit”. The meaning of the term “became strong” is that it is a “divine investment of divine power” which grew over the time John was in the wilderness. This was absolutely necessary for John to face the religious ‘big wigs’ of his day with the message of repentance. There is no doubt in my mind that God wants to use a “wilderness” training today to prepare the humble so they become “strong in spirit”. This ministry is witnessing God do this in a few corners of the world other than in the USA. I am calling on anyone who is willing to “decrease” and be trained in the wilderness to contact us. There is a desperate need in the church today to break away from tradition which quenches the Spirit and RETURN to the Scriptures as the model of life and ministry. Sadly, there are so very few who are willing to take this path. Are you willing to be counted among the “few”?
PREPARING FOR GREAT WORKS OF GOD IS DONE BY THOSE WHO GROW IN HUMILITY.
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