My husband and I have accepted a call to a new church. We are in the process of moving to another part of the state, a different city, and a new ministry. We will live in a new house and worship with a new Body of believers.
The church we will serve is also preparing to receive a new pastor. We all look forward with anticipation to this new thing God is doing.
Likewise, Isaiah reminded the Israelites that they needed to prepare for a new thing God was going to do. “. . . Prepare the way of the Lord in the wilderness; make a straight highway for our God in the desert. Every valley will be lifted up, and every mountain and hill will be leveled; the uneven ground will become smooth and the rough places, a plain. And the glory of the Lord will appear, and all humanity together will see it, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken (40:3–5).
The prophet Isaiah used imagery the Israelites would have understood. To prepare for the coming of a king, roads would have to be straightened and cleared to make the king’s travel smooth. A grand banquet would be prepared for his arrival, and every detail of his visit would be worked out. A herald would also travel along to announce the king’s coming.
In Matthew 3:3, John the Baptist quotes from this prophetic passage as he reminds the people to prepare for the coming Messiah. How should they prepare? Through repentance. They were to change their way of thinking and turn their backs on sin. Repentance was the prerequisite for receiving forgiveness and salvation. John urged the people to repent because he knew the King was coming—they needed to prepare.
Is your heart prepared as we enter this Christmas season? Have you cleared the “roads” of your heart from any obstacles preventing you from receiving the transformed life He longs for you to have? Is your heart prepared to welcome Jesus into your everyday, ordinary life?
Allow Jesus to fill the empty places in your life. Humble yourself before Him and give Him access to the rough and uneven places that need to be smoothed. Only He can make a straight highway for our God in the desert. And then, prepare to see the glory of the Lord!
Thank you for this well written and timely devotional.