Do you take a trip or plan your vacation without first counting the cost and consulting a map to determine how you are going to get to your destination? I know the way to my mother’s house. But each time I make the trip I consult the map, calculate the cost, and determine how long it is going to take to get there.
John the Baptist came preaching a message of baptism. He came to prepare the way for people to receive the message Jesus would bring.
“That explains it,” said Paul. “John preached a baptism of radical life-change so that people would be ready to receive the One coming after him, who turned out to be Jesus. If you’ve been baptized in John’s baptism, you’re ready now for the real thing, for Jesus.” (Acts 19:4, The Message).
Maybe you have been made ready and you have begun following Jesus. Now the question is, “What is it he is preparing you for?” I believe we are always being prepared for something. God takes all of our experiences in life and puts them together for His purposes and His glory. He isn’t going to waste anything. The hinderance to our moving forward tends to come in at a time of failure. How we respond to that “failure” is crucial to our moving forward.
In Matthew 4, Jesus calls Peter to follow and immediately Peter follows. Peter spends the next three years with Jesus being prepared for a future that he had not come to a complete understanding of. Leading up to the time when Jesus was to be crucified – Jesus prepared Peter and the other disciples for what was to come. In John 21, after the resurrection, Jesus prepares Peter once again for what is still to come. John tells us Jesus was telling Peter to, “feed his sheep.” Jesus also hinted to Peter at the kind of death he would suffer. Once again Jesus says to Peter, “Follow me.”
Peter’s life is an example of the growth we each experience as we follow Jesus. As we read the Gospels, we see all of the life-lessons each of the disciples experienced as they followed Jesus. There were a lot of great moments as they followed and trusted him. But there were also moments of failure… even denial as we read concerning Peter. Jesus doesn’t give up on the man. He continues to love, forgive, and prepare.
Maybe you are at a place in life where you have failed in some way. I hope this is a reminder to you that Jesus loves you. Jesus forgives you. And that Jesus is still preparing you for your destiny. Have you been praying for “rain”? Then prepare your field and get ready for the rain.
Photo by: James White