Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Preparing for the Journey

Have you ever had to do something that you were unprepared for? Maybe a test when you were a student. Maybe a presentation at work. I am sure each of us knows of a time when we were unprepared. 

Preparation is a key to success.

Think about a gardener, he does not walk into the garden shed, reach around get handful of seeds and then just throw them on the ground and declare that he has planted his garden for the year. No, the gardener will dig up the ground, remove the rocks, and add fertilizer to give nutrients to the ground. All of that is done before any seeds are planted. For the gardener preparation is necessary for a fruitful harvest.

So is true in our lives as we begin a deeper spiritual journey. We need to take time to prepare. We need to remove the rocks which are the things that hinder us from growing deep roots. We need to add nutrients to our body and soul so that we can be ready to bear fruit.

A Fruitful Year has been designed to have a time of preparation. Use this time to prepare well.

Joshua 3 tells of the Israelites crossing the Jordon. They had been on a journey for years but now they were coming to the final steps of the journey and the reason for the journey, entering the promised land. In Joshua 3:5 the Israelites are commanded by Joshua to consecrate, sanctify, set apart themselves for God is about to do wonders among them. The Israelites need to prepare and be ready.

At the beginning of the New Testament before Jesus begins his work here on earth, God sends a messenger, John the Baptist, to prepare the way for Jesus. The people needed to be called to repentance and prepared for Jesus to come among them. God wanted the people prepared and ready.

Later as Jesus is ending his time here on earth, just before his death, he is teaching the disciples and preparing them for his death. The disciples do not really understand all that is about to happen. Jesus also says in John 14:3 that he is going to prepare a place for them. God is preparing a place for us.

Preparation is part of what God is doing. We need to view preparation as important.

Years ago, we drove from Philadelphia to Seattle, which is basically driving across the USA. We didn’t wake up one morning and decide to go on a drive and leave that day. We planned. We looked at a map. We packed the car. We bought snacks and things to keep us entertained. We were prepared for the journey. The same is true both for our goal setting and also for a spiritual journey.

Preparation is important.

As you begin A Fruitful Year, take time to prepare. Prepare yourself spiritually. Prepare yourself mentally. Prepare yourself physically. Prepare others around you.

Take time to remove the stones that are going to cause you to not grow. It might be excuses that you have. It could be how you spend your time. There are some things that you might consider stones but you cannot remove them. You will need to learn to grow around them. 

Be ready for the journey that God will take you on this year as you abide in him. Be ready to see God work.

Do not overlook the time that is needed to prepare. That is part of what will help you this year.

How do you need to prepare yourself for the coming year?


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