Lesson 3 – Prepare the Way for the Lord
October 14, 2021
PATMOS BIBLE STUDY
FINDING GOD IN THE DESERT OF THE SOUL
“In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye ~ Deuteronomy 32:10
Lesson 3 – Prepare the Way for the Lord
“A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. 5And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” ~ Isaiah 40:3-5 (NIV)
God is not waiting for you on the other side of your troubles. He is coming to meet you in the middle of your desert. He will infuse his presence into your situation, but you have to prepare the way for him.
Preparation is defined as the things that you do or the time that you spend preparing for something.
FIVE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO PREPARE THE WAY FOR THE LORD
Everything we do for God must be done in faith. “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV). You have to take God at his word.
When God seems silent, it’s because he is listening.
Prayer is the language of the heart. Even when you can’t put your thoughts and feelings into words, God understands your deepest groaning.
“Listen to my words, Lord, consider my lament. 2 Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. 3 In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. ~ Psalm 5:1-3
Nothing is going to grow until the seeds are planted. The Bible tells us that the Word of God is like seed that is planted in the soul (See Matthew 13:3-23).
“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” — Cynthia Occelli
Ask yourself, “What is the condition of the today?”
Ask the Lord to soften your heart and to break up any hard, unplowed ground. Invite him to plant the seed of his Word deeply into your heart and mind. Ask him to send the rain of the Holy Spirit to water the seed and give it life.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” ~ Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
So don’t give up. Get into the Word of God and get the Word of God into you.
Clutter, noise, and meaningless activities can be unnecessary distractions. There just might be too much going on in your life—too many yeses, too many commitments—you’re spreading yourself too thin. In the desert seasons you have to carefully parcel out your resources. You must learn to say no. Categorize everything into what’s important and what’s not important. Only do the important things so you can focus more attention on God.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” ~ Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)
15 There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. 17 I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips; no longer will their names be invoked. ~ Hosea 2:15, 17 (NIV)
Just as in the Valley of Achor, you must make a ruthless search for idols—for things in your possession that God has ordered you to destroy.
“Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them.” ~ Jonah 2:8 (NIV)
Are you holding onto anything that is causing you to forfeit the fullness of God’s grace in your life?
“They have cut themselves off from my help by worshiping the idols that they made for themselves from their silver and gold; they have brought about their own destruction.” ~ Hosea 8:4b (TLB/NLT)
“They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless.” ~ 2 Kings 17:15b (NIV)
When you feed your passion for God, you starve your passion for worthless idols. When you release your grip on worthless idols, your hands become available to receive more of what God wants for you.
“5 With singing lips my mouth will praise you . . . 7 I sing in the shadow of your wings.” ~ Psalm 63:5b, 7b (NIV)
“[In the desert] she will sing as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt.” ~ Hosea 2:15b (NIV)
Like a good shepherd hearing the voice of a lost sheep, the Lord will hear your voice and find you in your wilderness. So let songs of praise and worship be the soundtrack of your desert experience. When you fill your world with worship, the Lord will fill your life with his presence.
“A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 5 And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” ~ Isaiah 40:3, 5 (NIV)
What the mouth of the Lord has spoken, the hand of the Lord will accomplish!