Monday, September 17, 2007
Prepare The Way
I want us to look at a couple of definitions to kick things off.
Pioneer: One of a group of foot soldiers detailed to make roads, dig intrenchments, etc., in advance of the main body.
A person who is among those who first enter or settle a region, thus opening it for occupation and development by others.
To be the first to open or prepare (a way, settlement, etc.). To take part in the beginnings of; initiate.
Forerunner: One who goes or is sent in advance to announce the coming of someone or something that follows; herald.
Cavalier: Ask most people what a Cavalier is and they'd likely tell you that it was a compact car sold by Chevrolet in the 1980's. But look and you'll find that they were mounted soldiers, knights, gallant ones. I want to be a Cavalier.
I took a quick look into some history of forerunners and pioneers and I found what I had assumed that I would - account after account of people that grew tired of the conditions where they were and decided to forge ahead into unchartered territories. They went out in small groups, pooled their resources and would vow to stick it out until a new land was established or to the death.
I'm fully convinced that we must live this lifestyle. Standing by while the world dies in a barren land can no longer be accepted. We must forge ahead and declare that a new land, a land teeming with life and abundance exists and we've been there. Rivers of living water flow freely and they're invited to drink. How will they know unless we're bold enough to venture out and pave the way? While many will willingly choose to remain in the dry and barren land, others would go if they only knew that it existed. How will they know unless we tell them? I must tell them!
We could fill pages with stories of forerunners such as John the Baptist, Paul or Stephen – ones who considered all rubbish compared to the advancement of the Kingdom of God. But I'd rather point out some verses that I've had on my wall for quite some time. In Luke 1:76-79 Zacharias, "filled with Holy Spirit, prophesied" of his son John saying, "And you child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; For you will go on before the LORD to prepare His ways; To give His people the knowledge of salvation, By the forgiveness of their sins, Because of the tender mercy of our God, With which the Sunrise from on high shall visit us, To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace." For me, this has always spoken to me clearly and I have "adopted" these scriptures as my own personal calling. I choose to "go on before the Lord to prepare His ways" for His second coming.
To change gears a bit, but to explain the same point, I'm reminded of a documentary that I watched recently about 1980's rock bands (many that I was very into at the time). When interviewing these bands, the question would be posed, "what will you do if this band doesn't make it big and become a huge success?" Member after member, time after time they'd give the same response, "We will make it big. We will succeed. There is no 'other option' for us. Either this works or we die trying." Of course music cannot compare to what I'm discussing here but you get my point.
There can be no "what if this doesn't work?" mentality. We have been given the end of the story in His Word and through Christ, we are more than conquerors! It was all sealed with Jesus willingly going to the cross and returning to overcome death and hell. Will I be called to lay down my physical life for the sake of the Gospel? Will you? I don't desire it and I don't think we should seek out martyrdom in any case. However we must be completely set on fulfilling this call to go before and announce the return of our King. May we not grow weary or shrink back. May we press on with endurance and finish well – an army of unified forerunners and pioneers into a new land!