In the final days and moments before Christ’s death, Jesus instructs Peter and John “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover” (Luke 22:8). Jesus goes on to explain the plan, and the disciples go and do as He says. This, the beginning of an incredible time between the disciples and the Lord.
Joshua too gave preparation plans. They were at the edge of the Jordan River, ready to cross over into the Promised Land. Men were sent to each encampment telling the Israelites that when they saw the priests with the ark, they were to move out and follow it, (but keep your distance) “then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before” (3:2-4). Joshua tells the people, “Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you” (v5). The priests and the Ark (God’s presence) were to stand in the Jordan and eventually remained standing in the middle until everyone was on the other side. God parted the river, allowing His people to cross over to the much awaited, highly anticipated, it’s finally yours–Promised Land.
Preparation and positioning.
Other instances when folks prepared? Noah (enough said). David, bringing the Ark back (Take 2) he prepared and implemented the instructions (Ex 25:13-15; Nu 4:15; 1 Chron 15:15; 2 Samuel 6). And “the LORD gave him rest from all his enemies” (2 Samuel 7:1b). Jesus, He told the disciples to stay put and wait for the Presence and the power (Acts 1-2).
This preparing for God, has the Hebrew picture of adjusting. Picture if you will– straightening your shirt. Brushing the hair out of your eyes. Patting the dust off your pants. Standing ready. Head bowed. Possibly even taking your shoes off–for this is holy ground. Jesus and the disciples, their preparation carries the same exact meaning, to make ready, to adjust. The disciples, through obedience, adjusted their plan, their direction, their focus. The opposite of prepare? Neglect. It even goes to the extreme as to overlook, NOT by accident, but intentionally ignoring.
WOW! If we too had such anticipation–excitement for God to move in our midst! What would we do to prepare? Would we intentionally obey or ignore it? The people were called to consecrate themselves, simply put, step aside. Step aside, withdraw from (worldly things) and step to (God). It often meant to clean up and abstain from certain behaviors. Out of obedience, perhaps we too need to adjust our plan, our direction and focus. For some of us, just showing up is a clear starter. Listen. Listen for His instruction. *
Preparation and positioning – anticipation of Him.
*Many years ago, while in a very dry place spiritually. I asked the Lord what I needed to do to prepare for Him to move in my life. He was faithful and gave me precise instructions. I was to get up early (O dark hundred early) and read ONLY from a certain Bible that didn’t have any (not a one) note in it. No study notes, no handwritten notes. Just His word. Out of obedience, and anticipation, I prepared and positioned myself. I read and read and prayed. Just me and Him and His word. After a couple of months doing this, I ended up on the floor, face down – He moved. It was finally after six months I felt released to study again. One half of a year. One hundred and eighty-one days. Prepared and positioned in obedience.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds” – Hebrews 10:24).
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