A Voice, Crying!
Isaiah 40:3-4 is the forerunner message and is the verse that John the Baptist quoted to say who he was when he came on the scene.
“A voice cries: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain shall be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.’” (ESV)
Later we read in John 1:23, “‘I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’” (NIV)
John says that he is that voice, and we know that he partially and fully completed that prophecy. He fulfilled it since he was right there crying ‘repent the kingdom of God is at hand.” He later pointed to Jesus and said, ‘Behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.’
John came baptizing, and later he would baptize Jesus as if he were anointing the High Priest. John indeed was a voice in the Judean wilderness and in the wilderness of darkness, where there was no authentic voice from Heaven. He preached among the religious spirits that could not recognize the Messiah was among them.
John only partially fulfilled that word because He was preparing the way, and the Messiah did appear, but Jesus returned to Heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father, waiting for the Father to say, “Go get your bride, son.”
John is dead and numbered among the cloud of witnesses in the New Jerusalem that are watching you and me saying, ‘Hey are you going to prepare the way this time?” There was no church around in John’s day. Most people were trapped in a religious system where they went to the synagogue, and the rabbi taught. They tried living according to the Law as strictly as possible, with males going ‘‘up’ to Jerusalem three times per year as was prescribed.
Then comes John, who sought the face of the Lord in the desert with a group known as the Essenes. They lived a life of fasting and prayer and studying the texts looking for the Messiah. It was these people that Jesus referred to when he sent some disciples to go and prepare the place for them to take the Pesach (Passover Meal). These were the men who lived in an upper room outside the city, but today is beside the old city.
John was one of them. There were specific characteristics that they had. The Jews have been taught since Malachi’s days to look for Elijah first. Many today are looking for Elijah, and perhaps he is one of the two witnesses, or maybe it is a ‘spirit’ that will be in a few people or on the body of Christ as a whole. I don’t know, and I am tired of trying to figure it out. I am of the mindset now the whole church is like Elijah. We have been entrusted with the task of ‘preparing the way of the Lord.’
In the last thousand or so years, there have been those forerunners who stood out because there were no others to take their own special place and go and do in the name of the Lord. The Patrick’s, Boniface’s, William Carey’s, Amy Carmichael’s, Zinzendorff’s, Wesley’s, Spurgeon’s, William Seymour’s, Billy Graham’s, and Steve Hill’s, just to name a few, took their role and obeyed the Holy Spirit. They walked in power and anointing to fulfill their task.
But, what if there were hundreds more like them in their day. Just imagine how many souls would have been won, unreached peoples reached, or how many healings, deliverances, and miracles would have taken place. How many intercessors or worshippers missed out on the opportunity of a lifetime because they didn’t take the time to prepare themselves?
The Church is the bride of Christ and should be preparing the world for Christ’s imminent return. To do that, she must be made ready herself. It is a two-fold assignment that runs concurrently. The bride must be made prepared but must also prepare the way. But you might be saying I thought the forerunner prepared the way.
It is like men are the bride of Christ with women, yet women are Sons of God with men.
I do believe that there are forerunners who have unique jobs in the kingdom in preparing the way. I am a small voice who is called to write, preach, and sound the shofar. I also expect miracles, salvation, wonders, deliverance, and healings to occur as a result of my ministry. These things should follow every believer, but they don’t. (Mark 16)
Because so much of the church does not believe in most of the things that she is supposed to, it is incumbent upon a few to be the forerunners and carry the glory in these last days. But, the task still belongs to every believer.
We are called to be worshippers, intercessors, healers, deliverers, and we can all prophecy. Yes, we all have the Holy Spirit, and we can be intimate with Jesus and serve him by doing mercy deeds. We can do spiritual warfare and fellowship with the saints. The Bride is capable of doing everything that Jesus did. She must prepare herself and the way of her King.
This is a call to action, to be a voice in the wilderness of the earth and remove the stones of injustice in spiritual warfare, healing, prophesying, preaching, and so much more. But, you have to see yourself as important and a necessary member of the body of Christ. You and I are raising valleys every time we stand in the gap in intercession or give a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name.
What follows are twelve practical ways that the Church must operate in before we can see the way of the Lord prepared. Many are talking about training Forerunners in the power of Elijah, and some are talking about burning and shining lamps. How are they (we) supposed to accomplish ‘preparing the way.?’
That is the purpose of this writing. I want to take you on a journey to discover the practical ways that the church must be doing to prepare the way for the King’s return. Each of us, in our particular way, is a forerunner. There are those with powerful ministries, but none more powerful than when you and I worship, pray, serve, deliver, preach, operate in the gifts or fellowship.
We are each called and anointed for specific purposes, so let’s take that anointing and glory to a dark world and tell them that the King is returning!