Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Fast Theme Day 3: Finished work, unfinished work.
Isaiah's prophecy was fulfilled in John the Baptizer's life. "A voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare the way of the Lord, make straight paths for Him. Every valley will be raised up. Every mountain will be brought low." Isaiah 40:3
Isaiah used a road building metaphor that described John's ministry. Whenever there was royal visit to a city, the people of that city would go out and smooth the road, filling in potholes and removing stones so that the royal procession would have a dignified arrival to the city. John called people to prepare the road of their hearts for Jesus' arrival.
In many ways that's what we've been doing as we've fasted. We've been preparing the road of our hearts for God's kingdom to come in fresh ways in our midst. Christ has come and Christ will come again, but in between these times He has called us to pray, "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." The finished work of the Cross spurs us on to the unfinished work of the Kingdom.
God calls us to be road builders preparing the way for the coming kingdom. A few things to consider in prayer on our final day of fasting in this regard:
1. Road builders embrace interruption
The people went out to the wilderness to prepare the way of the Lord. They embraced interruption. This fast has interrupted our schedules, our meal times and our family rhythms, but God's presence and work in our lives makes that so worth it. How can I set in place some ongoing rhythms of devotion beyond the fast, that continue to keep the road of my heart repentant and expectant?
Give God permission to interrupt you regularly.
2. Road builders engage in excavation.
If there were valleys and mountains in the road, it must have been a pretty rough road. God is in the business of filling in valleys of pessimism, cynicism and isolation. He is also in the business of leveling mountains of pride, self-sufficiency and addiction. Let's be honest about our valley/mountain tendencies and give him access to the road of our hearts.
3. Road builders work with a common vision
Of course, there is a broad call to prepare the way for God's coming Kingdom. God has also given us a focussed vision of church multiplication through our 3in3 vision. We are trusting God to enable us to plant 1 multisite in SoCal, 1 autonomous church in north America and 1 church in a World A context. Pray for the provision of workers, finance and doors of opportunity for this vision to come to fruition. Ask God to make clear what part you are to play in 3in3and me?
Is it to give, to pray, to train or to go?
Let's be asking God to show us which way we are to prepare and make a commitment to that end.
See you tonight at 6:30pm for the feast and celebration with our friend Todd Proctor!