“In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”
Purpose. It’s the one thing that everyone wants for their life, but many struggle to find.
People strive to discover it in their job, accomplishments, and in their relationships. But what if there is an even deeper element to your ultimate purpose?
What if you were given the tools to live out this purpose long before you were born?
Pastors and ministry leaders are not immune to the search for purpose. We have felt God’s call in our lives; that is why we are in ministry. But often a moment comes when we are faced with an inevitable question:
Is this really my purpose?
Did God really call me here?
In my book, Do Something: Make Your Life Count, I have laid out five principles to living out the plan that God has set you on. There are 5 Ps: Preparation, Purpose, Pain, Power, and Passion.
I want to focus here on Preparation: how the God of the universe has prepared YOU to live out His plan for your life, and your role in encouraging your congregation to do the same.
How can you know that God has prepared the way for your ministry?
Look at Jesus’ life. God prepared the way for Jesus’ ministry by sending someone to lay the foundation, John the Baptist.
Even John the Baptist was not sent out to preach without preparation, God spoke to Isaiah about his ministry long before John was born. God has long displayed His faithfulness by going before those who are furthering the Kingdom. He will not abandon you.
You and I are not messiahs, of course, but just as Jesus came to do something to love this world, we too have a mandate to do something loving and, in our own small Matthew 3:1-3 way, to bring hope to someone who is hopeless. Every possible spiritual advantage God could set aside for you, He did. He had your name placed on the plan long before even your great-great-great grandparents were born. For one simple purpose: to prepare you to do something to make your life count.
Do you believe that God is preparing the way for your ministry?
This foundational belief can start a chain reaction. God used Isaiah to prepare the way for John the Baptist, who in turn did the same for Jesus. If you understand and trust that God has given you all the tools you need to follow His plan for your life, He may in turn be able to use you to prepare the way for someone else.
Imagine a church mobilized to live out God’s calling for their life. It all starts with understanding that God will go ahead of you, paving the way.