“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
A voice of one who cries: Prepare in the wilderness the way of the Lord [clear away the obstacles]; make straight and smooth in the desert a highway for our God! 4 Every valley shall be lifted and filled up, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked and uneven shall be made straight and level, and the rough places a plain. 5 And the glory (majesty and splendor) of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it. Isaiah 40:3-5 AMP
John, the Baptist, was set apart for a special mission from the moment he was conceived. He was a messenger sent by God to prepare the way for Jesus. His task was to put everyone on alert that the long-awaited Savior was finally here. He called on them to repent of their sin, to turn from the world and worldly pursuits, and to prepare their hearts to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Messiah. God is found by them who seek Him. You must look for Him; you must seek Him; you must be hungry for Him – draw nigh to Him and He will draw nigh to you.
Seek, inquire for, and require the Lord while He may be found [claiming Him by necessity and by right]; call upon Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have love, pity, and mercy for him, and to our God, for He will multiply to him His abundant pardon. Isaiah 55:6-7 AMP
The Lord sends messengers out ahead to prepare the hearts of people for His coming. If you are a Christian, then you are a bearer of good news. When you tell people how much Jesus loves them and what He has done for them, you are preparing the way for them to receive Him as their Lord and Savior. They might receive Him into their hearts immediately, they might receive Him after some days, or months, or even years, but as long as you are as faithful and as bold as John to speak the truth, they will never be able to say, “I never heard the Gospel. I did not know that I had to seek the Lord. I did not know what Jesus did for me. I did not know that I had to confess with my mouth and believe in my heart to be saved and to make heaven my eternal destination.” John did not take an opinion poll before he preached. He just preached what the Spirit told him to say, regardless of who was offended. Because he boldly spoke the truth, he lost his life, but he never backed down, he never compromised and those who heard him have no excuse.
As the people were in suspense and waiting expectantly, and everybody reasoned and questioned in their hearts concerning John, whether he perhaps might be the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed one). 16 John answered them all by saying, I baptize you with water; but He Who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of Whose sandals I am not fit to unfasten. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 17 His winnowing shovel (fork) is in His hand to thoroughly clear and cleanse His [threshing] floor and to gather the wheat and store it in His granary, but the chaff He will burn with fire that cannot be extinguished. 18 So with many other [various] appeals and admonitions he preached the good news (the Gospel) to the people. Luke 3:15-18 AMP
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John to be baptized by him. 14 But John protested strenuously, having in mind to prevent Him, saying, It is I who have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me? 15 But Jesus replied to him, Permit it just now; for this is the fitting way for [both of] us to fulfill all righteousness [that is, to perform completely whatever is right]. Then he permitted Him. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, He went up at once out of the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he [John] saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on Him. 17 And behold, a voice from heaven said, This is My Son, My Beloved, in Whom I delight! Matthew 3:13-17 AMP
John never pointed people to himself, but he always pointed them to the Father, to Jesus and to the Holy Spirit. That is your responsibility, to point people to the Word, to the cross, to Jesus Christ. You are the messenger, and not only that, you are commissioned by Jesus, Himself, and anointed by the Holy Spirit, to demonstrate the power of God to your generation! When you talk about Jesus, when you do the works of Jesus, you show the glory of God in an earthen vessel and He is lifted up and glorified. There is no other way to prepare the way of the Lord and to prepare people to meet Jesus, than to pray and most importantly, to preach the good news of the Gospel.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! Romans 10:13-15 KJV