John the Baptist. The cousin of Jesus. Leapt in his mother’s womb when he was in the presence of the King as He grew in His own mother’s womb. The prophet Isaiah foretold that John would be the one to prepare the way of the Lord (Isaiah 40:3).
And that He did. Prepared the way. Preaching a message of repentance while dressed in camel’s hair, John captured the attention of the people so that Jesus could capture their hearts.
Quite an odd fellow to be the preparer of the Way. But, God often takes the unlikelies and turns them into heroes, warriors, leaders in His army. Yet as odd as John was, people were drawn to him. They came from all over the land to see this peculiar preacher-man who ate locusts and listen to his foretelling of what was to come.
Maybe it was his oddity that drew in the crowds.
Maybe it was the timely message he preached.
Maybe it was his out-of-the-box style.
Or, maybe it was his boldness.
Maybe it was his acceptance of all men and his intolerance of the religious leaders that turned the heads of the people his way.
Maybe it was the Person behind his message that beckoned men and women to come.
Whatever it was, or wasn’t, the people came, and they came in droves.
John the Baptist conveyed a message and he conveyed it well.
This man was created for a purpose. Every day he fleshed out his faith and belief in that purpose through the way he lived his life. And in the end, John the Baptist died because of a resolute dedication to his purpose in preparing the way of the Lord.
Like John, you and I are created for a purpose, a purpose that involves a daily fleshing out of our faith in the Lord.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
Jeremiah 1:5, NKJV
As warriors in God’s army, daughters and sons belonging to THE royal palace, we’re called to live out our faith in the King through our day-to-day activities.
Is faith fleshed out through actions easy? Sometimes yes…often times no.
Does fleshed out faith look the same for everyone? No, because God has placed each of us within a specific realm of influence for such a time as this. Our realms of influence may not be the same, but the Message we’re to proclaim, the faith we’re to live out, never changes—the message of and belief in the only Truth that saves, heals, and restores the lost.
What are some “realms of influence” you and I are a part of? Whether you’re married, single, a stay-at-home parent, a work-outside-the-home-parent, a widow, a college student, or a young person in middle or high school—WHOEVER you are—God has given each and every one of us a people group to influence. For the longest time I lived with my eyes focused on the Masai people of Kenya, Africa thinking they were the ones I would dedicate lifelong service to. God has since shown me that the people I’m to serve are those with whom I come in contact with every single day: my family, the students I lead and pour into, the parents I partner with, those I speak to and teach through different avenues, those in my church, my neighbors and friends and community.
Within the realm of influence that God had positioned John the Baptist, he was purposeful in his day-to-day meetings and activities. He was bold, out-of-the-box, and compassionate. John was fearless and 100% devoted to the ministry he was given; he was extremely passionate and understood his purpose completely.
As we think over the life of John the Baptist, the ministry he was called to, and the way in which he fleshed out that calling, let’s ask ourselves some questions about how we’re fleshing out God’s purpose for our lives.
~What can I do in my life to better get across the message of the Gospel?
~Am I purposeful in everything that I do?
~Am I bold? Compassionate? Fearless?
~How is my deliverance of this very timely Message?
~Am I devoted and passionate in my preparation and execution of the Message?
~Do I really understand my calling and my purpose for where God has placed me?
~Am I helping and/or leading others to prepare their hearts to hear from God?
~Are my attitudes, actions, thoughts, and words holy and just?
~Am I willing to die for the sake of the Message?
John had a purpose, he knew what that purpose was, and he embraced that purpose with a passion. His purpose? To flesh out his faith in the One who was coming to take away the sins of His people.
You have a purpose. I have a purpose. That purpose? To flesh out our faith in the One who is coming again to receive His bride, the Church.
Fleshing out one’s faith is not always easy, so you and I must walk this path together encouraging, sharing, and spurring on one another until Jesus returns. Do we have to wear camel’s hair and eat locusts in order to live out our faith? Most likely not, but let’s embrace our callings with a passion and boldness that will turn the heads of the people to the Savior. And, while we’re at it, how about a little chocolate to give us an extra boast of energy!
“So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.”
Hebrews 10:22-25, the Message