Preparation Time (Part 3)
The time between asking for His will & His will coming to fruition is for preparation.
Has God given you a word but it’s not coming to pass? Ask yourself if you have been actively preparing for that word given. If you feel like God has plans for you to teach then start storing up God’s Word inside of you. Study His Word more. Know what God has to say. If you feel like God wants you to share the gospel but you aren’t sure yet in what way, study and learn all about the salvation process. Why did Jesus have to come? Why was Jesus not accepted by the Jewish leaders? Why did Jesus have to die? Why couldn’t Jesus just come and reign forever right then and there? What was accomplished on the cross? How does that effect someone right here and now who is unsaved? Prove yourself faithful by learning and studying and praying about what you feel God is moving you towards. That act of obedience alone shows God you are serious about His kingdom and His plans for you. This is a place where many of us drop the ball. We pray & then we just wait. We need to be preparing while we wait.
What do the scriptures say about preparation?
1. 1 Peter 1:13-16 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
What does all of that mean in simple terms?
a. If you had to hire someone to work on a project, would you want to do it with someone who was half heartedly into the work or someone who wanted to give it their best? Wouldn’t you want to hire someone who exemplified the qualities your company stood for? Your local grocery store doesn’t hire just anyone; no they want to hire people who exemplify cleanliness and a friendly attitude. Shouldn’t we exemplify the characteristics of God if we want to work for him?
1. Ouch, that might sting a little. We know we are supposed to be conforming ourselves into the image of Christ but what does that have to do with being in the will of God? Well, when you begin to represent yourself as a Christian then you represent God. People look at your life, the way you live every day, the way you talk, everything you do. If you are talking about God but your life does not reflect Him in you, then most people really don’t want to hear what you have to say.
2. How many times have we heard someone say “I don’t need to go to Church with
a bunch of hypocrites!” Why do so many people say that about Christians? It is
because we are called to be holy & separate from the world and the world knows
this & yet they see us fitting right in with them, living not much differently than
they do. This makes our testimomy & the gospel we preach ineffective. They don’t
see it working in our own lives so why should they give it a try? Also, for many
people they do not make clear distinctions between the actions of the person and
God. When a Christian commits an offense often times you will hear them say
Something like “And you call yourself a Christian!” They carry the negative feel-
ings over to God. They call us hypocrites because we speak one thing and do
another. If you are to be effective for God then you need to exemplify who God is.
3. This is a now command, not a past tense command. Do not be worried about
how you come to God, as long as you are serious about reflecting Him then He
will help transform you. God knows the motives of our hearts. Do not worry about
the past, ask forgiveness of your sins, repent from them and present yourself to
God as a vessel who desires to be transformed into His likeness.
b. What are we preparing for action? We must prepare our minds for action. If you don’t know what to prepare for then simply begin by praying for guidance and just study the word. Store it up in you so God has something to pull up out of you. We need to know the word so that God’s Holy Spirit can direct us in what to say, to move us to the right scriptures and answers to questions we are asked. We do not become zombies when we are speaking for God. You can’t pull money out of a bank if you haven’t made deposits. Deposit the word of God in you so that when the time comes God has the ability to pull up out of you the word He needs you to speak at the appropriate time.
c. Be self-controlled. We are called to action as believers to tell others about the gospel, to love each other and conform ourselves to the image of Christ. We need to be able to control ourselves and our desires. We need to control our thoughts and our actions. What areas do lose control over? Take those things to God and study them in your Bible’s concordance. Study self control and see what you can learn about it. More often than not, God is not a problem zapper. Oh, you know the prayer “Lord, please take this thing from me. I have tried and I just can’t stop, please take it, you could just zap it away Lord.”
1. Do you have a problem area? Anger, jealousy, yell at your kids too much? Study
Romans 7&8 then hop over to Galations 5:22. The very last word you will read
says self control. Joyce Meyer tells a great story about this. She had an issue with
losing control of her temper and yelling in her house about various grievances. She
had been praying for God to just take that away from her so she could stop doing
it. God told her you can control yourlself. She said “I can’t Lord”, he said “You
can”. God immediately gave her a vision of sorts. In her vision she was in her
home upset and yelling about her frustrations once more. There was a knock at the
door so she stops to answer it. It is her pastor and instantly she is calm and happy.
She smiles as she greets her pastor and invites him in. “Oh pastor, so nice to see
you. How wonderful that you have come to visit.” She is speaking softly now and
is in perfect control of her emotions. At that moment she knew that she could
indeed control herself, it was a choice.
d. We are not asked to sit and wait. We are called to prepare ourselves in advance for the work we are going to do. We need to ask ourselves these questions “Have I really been preparing to be a worker for the Lord?” “Can God count on me?”
2. Colossians 4:6 let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
a. Be kind when you speak, be respectful.
b. We need to be knowledgeable about what we are speaking to people about. We
need to be able to talk with people in such a way that they want to know more about
God and the story of Jesus. We need to talk about a personal relationship with the
Lord in such a way that would make someone say to themselves “I want what they
c. Speak as you would like to be spoken to.
3. James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
a. Are you recognizing a theme yet? God is looking for people who reflect His
character and are willing to be conformed into His likeness. You don’t have to be
perfect before God can use you but you need to come willing to be like Him.
We need to come willing to submit ourselves completely to Him and be willing to be
doers of the word. You don’t have to come already a “Christian superstar” to be a part
of God’s plan. Heaven’s no! Just be willing to let him transform you. Do you want to
reflect God’s character and do His will? Do you earnestly want to seek Him and live
out His plans for you? Because that is all you need.
b. If we simply read and study the Word of God but never put into practice what we
study then we are deceiving ourselves.
4. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
a. It isn’t always easy but we should remain joyful, pray always and be thankful
no matter our circumstances. If you can’t find it in you to be joyful where you are now
then be joyful about where you were in the past. Read the Psalms and you will find
joy in those. Read them aloud to God if need be and stand on His word. If you are in
some kind of trial it will not be there forever. Why is being joyful important to being
in the will of God? The joy of the Lord is our strength. When you are full of the joy
of the Lord you feel like you can do anything! Who wants you to be weak? The devil!
When we feel weak and sorrowful we don’t feel like we can do much of anything and
that is right where Satan wants you! He wants you ineffective for God. If need be then
be joyful in the fact that one day you will live in perfect peace with God and Jesus.
b. The more you tune into God the more He can tune into you. You can’t receive if
you are not paying attention to Him.
Okay, we have established that you have a special purpose, each one of us. We have talked about how God will be working in us as we are in His will. We know to seek Him daily and stay tuned in to the Holy Spirit daily and we talked about how to begin preparing our minds. Now, let's talk some more about what keeps Christians from knowing God's will for their lives. Please read What Keeps Us from Knowing His Will (Part 4)