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Recently as I sipped a cup of coffee I closed my eyes and thanked God for the day I would be able to share a cup with my beloved. A loud humming interrupted my thoughts. BZZZ, BZZZ. Curiously, I walked over to my phone to a text that read, “The Spirit of the Lord says be prepared.” These words were a key to unlock a prison of tears which flowed from my eyes. I cried out, “Be prepared? I am prepared and have been for years! What do you mean?” Slightly annoyed, I responded, “Amen, I am.”
For several weeks following, all I kept reading and hearing were the words “prepare and be ready.” The phrase flipped and tossed in my mind. My spirit was not at peace. I knew God was speaking to me, desiring for me to learn how to be prepared. Yet, I fought God. I did not want to hear how I have to do yet one more thing. (Free tip: don’t argue with God you will lose every time.) I was ready. I personalized scriptures, declared promises for our family, did not take surveys, fasted, and kept a journal. Yet, it was much deeper than those acts. God answered my question and revealed to me through three separate readings of the Word that I was not FULLY prepared. I still had to prepare my heart.
Strong’s dictionary has a number of meanings for the word, prepare. There is a variety of applications such as: accomplish, advance, become, bring forth, be busy, commit, to make ready, to fit, repair, mend and perfect. In the Greek it means: to have external and internal fitness, ordain before, and fit in advance. Preparation is not only a physical activity, but a mental disposition. Advanced groundwork is equal to prosperity.
Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house. Proverbs 24:27 (NLT)
Complete your work outside, and get your fields ready for next season; after that’s done, build your house. Proverbs 24:27 (VOICE)
Successful farmers did not just build a house. They got their fields ready, then they planted on them, and finally built a strong home. This process takes self-control and wisdom. God’s plan for victory commands patient diligence. As standers, our heart is our field. We must make it ready prior to receiving our promise. It is a work that requires us to get down and dirty on our hands and knees in order to remove weeds. Preparing the field is back-breaking work done in the heat. Surrendering and allowing the Lord to break up the hard soil in our hearts. Giving to Him those hurts that we secretly hold onto as protection and reminder “just in case” are rocks and thorns that choke our harvest. Deep roots of bitterness must be ripped up. Thorns of past sins and regrets must be yanked off. It’s a basic necessity and we should not allow ourselves to be distracted from the task at hand. By preparing our hearts, we are getting ready for a foundation to be laid for our harvest…our restored families. It must be COMPLETED faithfully in order to obtain a new love and marriage. Once all the debris is removed, then God’s promises can be planted within our hearts. We must be focused, diligent and wise to accomplish this job.
Think of the parable of the ten virgins. There were five wise and five foolish virgins. Only the wise were prepared. Both groups displayed promising futures and they looked useful. Although they did not know the time or day, they were aware by the signs it was their season. All ten virgins had an opportunity to obtain oil, but didn’t. What characteristics separated them? The foolish ones refused to heed God’s warnings. They had lamps but no oil. These young ladies thought they had enough time to get ready.
“The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.” Matthew 25:5
My dear standers let us not fall into spiritual lethargy. We cannot allow our calling as standers to erode. Let us be wise by using our time to align our hearts and minds to God’s. We must keep the Word of God alive in our hearts. It is our oil and spiritual reserve. The five wise virgins were able to celebrate, because they had a light burning for the appointed time as well as extra.
Who else was prepared for the appointed time? The prodigal son’s father! He was wise and his heart was fully prepared. How do we know he was fully prepared? He already had the celebration in mind. “‘Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.’” Luke 15:23 The prodigal did not have to wait for a calf to be fattened or go get one from a neighbor. His father was READY, especially in his heart. He was a loving and nurturing man. In his optimism I believe he looked at the horizon daily, smiled and said, “Today is the day.” He did not welcome his son with all the ways he suffered while he waited. Nor did he set up a trial period for him to be fully integrated back into the family. This father had a merciful and forgiving heart BEFORE his son arrived. He was prepared.
Dear standers, let us not be foolish and miss our harvest. Let’s rip out EVERYTHING blocking the fruition of our promise. If we do not till our field immediately, thorns can choke our seeds. Do not worry about what our prodigals are doing as we wait, but be diligent about meditating on the Word. Stay in communication with our Father who loves us, and lights our dark places. Let us grow in grace and knowledge with a heart aligned to God’s.
Scanning the horizon with a tender heart,
Lissette in New Jersey
Unless otherwise noted, scripture quoted are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.