I was reading Matthew 3 today and was struck anew by words that I had seen and read many times:
In those days, John the Baptist came to the Judean wilderness and began preaching. His message was “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of heaven is near.” The prophet Isaiah was speaking about John when he said, “He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord’s coming! Clear the road for him’”. – Matthew 3:1-3
The chapter goes to describe John in a manner that could only have been perceived as weird at the time. But what hit home for me was the certainty with which the author confirmed that John was the fulfillment of a prophecy. I was about to go on reading but I felt a check in my spirit to pause on this and reflect.
John the Baptist knew who he was and what he was called to do. Yes, he probably came across crazy to the people that knew (of) him. But that did not matter to him. I believe he knew the weight of what was required of him. He must have understood the import of his calling, the fulfillment of God’s word to his ancestors, was to take place through him. There must have been times when he was discouraged, lonely and close to quitting (to settle for an ordinary life) but that was not his calling.
Many of us are living lives that are incompatible with who God has called us to be and the assignments we have been tasked to complete. Society preaches conformity, safety (staying in your comfort zone) and political correctness but we have been called to be light in a depraved world. Light cannot shine in its fullness and be appreciated for the illumination it brings if it does not first acknowledge that there is darkness. Imagine if John tried to conform. He would never have called out the Pharisees or let the people know that there was sin in them to repent from.
What prophecies are hanging over you? How long have you kept God waiting to use you? What shall be said of you by generations to come?