PREPARATION PRECEDES BLESSING…


2 Kings 3:16-19 “And he said, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Make this valley full of ditches.’ 17 For thus says the LORD: ‘You shall not see wind, nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you, your cattle, and your animals may drink.’ 18 And this is a simple matter in the sight of the LORD; He will also deliver the Moabites into your hand.”  NKJV

Everyone who recalls this account in the biblical record knows that the result was more than just providing water for Israel and Judah but when they prepared as directed by the prophet God worked an amazing miracle.  Not only did water flow into the ditches but when the Moabites looked at the ditches filled with a liquid substance, they saw it as blood.  They thought the nations of Israel, Judah, and Edom had turned on each other and the slaughter immense and rushed in to claim the spoils of victory.  That was their tragic mistake and were soundly defeated just as the prophet declared but, had they not done the preparation there would have been no blessing of victory.

 There are other accounts in the Bible that clearly illustrate the need or requirement to make preparation to receive the blessings of the Lord.  The idea is rooted in the principle of “sowing and reaping”, the “law of harvest” and “giving and receiving”.   Remember in 2 Kings the widow who cried out in her dire circumstance to Elisha, he asked what she had in the house and her reply was a jar of oil.  He instructed her to gather all the vessels she could find in the house and from neighbors and as she complied the oil flowed until the vessels were filled.  She could have limited the blessing by limiting her obedience.

How about Naaman the Syrian when the prophet instructed him to dip seven times in the Jordan?  He resisted, at first, but then complied and when he did his healing became a reality.  Had he allowed his prejudice, pride, and expectation to prevent him from following the instructions and preparing for the blessing he would have died a leper in Syria! 

Isaiah informed us that there had to be one who would Prepare the way of the LORD and in Matthew we read that John the Baptist was that voice and John said, “I am not the Christ, but I am sent before Him… He must increase but I must decrease.”  John’s obedience and preparation paved the way for Messiah to be received and recognized.

There is no reconciliation without repentance, no healing for the blind man instructed to wash in the pool of Siloam and there is no blessing for you and me Unless we Prepare a container in which to receive that blessing.  The Blessing is from the LORD, but obedience is our part of the equation. 

The Law of Sowing and Reaping comes into play in all aspects and dimensions of life.  I heard something in my spirit about 2016 and beyond that, I will share.  I know some do not believe anyone can hear from God and I do not declare this was an audible voice, but it was real in my heart and mind, so I proceed.

Years ago, I was facing an imposing financial need of $500.00 to pay an obligation that was due and promised.  I realize that amount in today’s society might be considered a pittance, but I had $55.00 to my name.  The Holy Spirit witnessed to my heart to “tithe on my need”.  That would mean placing $50.00 in the offering and retaining $5.00 to feed my family and care for our needs for the week.  I wanted to obey but my reason prevented me from doing so on Sunday morning and I kept the $50.00 in my pocket.  That night in the service I was so overwhelmed with the urgency and desire to obey that I literally threw the money in the offering.  I was elated and troubled at the same time. 

The next day I ran an errand downtown and a person walked up to me, reached out to shake my hand, and said, “Thank you for your faithfulness.”  They placed a piece of paper in my hands, and I waited until I was alone to look at it and realized it was a check.  The amount was $550.00.  I cannot describe the emotion and awe I sensed in my heart.  God had done exactly what He said and had I not made the preparation through obedience I would not have received the blessing.

I sense in my spirit and believe that the Holy Spirit has spoken to my heart that the first 100 days of 2016 would determine and shape the next 1,000 days. That what was done in the first 100 days was preparation for the next 1,000.  It could have been glorious but failure on the part of many within the Body of Christ brought us to where we are.  Exactly what all this means to each person will be different, but I sense we are being told to Make Preparation in Obedience and then observe how He does what He does as a result.  If you made Preparation, then the Blessing will overtake you!

God bless you as you obey the Voice of the Spirit of God and prepare your hearts for his overflowing blessings and promises.   

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