A life set apart to the Lord is as unique as the individual, and the Scriptures are filled with examples of ordinary people called to live extraordinary lives with a Kingdom purpose.
Today’s scripture speaks of John the Baptist whom the prophet Isaiah wrote about hundreds of years before John was born. Isaiah 40:3 proclaims, ‘A voice of one calling in the desert, prepare the way for the Lord’. John was chosen by God to be a forerunner to Jesus; what an incredible calling!
However, a set-apart life is not necessarily an easy life. John lived in the desert, ate locusts and wild honey, wore unusual clothes, was not permitted to eat bread, drink wine or fermented drink and spent much of his life quite isolated. Even though prophecy said of John that he will be great in the sight of the Lord (Luke 1:15), he was persecuted for speaking truth and found himself imprisoned and in a spiritual desert. This crisis left him doubting his calling and dispatching his disciples to Jesus for confirmation of His (Jesus) identity as the Son of God (Matthew 11:3).
How sweet must Jesus’ words have been when they returned to John as he sat in prison wondering? The Scriptures attest to Jesus’ public validation of the call of God on John’s life, affirming that his destiny was intact despite his circumstances or his doubt! Truth speaks in Matthew 11:11, ‘I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist’.
There are three things that seem to stand out about a set-apart life.
Firstly, no two lives or destinies are alike. Each son or daughter is set apart specifically and uniquely by God for His good purpose. For instance, there were certain things that were not permissible for John the Baptist to eat or drink or wear.
Secondly, there are no guarantees that a set-apart life will be easy, yet John had the significant privilege of baptising the Son of God.
And thirdly, a set-apart life is always, and only, about God! John’s life was to make ready a people prepared for the Lord, and God made certain that he was equipped to accomplish the task. ‘He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth’ (Luke 1:15).
Prayer: Father God, will You reveal Yourself to me through Your sweet word today, so that I can come to know You in a deeper way, in order to understand who You have called me to be for such a time as this. Forgive me, Father, for the times that I have disagreed with who You say I am, and forgive me for the way I wrestle with the things that are and are not permissible for me. Please help me to grow up in my faith, I pray in Jesus name! Amen.
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