Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11

Seeds of the Kingdom

Prepare Yourself

by Christel Baxter

In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
John 14:2-3, NIV

Both my children got married and left home in the last eighteen months, and as a result, we now have extra room that we previously didn’t have. It’s always been my desire to be able to create for myself a special quiet time corner in one of the rooms in my home, where I can meet with the Lord early mornings. This room would also be a guest room to welcome friends or family who visit from time to time. So, in the light of our ‘empty nest’ status, I saw this as the perfect opportunity to embark on this new project of transforming the one bedroom.

What I realised during the process of putting together this special room was the effort I made to go from shop to shop to find what I was looking for, choosing the right colour for the paint, and finding all the little bits and pieces to finish it off the way I’d envisioned it.

This reminded me of the words of Jesus to His disciples in John 14. He said that He was going back to the Father to prepare a place for us, and that He would come back to fetch us to be with Him. What an amazing thought! I couldn’t help but wonder what all the bits and pieces were that Jesus was working on to prepare my special place with Him.

Preparation fosters expectation. When you spend time and effort to prepare for something, there’s an anticipation of seeing your preparation meet the goal it was meant for. I’ve been able to welcome my first guests into my newly prepared guest room recently, and I’ve also been excited to start using the one corner in that room for my quiet time, and being able to watch the sunrise through the window every morning from that sunny spot. I know that the time spent in preparation was worthwhile.

Psalm 5:3 (Amplified) says, ‘In the morning You hear my voice, O Lord; in the morning I prepare [a prayer, a sacrifice] for You and watch and wait [for You to speak to my heart]’. David knew the value of coming prepared into the presence of the Lord every morning. He prepared a prayer, a sacrifice to bring to the Lord, and he waited in anticipation for God to speak to his heart. He came prepared and ready to listen.

This verse has challenged me so often. If I would prepare my heart every morning to hear God’s voice, if I would come ready with a prayer or a song to bring as a sweet sacrifice to Jesus, if my stance would be one of expectancy and anticipation, how much richer would my time with Him be! If I would ready my heart on a Sunday morning, even before arriving at church, not only to receive from God, but with a sacrifice to bring – praise, thanksgiving, worship – how much more abundant would my encounter with Him be!

I’m challenged to be more intentional about making sure I prepare my heart to meet with the Lord in that quiet time corner every morning. I don’t want these times to be random moments or casual encounters. I want to come prepared, in anticipation and expectation for God to speak His truth and life to my heart.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, how wonderful the thought is that You’re busy preparing a place for me in Heaven to be with You! So often I forget that this very fact means I need to be expectant for Your return. My desire is to keep my own heart prepared and ready for that moment, but also prepared to meet with You daily, from a heart ready to worship and hear Your voice. I love You, Lord. Amen.

Christel Baxter joined the Associate prayer ministry team at Shere House, S.Africa in 2008 after attending the 20 day school. Besides serving together on the associate team at Shere House, Christel & her husband, Gary, pastor New Life Ministries, a congregation in Boksburg, Gauteng. Their children, Liezl and Wesley, are both married, and they adore their son-in-law and daughter-in-law and their little granddaughter, Hannah! Christel is passionate about seeing broken lives restored and especially loves ministering God`s love and healing to women of all ages.


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