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PREPARATION
By BALA SAMSON
 
http://www.worshipjesusministriestrust.org/
https://balasamson.wordpress.com/
 
Luke 1:17 “And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
 
Two Black Hawk helicopters got ready with a SEAL (US Navy’s Sea, Air, Land Teams) team of 23 operators, an interpreter, a combat dog named Cairo and took off on a mission to Abbottabad, Pakistan to capture al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.  The operation was meticulously planned and rehearsed.  As the two Black Hawks reached their destination, the first chopper tried to land in the courtyard, it suddenly lost altitude and the tail of the craft clipped one of the compound walls.  The pilot buried the nose in the mud to avoid disastrous crash, this quick, thoughtful action saved lives, the seals got off the downed chopper.  Admiral McRaven, who was leading the charge of this challenging mission of capturing the terrorist said, ’We will now be amending the mission.  We have a helicopter down; nevertheless, my men are prepared for the contingency.’ The officer was well prepared with alternative plans! A minute later he ordered the SEALs waiting in another helicopter to get to Abbottabad.  The SEALs team successfully captured Osama Bin Laden, who was killed during the attack on May 2, 2011!  Admiral McRaven announced to the White House, “EKIA” (Enemy Killed in Action). The key to the successful operation was their meticulous preparation for unforeseen events and emergencies!   
  
Are you prepared for the ‘sudden calamity’ that might pounce on you, is my question to each one of you today?  The predominant job of John the Baptist was ‘to make ready a people prepared for the Lord!”  Many have not cast off God; yet in this they do evil, that they prepared not their life to face the onslaught of the evil forces that would come against them. I went to pray for a bride the day before her marriage, I was told that she had gone to the beauty parlor for a ‘bridal trial’ that was would take minimum two hours.  I stayed with them that night and I told the bride that she should wake up early the next day, so that we could all pray together for the Hand of God to be upon the wedding events – sadly, none woke up, I was left alone to pray.  The bride said that she had to wash her hair and get prepared for the beauty parlor, so she sat with me for a rapid prayer session, that ended with ‘bless me Lord’, not many would even do that, though.  Finally the ‘most-sought-after-lady’ came to do the make-up for the bride at home; reverentially people made way for her and she vanished with the bride into a private chamber.  The wedding was at 5 pm but both of them did not open the door till 3 pm; frantically when I opened the door to remind them of the timing, I was terrified when I saw the bride!  Seriously, I was shocked to see the transformation – the bride looked miserable with over make up.  Let me tell you the dramatic ending of the bridal make-up catastrophe, the bride groom looked at her at the church and was petrified, he said, ‘immediately wash your face.’  This is what would happen when you ‘prepare’ excessively for perishing things and forsake God! Caveat!
 
 
A) PREPARE FOR ETERNITY RATHER THAN PROSPERITY:
 
Jesus explains the folly of covetousness wonderfully in a parable found in chapter twelve from the book of Luke.  When the ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully, he shrewdly planned to build  and prepare a bigger store room and stuff it with the proceeds of his business and when he happily basks in the glory of his success and prosperity, Jesus looked at him and said, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?'  "So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." (Luke 12:20,21) 
 
Our topmost priority in life must be to go to heaven - nothing else is as important. Someone said: "Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people!" Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." 
 
Matthew 6:19-21, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is there will your heart be also."
 
Rev.Billy Graham said: “Money cannot buy true pleasure.  Money cannot buy peace of heart.  And money cannot buy entrance into the Kingdom of God.  If God has given you more than your neighbors around about you, dedicate your possessions to Christ, and realize that you are only a steward of what God has given you – and some day you will have to give an account for every penny you have spent.  The Internal Revenue Service wants to know how you spend your money, but that is nothing compared to the books God is keeping!” 
 
John Wesley, while being shown through a nobleman’s house, admired the expensive works of art and other symbols of wealth and culture. “I too could love these things,” he said, “but there is another world.”
 
Friend, are you aware that there is another world waiting for each one us who have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior? That is the KINGDOM OF GOD!
 
 
B) PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD:
 
The voice of John the Baptist cried: “Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight…” (Luke 4:3) It was the responsibility of John to prepare the hearts of the people to receive the good news of the Gospel and obey them.  This is no small job but highly significant that can be accomplished only through anointing of the Holy Spirit! We run a free school, Abide Public School, specifically for kids from socially background class; it was extremely difficult to teach them honesty and the right path.  Finally, I decided to make them narrate Bible scriptures, also taught them Bible stories with good morals and made them all pray.  It is working wonderfully!    I truly believe, God would raise a ‘pearl’ from this pit!
 
As I write this portion about God bringing out a ‘pearl’ from a ‘pit’, I am reminded about king Hezekiah.  His amazing story should encourage people who do not have a good background to boast of.  Recently a friend of mine said, ’Bala, I have no good family background or a good past to boast of, it is just only dirt.’  I could feel the pain in her words; nevertheless, today I want to tell you, that you can arise from the ash heap and shine for God like king Hezekiah.  Hallelujah!  Ahaz was the name of Hezekiah’s father who was an awfully wicked man and the most abominable thing that he did was : “He even burned his son as an offering, according to the despicable practices of the nations whom the LORD drove out before the people of Israel.” (2 King 16:1)
 
.”  Horrible!  Hezekiah had a horrible childhood watching his father do such atrocious things! Ahaz his father was just 36 when he died and Hezekiah usurped the throne.  The nation was in a horrible condition filled with idol worship, churches were shut and there was utterly no smell of God.  Are you listening?  Something like what we see today.  On Sundays, the young people are all rolling in the beach, working on computers or snoring in the bed, while the grey haired senior citizens are inside the church.
 
It was in this dark period that God raised Hezekiah as ‘light’ in the kingdom of Judah! God prepared Hezekiah for this great job of reformation of an entire nation!  Hezekiah was not a proud, puffed-up king but a broken man brought up under a wicked king.  He cried out, “our fathers have trespassed and done evil in the eyes of the LORD our God; they have forsaken Him, have turned their faces away from the dwelling place of the LORD, and turned their backs on Him….. Therefore the wrath of the LORD fell upon Judah and Jerusalem, and He has given them up to trouble…” (2 Chronicles 29: 6-8)
 
 Hezekiah was eager to prepare the hearts of the people to invite God into their lives!  Glory to Jesus! Look what he did: he did what was right in the eyes of God, he opened the doors of the temple of God, he consecrated the priests for the job and cleansed the temples to worship the Lord.  Repentance and consecration is key for revival!  After the worship and offering, the king and the people rejoiced because God had prepared the people for this great joy!  Read: 2 Chronicles 29:36”Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced that God had prepared the people, since the events took place so suddenly.”
We got to repent this way and prepare our hearts for revival!
 
C)  PREPARE YOUR HEART WITH PRAYER:
 
We got to be prepared for the heart –thudding twists in our life journey! The best example we could take is from our Master Jesus Christ who prayed hard and prepared Himself for the great tribulations and persecutions that would happen to Him.  The prayer strengthened Him.  He prayed: Mathew 26:38"My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." 39Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."
 
Shortly after I resigned my job with a multinational bank and joined full-time service with the Lord, I was hammered on all sides with problems and that was when I decided that ‘prayer is breath’ for me, without which I can never, never survive; a soldier must be able to march all night and fight all day on scant rations, likewise we got to train and prepare ourselves for war.
 
We had to go on a long drive and it was late in the evening, just when we were about to leave, my son screamed from inside, ‘mummy did you pray?’  I did pray in the morning but not before leaving, though; well, we said a prayer and left.  After finishing our job when we came back to the car, we found the front tyre flat.  It was dark and difficult to find help, just when we were enquiring around, a driver with the kit walked to our car (not a word was uttered), did the job himself and got the car moving.  He silently packed his kit and while he was about to leave, my husband thanked him, besides this man, we had a crowd there who helped us.  We reached home safely, though late.  We thanked my son for reminding us to pray before leaving home.  Pray! Prepare! Plan!
 
I must tell you about another very cute prayer that we did when I had to preach in two villages; after preaching in one church we had to rush to the other village which was stinking of temples and idols.  So we decided to pray throughout the driving time, along with the young man who drove the car, we loudly prayed as we were driving.  It was absolutely glorious!  We had a great meeting and we returned back safely.  Why not try this kind of prayer? 
 
The youngsters who are connected with me also get this passion of prayer and when I visit their homes, it is lovely to watch them fill their home with prayer.  I have enjoyed every bit of time spent in their home, because the tangible presence of God is felt.  Don’t give up friend, God is listening to you, just open up to Him and tell Him everything that you feel.  Please pray.
 
The date was 30 and we just had twenty rupees in hand and now we had to take care of our home and also the School children, because we had to feed them as well.  We did not turn anywhere else but just turned our eyes upon Him.  It was time for my personal prayer, hence I went inside to pray and after a while I heard  the sound ….ting…ting….I had received a sms!  Do you want to know the content of the message?  It said: “sister, I have deposited my tithe into your account.” How faithful He is! I sat with tears of gratitude in my prayer room.  Now tell me, why should we not spend more time in prayer rather than breaking our head over a problem?  
 
D) PREPARE YOUR BODY AND MIND:
 
1 Peter 1:13 – 16”Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
 
An author said this about her manner of writing, I share this because it is inspiring – this is what she said: ” If I am in the process of writing a short story, I think for days together until the whole story is formed perfectly within me, and then sit down to write and complete the same in less than two hours.  For some of my novels I have done up to three to seven years of research to know about the characters, their profession and surroundings.  My only ritual in writing is preparing myself thoroughly and nothing else.”  When you prepare your mind meticulously for the assigned work then you don’t have to fret, fume and be frustrated.  Prepare, plan and be mentally prepared for the day’s work rather than haphazardly run around.  Maintaining a diary with ‘checklist’, ‘to-do list’ ‘top priority work’, would certainly help from groping in the dark.  Both my husband and I have the habit of meticulously writing down things, hence, we manage by His grace. Write down the payment dates of important bills like gas, electricity, phone bills, and be prepared to pay them rather than goof up on such important things; moreover, God expects His children to be responsible and not careless.
 
Preparing the mind and body is crucial!  Exactly 60 years ago, May 29, 1953, two men stood for the first time on the summit of Mount Everest: Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.  Each of them carried loads of 23 kilos up the mountain! Imagine! Great achievements do not happen without pain and struggle! Are you there? Before the big expedition, Tening prepared himself for the tough journey, he got up early in the morning, filled the knapsack with stones and took long walks up and down the nearby hills.  He was planning, hoping, thinking all the time of the seventh trip to Everest.  Everest possessed him!  Finally along with Edmund Hillary they achieved the incredible, marvelous feat and became international stars! Keep your eyes on the goal! Wobbly, unsteady, unstable, weak legs cannot climb the Everest, we got to be prepared and sure-footed for such amazing achievement. 
 
 
 
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