THE PREPARATION TIME
Anita Clark – Pastor, Carbondale, Kansas
Jesus said, “Watch therefore for ye know not what hour your Lord may come... Therefore be ye also ready for in such an hour that ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Matthew 24:42, 44.
The word “watch” in the Gk. language means “prepared, adjusted” (which means: “to bring to a better state or position).” These are the words of the Lord Jesus Christ to His disciples before He went away to heaven. These words must be very important to us, and we need to heed them especially right now. We are living at the end of this Age, and more and more we feel the nearness of Christ’s return.
The preparation for the coming of the Lord is the Lord’s work in us. Psalms 10:17 says, “Lord, Thou hast heard the desire of the humble heart, thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear.” In order for God to work in our lives, we must first have a “desire “ toward Him. We must want the preparation to be done in our lives. It seems that the first step in this preparation is for us to realize we can never be an overcomer in our own strength. We must have the Lord’s help.
Philippians 1:6 says, “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good wok in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Who started this work in us? The Lord Jesus Christ. The word “perform” means in the Gk. “To fulfil completely.” Who will perform this work? Our Lord. I like the word “you.” This speaks of the individual person. And, it is definitely “a good work,” which God is doing “until the day of Christ.”
Philippians 2:13 says, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” God is doing the work, preparing us, strengthening, energizing, and creating the longing and ability to fulfill His purpose for His good pleasure. Jesus said in John 14:2, I go to prepare a place for you, and I will come again and receive you unto myself.” Some people envision Jesus up there in heaven doing a lot of work trying to get the mansions ready for us to live in in heaven, but truly, when He went to the death of the cross, and gave up His life for our sins, it prepared a way for all who believe to live in heaven with Him.
Every day, we should walk with God, believing, trusting Him to do His work in us, giving up trying to be good and let God do that work in us. Surrender your will, and give it all to Jesus, and He will prepare you for the courts of heaven and the beauty of reigning with Him. This work goes on until the Father calls us home to be with Him.
Apostle Paul is such an example of this teaching. II Timothy 4:6-7. Paul was “ready.” The work of the Lord in his life had prepared him for what was ahead. He was ready for whatever God allowed. He wanted God’s work in him to be fulfilled in completion. Note, he “...was ready to be offered.” He was poured out as a sacrifice.
Remember the old song, “Is Your All On the Altar of Sacrifice Laid?” Verse 7 gives us three illustrations of an overcoming life - “fight,” “finished,” and “kept the faith.” These three things are very important to be happening in our lives, if we are to be totally prepared for our destination in heaven. I Timothy 6:12, says “Fight the good fight of faith.” Be a VICTOR! “Finishing my course” is very important also. God has laid out a course for each of us to fulfil. It may seem we will not be able to go on and finish it, but as we yield to God, He will strengthen us to be a winner in the race. Keeping the Faith is so important. The Lord equips us to be a guardian against error, which is very important in this later time we live in.
How can we be prepared? By taking in more of God’s Word, yielding to the Holy Spirit, being obedient to God’s will, and continuing to study the Word, and stand steadfastly for it.