Part 1Jack Davis
“The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD. All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits. Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established” – Proverbs 16:1-3
Divine preparations in believers are for the fulfillment of God’s purposes. He works all things after the counsel of His own will, that we may be to the praise of His glory. The word translated preparations here is speaking of arrangement, to set in a row, put in order, and also of mental disposition. We may misread people, and we do. We feel that we are often misunderstood, but not by our God and Father, nor our Lord, or His Word. God’s scales are so sensitive and accurate beyond compare, by Him actions are weighed (I Sam. 2:3). Jesus can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and His Word is the discerner of the thoughts and intents of our heart. Therefore who is better qualified to make the needed preparations in our heart? Why should we commit our works to less then Him for His approval?
“Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear.” Ps. 10:17. It is interesting to consider the ways He uses to prepare human hearts, to receive that which He desires to impart. Oh, the wonder of it all. The experiences on our sojourn are to bring us hungering and thirsting to His table. There we are nourished and refreshed, and strengthened to go on our way rejoicing.
“PROVISIONS:” Elaborate provisions have been made for the prepared Person, Place, and People made ready by His preparation power. We read in the parable of the wedding feast, of the great gospel invitation that has gone out repeatedly to generation after generation. Each gets more urgent with each rejection. The king that made a marriage for His son sent forth servants, saying “Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatling are killed, and all things are ready: come to the marriage” – Mt. 22:4. After their neglect and rejection we read, “Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy” - Mt. 22:8.
Reading here of the slain animals for the feast, we get the picture of Jesus Christ, God’s Lamb as the whole bill of fair for us. He is the prepared person, and in Him, God makes all things available to us (Rom. 8:31-32). “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: …Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God…the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” – Heb. 10:4-6,9-10.
“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies” Ps. 23:5. I have read that the shepherd, before bringing his sheep up to a plateau for grazing would clear the table land of all dangerous conditions as much as possible. He would take out many of the stones, and harmful weeds, and prepare for the approach of preeditors. The gardener would prepare his garden for planting. The bridegroom would make ready a dwelling for His bride before going after her for the wedding. Jesus said to those that would believe on him, “I go to prepare a place for you” – John. 14:2.
John the Baptist was sent to prepare Israel for Jesus’ first advent. The prophecy of John’s birth said, “And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 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. And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins” – Lk. 1:16-17,76-77.
We know of two that were ready for Jesus first coming, Simeon and Anna. Simeon being led of the Spirit came to the temple and took the baby Jesus up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord thou hast prepared before the face of all people” – Lk. 2:29-31. Later we read of John fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah saying, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth, And all flesh shall see the salvation of God” – Lk. 3:4-6.
With all the extensive detail that God gave in foretelling the birth of His Son, we find the sad note that most of Israel was ignorant of His coming. He found no room in the Inn. He is certainally denied place in many a heart and home today, and even in many so-called houses of God. Oh, let us give him the uppermost room in our hearts and lives today. As Jesus Christ dwells in our hearts by faith, He will fill whatever capacity we allow to be prepared for Him.
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” – I Cor. 2:9-10.
What things? Who knows? Who cares to know? It is certainly not the dull hearted, that close their eyes to revelation, and reality, stop their ears from heeding the rightly divided Word of truth. To hear and not heed tends to dull ones hearing, and thus deaden their hearts. This is willful ignorance.
It is so very important to our Father that we know the things he has freely given. He would have them recognized, and realized. These which were before a mystery, and now spoken by Paul to be understood, acknowledged, and experienced. That which God has prepared for us is not perceived by the natural man, nor the natural senses. These marvelous provisions are discernable only by the revelation of the Spirit. As the Holy Spirit searches out for us the depths of God, He is making us partakers of the mind of Christ.
To be continued in the next issue