“A preacher preaches a message. A voice is much more than this. A message can deliver content, but a voice comes from an anointed life that has the power to actually turn people. A message delivers information. A voice delivers people. Anyone can deliver a message, but only a consecrated life can be a voice.” - Wes Martin
Today we are hearing voices from every direction. The voice of technology, and the voices on the internet and TV are at an all-time high. Rarely can we get away from all the noise. It is blaring for our attention all the time day and night. Everyone seems to be trying to be a voice in a busy and rapidly increasingly world of noise and empty promises.
But what is God looking for at this point in human history?
He is looking for consecrated ones who will be His voice; His voice in prayer, His voice in speaking words of truth, and His voice in everyday life in various situations that we encounter all day long. Even though we are in a world of noise, we are in a famine for truth. False promises and lies are everywhere. It’s time to stand on God’s Word and speak His truth into our life circumstances.
God is looking for those who walk in wholehearted abandonment like John the Baptist. His life is an example to each one of us.
The Life of John the Baptist
“Then they said to him, ‘Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?' He said, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Make straight the way of the LORD,'" as the prophet Isaiah said” - (John 1:22-23, NKJV).
Let’s look at some of the qualities of the life of John the Baptist because he was God’s voice in the wilderness. What was John like? How could he become a powerful and anointed voice for God?
- John identified himself as a voice -He prepared people to encounter God Himself. When he spoke, decisive shifts took place in people’s lives and they turned toward righteousness.
- John lived in simplicity -He lived in isolation and was consumed with His message and the one who had sent him.
- John was a faithful witness -He was faithful to the word of the Lord regardless of cost (John 3:7-18, 29).
- John was established in His identity before God -He did not look to other men for his identity or for approval. He looked to God.
- John was a man of prayer and devotion -As he grew up he became strong in spirit in the desert (Luke 1:80). He had a deep life with God.
- John was a consecrated vessel -He was set apart as a Nazarite to minister to God all his days. He did not drink wine or strong drink (Luke 1:15). He practiced fasting regularly.
In these days God is looking for those who can be His voice in the wilderness. Like John the Baptist, He is looking for those who will prepare for His Second Coming.
Are you a voice for God? Are you that consecrated vessel God can use in this critical day?
The Spiritual Violence of John the Baptist
“There has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater [in opportunity] than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force (Matthew 11:11-12).
John was the Father’s messenger who came to prepare the way for Jesus. He was the greatest man and a burning and shining light (John 5:35). Matthew 11:12 speaks of spiritual violence. It points to being resolute to pay any price necessary in seeking more of God. This is what John the Baptist was like. He violently reordered his priorities and the way he did everything. His lifestyle had a violent impact on the devil’s kingdom.
Jesus set John forth as the premier model of wholeheartedness in devotion. In his spiritual violence, John radically sought after God without reservation or compromise. He loved God. He was great in God’s sight. When God releases a greater measure of His power and presence, He looks for a greater dedication. In these days God is looking for those who will experience the Kingdom of God in greater measure by the holy forcefulness of spiritual violence. John the Baptist was this type of man internally because of his extravagant love for God that confronted all the inner hindrances and barriers to fully experiencing God in his heart. John the Baptist was hungry for God. He had a vision to have everything that God would give the human spirit in his age.
John called himself a friend of the bridegroom (John 3:29). This is how he saw himself. He had a forerunner ministry. He opened his heart to God and prepared the Bride for the coming of Christ. He stood, He heard, and He greatly rejoiced because of the Bridegroom’s voice. He modeled the way to prepare a spiritual highway (Luke 3:7-20). He emphasized calling people to repent and announced the coming of Jesus. He called people to righteous living. He modeled a wholehearted pursuit of God and what it looks like. His life’s message is clear. No one has ever passed him in abandonment to God.
So many in the Church have lost their purpose in life. In the pursuit of making this world a pleasant place to live, multitudes have chased after lesser gods. We must listen to the message of John the Baptist. We must repent and return to God with wholehearted abandonment. We must wait upon God and prepare in these end times (Matthew 24:42-43; 25:13; Mark 13:33-38; Luke 21:26; Revelation 3:3 16:15).
As we wait, pray, and live in righteousness, we gain strength for our hearts. Jesus is coming again. Like John we must prepare this generation for the Lord’s return. John prepared for the first coming of the Lord through modeling his lifestyle, his message, and through the power of the Holy Spirit that was on his life. We must prepare others for the second coming of Christ. We may be a forerunner as an intercessor, in the marketplace, in the media or as a preacher calling people to prepare the way of the Lord. We have the same Spirit in our lives as John did.
Let’s be inspired by John's life. Let’s let it challenge our lives to the core. We are God’s model of wholeheartedness. We are God’s voice at this time.
Being God’s Voice
As you pray, ask God to make you His voice. Ask Him to release His authority in your life to turn others back to God and righteousness. The world is living in a wilderness of increasing fear, anxiety, loneliness, and pain. People are hiding their fear through constant activity and in so many unfulfilling ways in their anxious attempt to make this life pleasant. They need God.
We are the voice of the Lord on the earth as we positively declare His will through our prayers and our lives. God is looking for consecrated vessels like John the Baptist. He is waiting for something to be done, waiting for someone to pray His will. We become God’s voice on the earth for breakthrough by praying His will as we listen and obey. Heaven responds to our prayers. God listens and acts on our behalf.
The atmosphere changes; we change; our lives change.
You are God's voice in this generation, pointing the way to His second coming. As you pray, you are releasing His power in the world. As you speak, you are declaring His will on this earth. As you travail, your tears are releasing His power to break the darkness over the land. As you live, you are modeling a dedicated life.
He wants to use you in greater and greater dimensions. He wants you to rise up higher as a consecrated vessel for His glory. But it’s up to you. The King of the Universe is calling you higher. Will you say “yes” to a holy lifestyle, to a deeper prayer life, to a level of consecration that only He can make real in your life?
Let’s be His voice and prepare others for His Second Coming. Let's prepare the way of the Lord.
“He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: 'A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,the rough ways smooth. And all people will see God’s salvation... I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.' And with many other words John exhorted the people and proclaimed the good news to them” (Luke 3:3-6, 16-18).
A powerful word - A Voice in the Wilderness - Prepare the Way of the Lord
*This article published 7/8/2013