The fullness of His presence
Isaiah had spoken of John when he said, “He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the LORD’s coming! Clear the road for him! The valleys will be filled, and the mountains and hills made level. The curves will be straightened, and the rough places made smooth. And then all people will see the salvation sent from God. Luke 3:4-6
If we are to experience the mighty presence of God in our lives, we must prepare ourselves. John the Baptist was God’s messenger to help people prepare to receive the Savior of the world. From the text, he was sent to preach steadfastly calling people to prepare, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven at hand!” (Matthew 3:2). The truth presented from the text has a very important implication. Salvation is manifested with a repentant heart. It is a realization that we are no longer comfortable living in sin that is why we come to God for forgiveness. This is what those who heard John’s message did. They repented of their sin, followed Christ, and never to look back. At first we were not responding to God’s call for we were dead in sin. “Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin” (Ephesians 2:1-2). Then He prepared our hearts so we can experience His prodding. We read an example of His working through the disciples. “Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being” (Matthew 16:17). Repentance comes first before we can experience His presence. This involves a change of heart, mind and will conforming to God’s. Anything less than this will not be sufficient. This is why some will not be prepared to follow Christ for they are not willing to count the cost of following Christ (see Luke 9:57-62). We may know some facts about Christ and may have been excited to hear some things about spiritual matters. But such knowledge will not amount to anything if we are not willing to turn our life from our old ways and accept the life He gives. The religious leaders in the time of Jesus were aware of the events surrounding the coming of the Messiah. They knew where He will be born (see Matthew 2:4-6). But they totally missed Him in their lives for they prefer more observing their religious practices than experiencing a personal relationship with Christ. Do not allow obstacles in your life that will hinder you from experiencing the presence of God. God wants a full access in our lives so we can experience His fullness. “Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong” (Ephesians 3:17).
Noel De Guzman