I have been skeptical about many things throughout my life; saying, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” (The title is not a typo.)
But the scriptures about John, the Baptist, preparing the people before Jesus’ ministry (Luke 1:17) got me thinking about the importance of preparation and how spiritual preparation can actually help us foresee some pitfalls. Some people were already prepared for the Lord to come. For instance, Zacharias and Elizabeth had to have been prepared spiritually to receive the revelation about the extreme circumstances of their son’s birth. God could have chosen someone younger to raise John. But He chose them because they were prepared spiritually (among other reasons). Heavenly Father can work with our physical frailties but if we aren’t actively preparing ourselves to do His will, then we really aren’t interested in what His will for us is.
So, why did John need to “go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways” if there were already some who were prepared? (Luke 1:76) I think that we all learn in different ways. Some need more physical or tangible things to learn from; something (or someone) you can see or hear. God wants all of us to return to Him. He gives us every opportunity because He loves us in a way that we can only imagine. He is our Father!
The thing is, I think preparation requires willingness (deja vu) and effort. We can’t just go through life thinking that we have no choice in what happens to us. Just as we look for opportunities to take, we should also try to understand what we can learn from our experiences (chosen or not). If we don’t learn anything, why are we here anyway? So, we have to choose what we are preparing for. We will all meet Christ face-to-face, whether it will be at our death or at His 2nd coming to the earth. I would like to be prepared for that so I can get the most out of it. I think of all the things I do to prepare for a guest in my home. I prepare a little extra when family members are coming to stay for a while. When I am looking for things that I need to do in preparation for the visit, (because I “believe” they are coming) I can see what I need to do. If I have prepared adequately, I get the most enjoyment out of the visit. If I wait until they get here to prepare (believe it when I see it), it’s too late.
Christ did come. Christ does live. You’ll see amazing things when you believe that; including your potential.