And he will [himself] go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn back the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient and incredulous and unpersuadable to the wisdom of the upright [which is the knowledge and holy love of the will of God]--in order to make ready for the Lord a people [perfectly] prepared [in spirit, adjusted and disposed and placed in the right moral state] Luke 1:17.
Last night I came across this verse... what depths of truth are contained in this short grouping of words! This is what is happening in our lives right now! This is why we are outcasts... why we don't fit in with the world, with the church, with our families... why we are grieved and stirred in our inner man at the apostasy's and deceptions that permeate the land. It is because we ARE living the 'Last Days,' and as such we are walking where none have walked before. This is new territory, the full manifestation of evil arrayed against the full manifestation of God... That is what is coming, and the whole world is going to witness it.
We aren't all there yet, it is not complete yet, but we are in the process of being brought to perfection! Not according to carnal thinking. Jesus was PERFECT and without sin, yet the religious leaders were totally blind and unable to recognize HIM for WHO HE IS. His coming did not match up with their preconceived expectations. They were jealous of Him, they saw Him as a threat to their hold (power to control) over the people, and they hated Him for it.
It is no different today... the exact same thing is going to be replayed. Only the end result will be much different. Jesus won then, even though those who opposed Him thought that they did. And in this, the end of the ages, we already know who the victor is going to be.
How are we ever going to come to perfection? Especially knowing firsthand how very far from perfect we are... even at our best? Here is the beautiful thing about it... Coming to perfection is not at all about us! It is not dependent upon our natural goodness or lack thereof. It is all about God, and His faithfulness. Look at what is said here: which is the knowledge and holy love of the will of God! We can come to the place where we love the will of God, more than our own will. Isn't that awesome!
For a long time now I have been impressed with the fact that God said in Leviticus 11:44-45 For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
The Apostle Peter tells us in 1 Peter 1:14-16 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
We need to remember Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
God never tells us to do anything... that He has not already made a way for us to accomplish it! Not by means of our own intellect, or in our own strength... the only way we can do anything within the will of God is by the Spirit of God, within us! Oh, may we be willing to come to the knowledge and holy love of the will of God!
Are we being prepared so that we can build our own big ministry? So that we can attract a following? NO. It is so that we can be made ready... for the Lord!
And how are we being prepared for the Lord? We are being [perfectly] prepared [in spirit, adjusted and disposed and placed in the right moral state].
This makes absolutely no sense to the carnal mind. The things of the Lord are foolishness to the natural man. That is why they cannot see or comprehend the things of God. And we absolutely cannot do this of ourselves... in all things pertaining to the spiritual life, we are utterly dependent upon the Spirit of God.
Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
This is part of coming to perfection... the part that our flesh hates. We too, must learn obedience.
John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Praise God! All that He does is good! Why does Jesus tell us above that "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer?" To the natural mind that sounds like a complete contradiction.
Yet we know that we can rejoice, we can have peace, because He overcame the world, and He indwells us, if we are walking in obedience to His Spirit within us. May our hearts cry be... "Oh Lord, do whatever it takes to bring us into the perfection that You desire, that we will be your people, and you will be our God."