One word has been reverberating in my spirit – “Prepare.” As I’ve been meditating on this word, its rhythm and beat grow, and I believe it is a word for the entire Body of Christ. Throughout Scripture there are calls for God’s people to prepare. There are preparations for offerings, provisions, war, and movement, and at no time has anyone in history accidentally prepared. Preparation is purposeful and deliberate, and there are priorities within preparedness. This is the case with the church.
Preparedness must first be inward. Without purification and consecration of our spirits to the LORD, any outward prepping is motivated by the flesh. Preceding the move of God in Joel chapter 2, verse 16, the bride must first emerge from her dressing room; and how is the bride clothed? Without spot or wrinkle [Eph. 5:27]. We must first remove ourselves from where we’ve lived for so long. We must be purified, both personally and corporately. We cannot continue on our path, filled with such pronouns as “I,” “me,” or “mine.” No, we must empty all that is of self, until all that is left is “Him.” We cannot expect to benefit from all of the “re’s” – revival, renewal, rejuvenation until we are filled with a repentance that we have been consumed with “me,” and have allowed our hearts to be filled with “He,” and in being filled with Him, consecrate ourselves to His plans over our own.
Consecration. It is what we are called to in Joel 2, verse 16. We must humbly submit to God’s purposes. While there are many voices, one must resonate above all others, and that is the voice of God. It alone must lead and guide us. The Word of God is what we must be able to rightly divide, which means that we must handle it accurately in truth, and that comes with an ear attuned to the Holy Spirit [2 Tim. 2:15, John 16:13]. It is not subjective to our will, but objective, based on the authority of God. To His truth alone, we must consecrate ourselves.
In all of our preparedness, if we will dedicate ourselves to these two, purification and consecration, we will find that our minds have sobered to the reality of the times in which we live, and we have become holy, even as He is holy [I Pt. 1:13-16]. We stand not in our strength, but in the completed work of Christ, able to move from inward to outward preparedness. A people, who unlike the five foolish virgins, are ready and waiting, prepared for the return of their LORD [Matt. 25:1-13].