The Eagle Way No 8

John The Baptist Ministering

We need to become Strong in Spirit
“So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel” (Luke 1:80). NKJV

“And the child grew and became strong in character, and lived in the Desert till the time came for him to appear publicly to Israel”
(Luke 1:80). WNT  

We read in the last verse, of Luke chapter one verse eighty, a short account of John Baptist training and lifestyle. Though he was the son of a high priest, he did not, like Samuel, go up, when he was a child, to minister before the Lord in the temple. John the Baptist was in the deserts of Israel there he was prepared and made ready to preach a different message a message of the kingdom and to prepare the people for the coming of the Lord Jesus.

1)    John’s life prior to his public ministry:  
    John was in the wilderness, prophets used the isolation of the uninhabited wilderness to enhance their spiritual growth and to focus on their message and mostly on God’s call.
By being in the wilderness, John remained separate from the economic and political powers so that he could prepare his life and message. He also remained separate from the hypocritical religious leaders of his day. His message was to be different, and his lifestyle was proof of his obedience.
2)    Luke tells us about his spiritual growth during his early years:  
    “the child grew and became strong in spirit [character].   This emphasis is on the inward man; by his reputation; by reason of conscience (the candle of the Lord) his character had become strong. He had strong judgment and strong resolution “waxed strong in the spirit” (KJV)
By this it appeared that he was filled with the Holy Spirit; for those that are strong in the Lord are strong in spirit. “For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb (Luke 1:15). How important is our spiritual development to God not what we look like on the outside, or where you were born, or what kind of clothes we wear?  God looks at the heart, and if you want to prepare yourself for ministry, start with your heart. 

3)   Preparation for John’s ministry took place in the desert, a place of solitude:  
    “He was in the desert;” not that he lived as a hermit; or cut himself off from the society he lived in. It appears he went up to Jerusalem at the feasts, and frequented the synagogues on the Sabbath day.  But his regular residence was in the wilderness of Zuph or Maon, which we read of in the story of David. There he spent most of his time, in contemplation and devotion. His ministry education was not in schools, or at the feet of the rabbi.
John Baptist, ministry was in a place of obscurity at the age thirtieth years until God called Him forth “was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.”  There is a time when your calling and ministry will be ready for public appearance a predetermined time, For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. (Habakkuk 2:3).
4)   Some important principles to remember:
  1. Many feel like God will never use them, I’m too old/too young, too something – wait for Him do not be impatient, wait for the appointed time; God’s timing;
  2.  Be faithful where God has placed you;
  3.  Develop your life and get ministry training so that you will be ready for His call;
  4. God will promote you from your wilderness place, when He has completed the training in your life, even from that place of obscurity to a place where His spirit will manifest in and through your life to the glory of God;
  5. One of the reasons God has being giving you desert training, is to toughen your resolve, to deepen your determination, to enlarge our capacity for more of Him; to strength your character to be able to over come daily temptations;
  6. In the desert you will learn things you cannot learn in the synagogues and the church; the intensity of increased pressure cause you to become strong in spirit;
  7. In the desert the heat gets turned up, the fire burns on the outside and the inside of us, the fire burns up the dross, the impurities rise to the surface so that they can be dealt with;
  8. The fire of the Holy Spirit also ignites a passion for our God, a hunger for the Bread of heaven a thirst for the Living water, a weeping for the joy of the Lord.  “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matt 5:6).