Are you ready to receive all the things God has promised you? Are you ready for the breakthrough, relationship, finances, job and family you prayed for? Now, ask yourself this: are you prepared to receive all the things you proclaim to be ready for?
Spiritual preparation is the process in which we make ourselves available for use by God. We all say that we are ready to receive the abundant life He promised us (John 10:10) but oftentimes we are not prepared to receive His blessings. Impatience, pride, laziness and the opinions of others frequently deters us from planning. A blessing without preparation can easily become a burden that overwhelms us.
And [Jesus] said, “There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So, he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything. – Luke 15:11-16 ESV
Our blessings can become a burden when we fail to prepare and allow ourselves to be driven by lust, greed and selfish ambitions. Do not squander your blessings in reckless living and unreliable people. That is what happens when we enter into a relationship, business arrangement or position without preparation – we eventually lose it and ourselves in the process.
When the prodigal son was enjoying the excesses of this world, his father was patiently waiting on him to return and when he did, he proclaimed, “[my son] was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found (Luke 15:32).” Even if you wasted an opportunity in the past, God, whose mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23) can still redeem you. Like this father, He is willing to wait and extend His love to you even if you make your lot amongst the pigs.
Build the Boat
When Noah began building the Ark, those around him probably did not understand what he was doing or why he was doing it. Noah was preparing for something that had never been seen before. His obedience and preparation were rewarded when the rain began. As God positions you, be ready for people to ridicule and dismiss you because they do not know or understand the plans God has for you.
In the face of scrutiny and uncertainty build your boat. Build the life you want. Build the relationship you desire. Build the family you envisioned. Build the business you imagined. Boat building will require discipline, obedience and sacrifice but when God opens the windows of Heaven for you and rain down a blessing – you will be ready, the blessing will not overwhelm you.
People will make judgements of you based off of squandered opportunities, failed relationships and appearances but the Lord looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). The things people do not see – the long nights and sacrifices you made, the tears, praying and planning you put into the pursuit of your calling is what God honors. Do not allow your lack of preparation to delay what God wants to give you. The time between your calling and its manifestation should be used preparing for everything you are trusting and believing God for. God does the planning (Jeremiah 29:11); but it is our responsibility to do the preparing.