Preparation is very interesting. The truth of the matter is preparation sometimes ends up taking a lot longer than the actual event. Cooking is a good example. You can spend two to three hours preparing the food. From going to the store, to buying the ingredients, to cooking them, all to eat for twenty minutes. Everything in life is centered around preparation. If you think about it, your most successful tasks or assignments came when you were properly prepared. If that is the case, then why don’t we take it more seriously? Why don’t we make sure we are prepared all the time?
The truth is that preparation costs. It takes discipline, it takes commitment to make sure you put in the work necessary to be ready for whatever task you have in front of you. This has been a year of preparation for me. And the one thing I have learned about preparation is that you must be an open book before the Lord. You must let Him have access to places in your heart you have hidden from everyone and even sometimes from yourself.
Look at the life of Jesus. He took thirty years preparing for three years of ministry. Look at Moses. He spent forty years in the wilderness preparing. Moses is a perfect example because God took that time in the wilderness to get the forty years he spent in Egypt out of his system. This is a very necessary step because God must remove the world and its lies out of your heart, so that He can plant the truth of His word and Kingdom.
I want to take time to compare two people from the Bible. One was prepared, the other one was not. The two characters I want to compare are David and Saul. If you go to the books of 1 and 2 Samuel and read their stories, you will see what I am about to discuss. Saul was not properly prepared to be king. The people asked God for a king that looked like the other nations and that is what He gave them. Saul was a very insecure person. On the outside looking in, Saul looked like he should have been a confident person. But what he told Samuel when Samuel came to anoint him, is very telling. In 1 Samuel 9:21, Saul tells Samuel he is from the smallest family, and he is the least of them all. If you look at the rest of Saul’s reign as King, he was always looking to people for approval. That is what cost him his throne (1 Samuel 15:24-25).
Now look at David. David too was the least in his family. The difference is that he knew the Lord personally, but relationship was not enough for the Lord. God had Samuel anoint him when he was fifteen or sixteen and it was not until he was thirty that he became the king of Israel. Those fifteen years or so were years of preparation. All that time he was in the wilderness, God was teaching him to trust and depend on Him. Even when David sinned, which he did quite a bit, he always ran to the Lord. He did not look to other people like Saul did. The reason for this is, the Lord took time with him to cultivate that dependency on Him.
The truth of preparation is for us to be solely dependent on God in what He has called us to do. Another truth of preparation is that we are always preparing for the next season. You never arrive at a place and God says you are perfect. You are always preparing for the next season. Let us look at David again. The Lord slowly taught him how to lead people. He first started in leading men in Saul’s army; there is a caveat to this because the kingdom provided him with everything they needed. When he went on the run, the Lord brought 600 men and their families. Now he had to learn to depend on God to provide food for these men. When he was faithful with the 600, God eventually gave him the tribe of Judah. After seven years of leading them, the Lord gave him the whole nation of Israel.
Wherever season you are in life, I encourage you to be open with the Lord and let Him work on your heart; because the alternative of not letting Him work on your heart will lead to a missed destiny.