This past Wednesday, I talked about the first step to accomplishing anything: PRAYER. If you missed that blog, please back up and read it!
Step Two is PREPARE. I went to the handy dictionary on line to discover what it had to say on prepare:
provide, arrange, order. PREPARE, CONTRIVE, DEVISE imply planning for and making ready for something expected or thought possible. TO PREPARE is to make ready beforehand for some approaching event, need, and the like: to prepare a room, a speech. CONTRIVE and DEVISE emphasize the exercise of ingenuity and inventiveness. The first word suggests a shrewdness that borders on trickery, but this is absent from DEVISE: to contrive a means of escape; to devise a time-saving method.
I have been a musician all of my life. I play the flute and piano and I “make a joyful noise unto the Lord” with my attempt at singing. One of the first things a musician learns is not notes, scales, or rhythm — they learn that they must be prepared for the lesson or rehearsal. They have to practice at home every day before appearing before the instructor or conductor.
The same is true of football players or basketball players – even students must prepare for exams. Preparation is required for almost everything we do.
The Bible has a lot to say about preparing. The word ‘prepare’ in its past or present tense appears 176 times in the Bible. One of the most well known and beloved passages in the Bible is Psalm 23. In verse 5 of that chapter we read, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” Another famous scripture is found in Isaiah 40:3 as a prophecy of things to come: “A voice of one calling: In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.” It is obvious that God believes in preparation! Who are we to think that we don’t have to prepare for whatever lies ahead? Whether it is the daily chores of life or a special assignment from God, we cannot forge ahead without first, prayer and second, preparation. By ‘special assignment’ or ‘task’ I am speaking of anything God calls us to do – from something small to the call on your life.
What steps do we take to prepare for that task that God has given us? See Step 1. We pray. God will not give us anything to do without giving us the tools and resources to do it. He will plant those gifts and abilities we need in us and draw them out of us at the appropriate time.
I can hear some of you saying, “I don’t have any gifts or talents. When God was passing those out, He skipped over me.” Hogwash! Of course you do! God gave everyone talents and gifts; you need to pray and ask Him to show you what those are. Once He shows you those abilities, ask Him how He wants you to use them. Then get prepared. Your assignment is on its way.