What does it mean to go before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah as was prophesied about John the Baptist? John's father, Zechariah, declared, "And you, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord. You will tell people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins." (Luke 1:76-77 - NLT) He certainly had an important call on his life! I think that every Believer has the same call—that we should live our lives to "prepare the way for the Lord," in the spirit of Elijah.
We can read about Elijah's life in the Bible in 1 Kings 17 through 2 Kings 2. Here are some of the highlights of his life:
The prophet Malachi declared, "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers..." (Malachi 4:5-6) The angel of the Lord repeated this prophecy to Zechariah to let him know that his son John would fulfill it. (Luke 1:15-17) And John's life is seen as a standard for all of us to follow. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it." (Matthew 11:11-12)
We are in the season of celebrating the break-in of heaven to earth. Jesus came to earth as a seed in his mother's womb. As that seed grew, John the Baptist would prepare the way for Him. Time would show that Jesus is the Lord of the breakthrough. He demonstrated the power and love of His Father in heaven. Many around us are celebrating Christmas but may not comprehend its true meaning. We are those who can and should prepare the way of the Lord through a ministry of power and love that fosters reconciliation between family members and friends. The anointing is upon us: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." (Luke 4:18-19) These promises from the Word of God may challenge us, but let us not bring the truth of the Word down to our level of experience. Ask Holy Spirit to bring our experience up to the truth of the Word. Let's claim these promises over our lives and launch out into a lifestyle to "prepare the way of the Lord."
Joan E. Mathias