John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah: “I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Clear the way for the Lord’s coming!” - John 1:23
Wilderness: noun. An uncultivated, uninhabited, and inhospitable region.
Two things that are uncommon among the uninhabited wilderness: a clear path and a shouting voice. But this was John the Baptist.
When you think of clearing the way for the coming of a King, your mind might tend to lean towards a more magnificent approach. If the role of preparation falls on one individual, you think it would be one of the most well respected, honorable men around. He would prepare the finest celebratory dinners and spread the word of the King’s coming in all of the most popular towns.
But that wasn’t John the Baptist. John wore clothes made of camel’s hair and composed most of his meals with locusts and wild honey. He was a prophet who stepped outside of the expectations of the ordinary and boldly proclaimed the coming of our King. As his voice broke the silence in the wilderness of the lost souls, people began confessing their sins, and began being baptized by John in the Jordan River.
He spoke boldly and without shame. It’s safe to say that his voice rang loud and clear in the wilderness. He didn’t just move some branches out of the way for the coming of the Messiah, but it’s as if he took a torch to blaze down a trail.
But why John? What made him stand out, so special and unique? What made him so worthy of such a calling?
"God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God."
- 1 Corinthians 28-29
The reality of the situation is that John the Baptist looked nothing like what the world would expect, but that just goes to show the beauty of the heart of God. God isn’t seeking out a heart that fits a certain cookie-cutter standard. He doesn’t always take the things that the world already loves, but instead He often chooses to show His power by taking the things that this world counts as nothing, and makes them into what is viewed as important.
Through this power we see just how worthy God is to be served. He intentionally designed each of us with incredibly unique personality traits, and I believe that He did so with the bigger picture in mind. By creating us so differently He shows that He’s more than capable of using each and every one of us, regardless of the different gifts and quirks that make us all unique. So whatever it may be that sets you apart from the world, know that it’s in the heart of God to use that ultimately for a greater good.
In the end, it’s all for our good and His glory. Your uniqueness sets you apart, and it radiates the creativity of our God. So be as rare as a way paved through the uninhabited and a voice shouting in the wilderness. Even that will be used for the Kingdom of God.
1. What gifts has God given you that you believe sets you apart? What makes you the most unique?
2. What are ways you can utilize those traits for the sake of the Kingdom? How do you see God growing you to better serve Him?
God, we praise You for being so intentional with Your design for each of us. Thank You for Your heart of redemption and how You take what the world views as nothing, and turn it into everything for the sake of Your kingdom. Help us to embrace wholeheartedly who You have created us to be.
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