Clearing the Underbrush

In Biblical terms, the believer is empowered not to build something but to clear the way for it.

by Derrel Emmerson

In some measure many of us have “stood on the shoulders of giants” and have realized and seen more than those before us. Those people who have boosted me are a continual inspiration. More than once I have given thanks for those who were bearers of encouragement and benevolence. I regularly give thanks to God for them by name.

I will not say these people in my life contributed to my success. That is because I know little of what “success” really means unless it is just to live with a sense of purpose and enthusiasm. Those giants put a fire in my core to become an encourager myself.

You see, the higher call upon our lives is not to live merely to see “more” and achieve “more” than those before us. We are all a part of God’s redemptive plan for the earth and its people. We all have a divine call and privilege to advance the opportunities and personal dignity of those who follow after. And, for the believer, those opportunities involve making inroads in preparing “the way of the Lord.”

We will discover the meaning of life when we get over the illusion of achieving and begin to focus upon the work of the advancing the “King and His kingdom” without a need for human credits. John the Baptist had the message. He characterized himself as “a voice crying in the wilderness,” in fact, and gave us this refrain:

“’Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.
Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,
the rough ways smooth.
All mankind will see God’s salvation.’”
Luke 3:4-6

In Biblical terms, the believer is empowered not to build something but to clear the way for it. The straight paths may be seen as prayers and preparations for the coming event of His appearing. The low places may be seen as lifting the lowly and the mountains and hills as in the bending and bowing of our natures to the king. The crooked roads are those values, attitudes and styles which are out of joint and which are bent.

It is not drum beating of personal achievement which the believer is attuned to. It is the padding of the feet of the multitudes that have gone before them to behold the promises fulfilled and looming even larger in what the scriptures call “The Golden City.” This is the vision that lifted and carried generations bound in slavery and degradation. It is the vision for which all human nature yearns in the essence of their seeking even of false temporal goals.

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