7. The Law Of Preparation

In Your Bible Read This

Isaiah 49

Here Is Your Memory Verse

Since you are precious and honoured in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life. Isaiah 43.4

Afterwards Talk About This

Discuss how you have felt the skill of the potter and the arrow maker in your own lives.

Something To Do Before Next Time

See if you can visit a potter and ask to see the process from ground to finished article. Tell him why. Examine some branches, then go and see and feel some arrows.

Written Diploma Work

Examine the character qualifications in Exodus, Timothy and Titus and write one page to explain them in modern life.

Meditate Word By Word On This Verse

Jeremiah 18, 1-6

Spend a Minute to Change the World

Pray For Philippines – 70,000,000 Asian islanders

Dramatic church growth, Catholic majority, 5% Evangelicals , widespread poverty.

Be sure to teach this lesson to others.Always pray and prepare well adding your own verses and stories to bring it to life.

Are Leaders Born Or Made?

Have you ever realised that raw material has to be prepared before it is ready for sale and use? For example skilled people have to prepare ~

  • Stone – to be a statue.
  • Iron ore – to make a car.
  • Trees – to make furniture.
  • Wool – to make a coat.
  • Hide – to make shoes.

You can also see God’s law of preparation in nature. Animals prepare for winter, soil is prepared for planting and rough stones are smoothed by flowing water.

When we are first saved and called by God we are also raw material, nothing like what we will be after God has prepared us. A pile of stones is never a house until they are prepared and put together in a plan. Even a pile of ‘living stones’ cannot make a spiritual house or church until prepared. 1 Peter 2.5

Seeds And Plants Before Fruit

A leader is born, then born again, called and anointed but before he takes responsibility and bears fruit for the Lord there is always a time of preparation. A leader avoids or short- cuts this important stage at his own risk and with risk for God’s people later on.

The Law Of Preparation

Because God loves order and excellence and detests mediocrity, in Bible times some things had to be prepared –

  • A habitation for the Lord. Exodus 15.2, Psalm 107:36, KJV.
  • Offerings for the tabernacle. Numbers 15.3-12; 23.1-2, AV
  • A man’s heart to seek God. 1 Samuel 7.3; Psalm 10.17, KJV
  • Materials for Solomon’s Temple 1 Chronicles 22, 3-14. KJV
  • A way for the Messiah, Isaiah 40.3; 62,10; Mat. 3.1-3;11.10
  • People to meet with God, Ex. 19.14-15. KJV
  • A horse for battle, Proverbs 21.31
  • Honourable vessels, 2 Tim 2.20-21
  • A body for Jesus, Hebrews 10.5
  • A Bride of Christ, Rev. 19.7; 21.2

Every skilled craftsman needs years of apprenticeship, and the skilled leaders of God’s people are no exception. Joshua spent years with Moses, Elisha spent years with Elijah, Timothy spent years with Paul.

How Does God Prepare Leaders?

Isaiah 49 1-6 is the doorway into God’s own training school and the course lasts as long as you make it! You can leave a university but God’s school follows you around, Psalm 139, 7-10. The sooner you learn, the sooner you graduate. Isaiah prophesies how God will prepare Jesus for life and ministry. The same process was true for Isaiah and is a pattern for us today. Let us see the lessons in the School of the Spirit ~

Lessons In Destiny

Leaders must understood that they were called before birth and flow with their eternal destiny, 49.1; Gal. 1.15; Jer 1.5; Is. 9.6; Eph. 1.4.

Lessons In Speaking Life

God works on our tongues to make our words sharp like a sword not blunt and negative.

Lessons In Pottery

He hides us in the shadow of his hand, 49.2, which is a picture of the Master Potter shaping us, the clay, Jer. 18,1-4. Jesus uses his own wounded hands and the earthly ‘hand’ of his five master builders, Ephesians 4.11. Did you know that clay must first be dug up, even blasted out and separated? Clay must be washed and soaked in water, then hit, pressed thoroughly and poked with a thin wire to remove air bubbles. It must go round and round on a wheel, stretched and pulled apart again and again till shape comes, only to be set aside to harden. Then it’s the fire! Maybe that explains a lot about what has been happening to you?

Lessons In Arrow Making

God intends to make his leaders into polished arrows, Isaiah 49.2. In those days arrows were made from Acacia wood which is rough, knotted and crooked, just like man’s character before receiving Jesus! An arrow shaft is made by repeated stripping, sanding and straightening, with oil which speaks of the Holy Spirit, rubbed in to heal the bruises, before being attached to the arrow tip. The goal is accurate flight to the target every time. The tip is the ministry gift, but the shaft represents character by which leaders rise or fall, and is a major qualification for ministry, Exodus 18, 21, 1 Timothy 3, Titus 1, 5-9. Ever felt God’s straightening process? Now you know why!

Lessons In Patience

After all that hard work and painful preparation you might think that now you are ready to lead, but instead God conceals you in his quiver, with all the other new arrows. Concealed means hidden from public view. 49.2. It isn’t long before all the wrong reactions of frustration, rebellion and independence come out. Some say, “It’s all been in vain and for nothing,” 49,4, but patience and submission are learned by practice.

Graduation Day Finally Comes

With a reward for all that suffering. “But now,” the Lord says, “It is too small a thing for you just to help my people. I will make you a light for the nations. Bring my salvation to the ends of the earth,” 49, 5-6. The price of being used by God is patience in allowing him to prepare you to be a fine man or woman of God.

To Close Pray for the World’s Most Unreached Peoples by Name

Taken from the Joshua Project Unreached Peoples List these people have no church and as yet no cell, church or mission has committed themselves to prayer, adoption or church planting among this people.

Pakistan

People Name Language Population
Hindko, Southern Hindko, Southern 625,000
Khetrani Khetrani 10,000
Kolai (Kohistani-Shina) Shina, Kohistani 200,000
Sansi Bhil Sansi 20,000
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