“Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” He said: “I am ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Make straight the way of the Lord,” ’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” John 1:22–23
John the Baptist knew who he was that’s why he said what he said and did what he did. He appears to have been very intentional about fulfilling the calling that God had placed upon him.
Do we know who we are? Do we know what purpose God has called us to fulfill?
Just as surely as God had a purpose and plan for John the Baptist he also has a purpose and a plan for each and every man, woman and child. Many are confused when it comes to God’s purpose for their lives. They don’t know what purpose he has for them and they don’t know how to find out.
I believe that God is trying to clearly communicate his plan to each person and the key to learning it is to first learn to listen to the Holy Spirit as he speaks to you. I find that the key to recognizing the Spirits leading in our lives lies in our willingness to be obedient to what he prompts us to do. The more we accept his leading and follow his directions the more our hearts and minds are tuned to focus in on his voice. But if we frequently or consistently reject or ignore his promptings these actions train us to tune his voice out which makes following his directions nearly impossible.
If we’re new to following the Lord or are in the beginning once again of learning to listen to the Spirits leading in our lives the path forward is the same. It all begins with scripture. God has given us his word so that we can know what his will for us is. The Holy Spirit is present speaking to the heart whenever God’s word is read and if we’ll listen to his word and obey his instructions our minds will become more and more sensitive to discern the promptings of the Holy Spirit as he works in our lives directly.
But it takes studying God’s word for ourselves to deeply develop this skill in our lives. While reading what others have written and listening to the sermons others have to preach has their place they can never take the place of you connecting with God by getting into his word for yourself.
John the Baptist had spent much time in scripture. His answer when asked who he was is a recitation of the words of the prophet Isaiah. It’s also clear that this connecting with the word had grown into a direct connection with the Holy Spirit.
God wants to build in you what he had with John. While he has a different purposes for each of us, he has no favorites. He loves us with an immeasurable love and he wants to be actively involved in each of our lives.
So will you listen to his word? Will you learn to listen to his voice?