One day, I stood on the balcony of my hotel room and looked curiously at the real world out there!
I saw a lot of brisk movement and activity and I said to myself that I could easily have fitted into the footsteps of any of those people out there. A particular question then passed through my probing mind and hassled my thoughts all through the day. And this is the question: How many of these movements and activities can be located within the stage of preparation in the lives of those engaged in them?
In a world where anything hardly happens by chance, it is simply not enough to be in the right place at the right time. For something to happen, it will take the right person in the right place at the right time. God is the greatest proponent of preparation. He never does anything without preparation. Most people erroneously reduce God to a big time magician who causes things to pop out from the blue without much ado. Such illusionists continue to flout God's laws and principles and then expect to see him perform instant miracles and wonders as and when it suites them. Certainly not so!
Having experienced his love and wisdom in practical terms, and with the benefit of hindsight, I confidently declare that the Creator is unsurpassed in planning and preparation. He is the Supreme Architect of the universe whose abode is outside the confines of time but who continues to use time to accomplish his divine agenda. Because he is not bound by time and always sees ahead of time, he always accomplishes a thing before setting it into motion. This unique characteristic of God is often misunderstood by many people. Because we don't see it when he begins the process, we assume that things just happen. Scripture declares that he determines the ending of a thing before he begins it. Nothing just happens from the blue. Before God created man, he first thought of a place called earth, where man would be the one in charge, exercising dominion and enforcing his divine will and purpose. He understood that space is vital for man to operate in his image and after his likeness. That is why the existence of man is not an accident but a product of a carefully orchestrated plan of the Creator. He very much believes in the principle of first things first, so he got down to the business of creating the earth first.
Preparation is the Proof of Faith in Your Assignment
Every assignment of God will be birthed only after going through the phase of preparation. The creation of man's place of dominance did not happen overnight. The earth did not just pop out in its enhanced form as we have come to know it today. It took a lot of preparation on God's part to make this planet habitable. From the account in Genesis, we know that it took more than just a command to create a habitable earth. It actually took God six days to prepare the earth for the arrival of man. The God that can do anything at anytime did not create this wonderful planet just by a single command? Doesn't this drop a hint? Couldn't God have just commanded a habitable earth to emerge in just one day? I leave the answer to your own imagination. In his deliberate use of time, process, and effort to create the universe, he was establishing a very fundamental and key principle of life: Things don't just happen from the blue; they are made to happen. Everything requires a launch pad to manifest. It is not faith, and it is not determination. It is a process called preparation. You can have the biggest faith and the strongest of determination, but without preparation, you are getting nowhere. Preparation is the proof of faith. Take the example of Noah: He received a word from God regarding the flood, which was for an appointed time; he believed and trusted God, and he got to work preparing for the fulfillment of the word. How do we know he had faith in what God told him? We do because we saw him prepare for the arrival of the flood by the ark he built. Moving from Noah to Abraham, you would realize that it took a lot of preparation on the part of Abraham to walk into the promise God made to him. He moved from being childless to becoming the father of many nations, having passed through the corridors of abandoning his father's house for an unknown destination and trusting God to the point of attempting to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice upon God's word. And now, our ultimate example: the Lord Jesus Christ. He was born King and the Son of God, and yet it took him about thirty years before embarking on his ministry of reconciliation:
Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli (Luke 3:21-23).
Why did the Father have to wait for thirty years before putting a seal of approval on his precious Son even though Jesus was acknowledged from conception as the Son of God? Though he was the Son of God from birth, he still needed to abide by the divine principle of preparation laid down from the very onset of creation. This pre-supposes that even God, in his relationship with man, is still subject to his own laws. In Psalm 138:2, we learn that he has magnified his word above his name. Anybody who will fulfill their divine mandate must necessarily pass the phase of preparation. Preparation does a number of things to a person on a mission:
Preparation qualifies you for your assignment.
Preparation makes you aware of your strengths and weaknesses.
Preparation tries your faith and grounds it in your Creator.
Preparation creates an invisible link between you and your Creator.
Preparation causes a release of supernatural help and supply for your assignment.
Preparation matures you to the point of fruitfulness.
Preparation equips you with the skills necessary for your assignment.
Preparation brings you back from a spiritual high to the physical reality.
Preparation gives you stability.
Preparation moves you from ignorance to knowledge and experience.
Preparation brings you under authority and teaches you to exercise your own.
Preparation conceals you from the enemies of assignment.