A Voice in the Wilderness

I wrote the following in my dream journal, but this was less of a dream than more something God just said as I was waking up…

I was waking up to go to work and was feeling somewhat depressed because I am feeling all alone.  Ever since God has called me to Judeo-Christianity, had me quit the Vineyard and move out into the middle of nowhere, I have been isolated and feeling very useless.

God said to me, "Consider the ministry of John the Baptist."  By all of man's criteria, John the Baptist was an absolute failure:  a nobody of nobodies.  He lived in the desert, ate bugs, wore rags, never did any miracles that we know of, and simply called people to "…repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand."  Many people did respond to his message, yes; but all he did in response was mikveh them in the Jordan (that is, dunk them in a river for the preparing of their hearts for ministry).  There was no patented 12-step program for success, no book tours, no speaking engagements, no great outpouring of the Spirit, not very many lives changed for the Gospel, no hungry fed, no congregations planted, no platinum-selling worship album, etc.  Just dunking.  Lots of dunking.  As an Essene, he didn't get along well with the religious establishment, either (doesn't that sound familiar)…  The pinnacle of his success was to identify his second cousin as the Messiah of Israel, dunk Him in the river, and then point everyone in Jesus' direction.  Best quote?  "He must increase, I must decrease…"

Then he called out the puppet king of Israel for his affair with his brother's wife, which, of course ticked the king off.  The king had John put in prison, where John asked, "You know, I wonder if I made a mistake here…"  Jesus had to reel him back in by letting John know what was going on in Jesus' ministry:  the blind were seeing, the lame were walking, the kingdom was increasing, etc.  Jesus said, "Don't give up!"  A few days later, John was beheaded by the king (Mark 6:14-29).  That's it.

After I thought about all this, God said to me, "This is where I have you right now--a voice in the wilderness, calling for repentance and pointing to Me." 

Upon hearing about John's imprisonment, Jesus said to the people to whom He was ministering that John the Baptist was the greatest person ever to be born of a woman.  What was it that made him so great in Jesus' eyes?

Like many of the true heroes of the Scripture, John the Baptist's character was one of self-sacrifice.  Instead of wanting to capture the limelight, striving to accomplish an agenda, or compromising the truth to gain favor, John yielded himself to the Holy Spirit even to the point where it landed him in prison where he was ultimately beheaded.

God calls us all to live in such abandonment of self-worship; I personally believe that we will be unable to truly hear the LORD as we should until we fully understand and attempt to live this way.

And so until I hear further instructions, I shall come, day after day, into the belly of a nuclear plant surrounded by razor wire and armed guards, to do the mundane; and as I see the world spinning around me, I will call--as a voice in the wilderness--all those within my reach to repent to the LORD, because the kingdom of God is near.