“I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.'” John 1:23
In ancient times, a servant would go ahead of royalty to clear the road of any obstructions or debris, thereby making the pathway safe for those following. The metaphor of the road and debris is significant. To get on the road means you have to clear the path of debris. John’s message was to evoke a response as he was telling us to get ready for the coming of the Lord. We need to clear whatever is blocking or preventing us from getting on the same road as Jesus. It is not a one-time activity as clearing our pathway of impediments will always remain a necessary spiritual practice. We need to purify our hearts.
Have you thought about what debris must be cleared from your life in preparation for the coming of the Lord? Debris might be those things in the past that keep getting in our way. It might be something that we continue to carry that trips us up from time to time. It may be guilt, memories, old habits, an old self-image, old dreams or old ways of thinking. Any of these things can trip us up on our road to Jesus. There are also present distractions that slow us down or stop us from continuing on or even burdens in our lives that are too heavy or clumsy to stay on the path. There may be detours or misdirection that takes us of the path.
John said he came to clear the path, remove the distraction and help us avoid the detours and how did he do that? He called us to respond with the purification of our hearts. He called us to confess our sins and seek forgiveness and with a reaffirmation of our faith in Jesus. It’s not enough to know the path. We must get on it and keep moving forward toward Jesus.