In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. –Matthew 3:1-3 (KJV)
There may have been times in your life when you felt that were all alone in what you were doing. You were trying to get your life heading in a right direction, attempting to be a witness for Christ, endeavoring to lead your children down a path of righteousness, and moving ahead toward where God was leading. The problem was you had the feeling that no one was listening or taking you seriously. That’s a troubling thought. To be in that place leaves us feeling like John the Baptist, which was a voice crying in the wilderness. Such movements toward where God would have us to be are never futile, but it’s easy to become discouraged. We begin to think that our efforts are wasted or not going anywhere. If we are not careful we might begin to question the promise of God that when we are faithful we are blessed and God always hears and answers our prayers.
No doubt there were times when John began to wonder if he was making a difference. John was a man familiar with spending time in the wilderness. He prayed, sought the Lord, and proclaimed what he knew God was telling him to say. But people will still be people. As it was in those days so will it be today. As followers of Christ, whether we are preaching or serving the Lord in some other capacity, we will always have to confront apathy and indifference. I can imagine John the Baptist growing discouraged, but then people started showing up to hear the message. The handfuls become crowds, and then the crowds grew into multitudes. Soon there were more people to baptize that could be counted. John’s faithfulness was realized and the fruits of his labor were seen as people responded to the message, which was to get ready for the coming of the Lord.
No matter how God has called us to serve, let us be faithful and not grow discouraged. Keep being a witness for Jesus even when it appears no one is listening. Continue being a godly example for your family even when it looks like they don’t care. Persevere in living an honorable life before God even when those around us don’t seem to notice. As they responded to the faithfulness of John, people will also respond to the power of Christ shining from our lives.
Pray in faith, walk in power, and let Jesus shine from your life today. Be faithful, for God is at work all around us and wants us to be a part of that holy calling.