John the Baptist's Sustenance was the Holy Spirit

“For [John the Baptist] is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness; Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.”
Matthew 3:2-3

To many, John the Baptist is an enigmatic figure. He was one who was completely consecrated to the Lord and his life purpose was for this one seeming act of preparing the way for Jesus.

He is enigmatic because none of us can relate to him. None of us has his zeal or passion to obey God and to abandon the world. He lived in the wilderness, wore a garment of camel’s hair, and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. His only delight was to obey God.

He is the greatest of all prophets, said Jesus, an honor few in our day aspire to. Not the honor of being the greatest prophet, but the honor of being commended by Jesus as being great. Yet for those who do seek Jesus’ words, they find they lack the inner strength to do what John the Baptist did his whole life.

What was the power to live out the life of John the Baptist?

I tell you a truth- it was not because of his abstinence from worldliness that kept him burning, but a radical pursuit of something that truly fed him. You see, John was recorded in Luke 1 as being “filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.” What people miss is that it was the power and the joy of the Holy Spirit that made John the Baptist the great man he was.

It was the Holy Spirit which sustained his entire life of consecration before the Lord. It was the Holy Spirit which gave his work gladness. It was the Holy Spirit which led him to even give up his life in the work of the Kingdom.

And so the wilderness and his meager food was his happiness, his camel hair and friendlessness was his gladness; his source of ultimate joy came elsewhere. He needed nothing and no one else.

Fellowship with God drove John to true joy. Fellowship with God drove John to greatness. Fellowship with God is what made John the Baptist, John the Baptist.

You want to be great in God? Be filled with the Spirit
You want to live a life of Jesus-commending consecration? Be filled with the Spirit.
You want to experience true pleasure and joy? Be filled with the Spirit.

Be filled with the Holy Spirit!

Phillip Chan

Phil has been writing for 10 years. His passion is to grow in his love for Jesus to obey his purposes in our generation.

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