The voice calls for enormous preparations on a fantastic scale. Entire valleys are to be filled, huge mountains levelled so not even a hill remains. Every rough and rugged spot is to be smoothed out. It’s an engineering marvel beyond anything the world has seen. Why? The royal king is coming to take up residence, and a straight highway must be prepared for his arrival.

When Jesus was about to begin his ministry, a man named John was preaching and baptizing in the wilderness near Jerusalem. Many people responded to his message gladly, but others were skeptical, even hostile. When they asked him who he was he replied, “Make straight the Lord’s highway” (John 1:23).

Today there are the same three kinds of people: the skeptics, the hostile, and those who receive the king with joy. How do you know which group you are in? The test is not an emotion or a feeling but rather how you act. Do you make straight the Lord’s highway? To say it more simply, “Are you willing to open your heart and life to receive the king?”

Don’t get these things in the wrong order. It’s not that you have to make everything right before Jesus joins your life. Who can ever do that? Rather, it’s that those who have received him do all they can to clear his way into their lives. They think, “I don’t want anything to keep Jesus from filling me with his Spirit.”

And, sometimes more slowly, sometimes more quickly, the glory of the Lord is revealed in your life. That’s his promise, his desire, and his commitment to you. You say, “I don’t feel very glorious today.” That happens. Not to worry. Is there a rock you can move, a rough spot you can smooth out? Maybe even a small mountain to level? Prepare the path. Make it straight. And, that done, go on to the next.

He is working within you, and he will complete the good work he has begun. “For the mouth of the Lord has spoken!”

Lord, there are some pretty crooked paths, sharp turns, and bumps in my life. To be honest, I’m a big construction site. I need your help, Lord, to make straight your road.

Throughout This Day: Look back and rejoice over how God has been at work in your life to make his paths straight.

Tags: The Promised One Daily Devotional Isaiah 40
Photo Credit: Johannes Plenio on Unsplash