"See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly, the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the LORD Almighty. Malachi 3:1
God announces that He is going to give the Jewish people what they want ~ a visitation from the messenger of the Covenant, who is Jesus. But before He can come, a period of preparation is necessary. We know that John the Baptist will one day be born and will tell the people to repent. Jesus, the messenger of the covenant, will then be able to come to fulfill the words of Leviticus 26. "I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people. I am the Lord your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright."
But here's the thing. This has not yet happened! This event was not fulfilled in the first coming of Jesus, nor will it be in even the second, but in that future time when He will come and reign, live among His people, and they will acknowledge Him as their Lord.
Beyond timelines, the important point is this: Before Jesus can come and dwell with them, with us, or with me personally, there must be a preparation. The message of the scriptures is consistent and unwavering. Repent - and Jesus will come to dwell. Repent - and you can have a Savior. Repent - and He will call you His own. Repent - and He will break the bands of your yoke. Repent. Repent. Repent.
This is either a forgotten word or a mis-used one. How cunning of our enemy to see to both ends. Satan knows that repentance is critical to heaven's agenda. It is the key to powerful prayer. It is the key to our blessing. It is the key to a visitation of the Spirit of God. And what a stunning face it wears. A repentant saint is one who is sober, humble, unassuming, thoughtful, yielded to One greater than himself- and though that child of God is unaware - his countenance bears the first glimmer of radiant glory.
When I am childish and proud, repentance is never attractive. Plant my steps in humility. Amen