John the Baptist was a firebrand. He was rugged, outspoken, confident, and purposeful. People flocked to hear him, and his name was a regular topic around the marketplace. But how did John “the son of Zacharias”, eventually become “John the Baptist”? It was his calling. John was the last of a long line of Old Testament prophets. His conception was miraculous and his upbringing unusual:
“So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.” – Luke 1:80 NKJV
John can’t be separated from his context. Many men probably wanted to be like him (but without the desert and locusts). His wilderness gatherings were a regular destination for those wanting to hear the strong messages. However, his sermons weren’t just passionate soapbox rants, they were preparing the way for the Son of God. There’s a difference between God-ordained strong words and man-produced ones. John’s goal wasn’t to be popular, famous or “cool”, he was speaking from years alone in the desert with God. When he spoke, he used pointed words given to him by the Lord, for the Lord’s people, and for the Lord’s purposes.
Sometimes in the life of faith, there’s a desire to speak strong words, but there hasn’t been any “desert time” first. The words of a disciple should reflect time spent with Him, then He empowers their use for eternal purposes. In the meantime, silence may be the “word of the day”. When He does move your spirit to speak, do so with confidence, humility, love, and His purpose as the goal.