Tomorrow is unknown while we still reside in today. Since we are early into this new year of ours, we can pray about and have hope about how it will all turn out. At times, we are called to rest. Other times, we are called to prepare. One thing is sure, we can trust God through it all.
Even though we may not know the future, God will often tell us what we can do in the waiting. This week I’m getting a bit deep and heavy because I’m learning something already in 2019.
In 2019, He may ask us to…
Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! -Psalm 46:10 (ESV)
Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. -Matthew 26:41 (NIV)
CONSECRATION AS PREPARATION
Sometimes, God will ask us to take a more active role to prepare ourselves. In the account of the Israelites crossing the Jordan River at long last, God speaks through Joshua. After so many years of aimless wandering, straying from God’s plan, and complaining, it was finally time for the journey to be finished. Their tomorrow was to be amazing, but they had to prepare.
Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. After three days the officers went throughout the camp, giving orders to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. Then you will know which way to go since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about two thousand cubits between you and the ark; do not go near it.” Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” -Joshua 3:1-5
The act of consecration was meant to be both physical and spiritual. Matthew Henry’s commentary on the Bible explains:
See what preparation we must make to receive the discoveries of God’s glory and the communications of his grace: we must sanctify ourselves. This we must do when we are to attend the ark, and God by it is about to do wonders among us; we must separate ourselves from all other cares, devote ourselves to God’s honour, and cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit. The people of Israel were now entering into the holy land and therefore must sanctify themselves.
In expectant faith of a new tomorrow and the blessings long-hoped-for, God asked them to prepare themselves. Just as we prepare ourselves for a job interview, a wedding, or some other important function, so should we prepare ourselves as we look into 2019 with anticipation of what God will do.
Though the act of consecrating ourselves doesn’t sway God’s decision to act, the preparedness it brings allows us to be attuned to His voice. It allows us to be ready to receive the blessing. Without preparing our hearts and minds and setting ourselves apart from the noise of this busy world, we could miss what God is doing. Even worse, we might not fully appreciate it when it comes.
HOW WILL YOU CONSECRATE?
How will you prepare for the wonders and blessings that 2019 holds? What distractions can you say no to? Is there an area of your life which is not of true eternal significance that you’ve lavished too much attention on?
These are hard questions I had to ask myself. I had to ask God too. He answered me and showed me.
For me, fasting social media, diving deeper into the word, and inclining my ear in prayer are the ways I am choosing to consecrate myself. It’s hard work. My human nature rails against these things because they require discipline. The very things that are best for me are usually the things that are hardest to do.
Stay the course, friends. Dig in and set yourself apart, listening and waiting for what God wants to do in your life. You’ll find that the journey is sometimes as satisfying as the destination. Any time we spend leaning into the Lord is never wasted.
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Hi! I’m Tracy…Christ-follower, wife, mama, writer, blogger, speaker, teacher, dreamer. I love Earl Grey Tea and quiet mornings. Here at Earl Grey and Yellow, the focus is striving to be faithful and appreciate the small things. So glad you stopped by. Please have a look around and subscribe to our newsletter and social media to stay connected.