So Close You Can See It – Part II
In “So Close You Can See It – Part I” we learned that waiting is a time of preparation. We can wait actively on God by preparing for our crossover. In some cases we can wait by being still and trusting in our sovereign God. As we continue to read through Joshua 3 we also learn that waiting is a time for consecration and reflection.
WAITING IS A TIME FOR CONSECRATION AND REFLECTION
Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.”
As we wait on God our waiting period is a time to evaluate who we are and how we are living. It is a time to compare the who we are right now to the who we need to be when we cross over. In verse 5 the command to the Israelites is “to consecrate themselves” while they wait, and the promise is “the Lord will do amazing things among them”. Consecrate means to set apart or to devote or dedicate to a purpose. To set apart means there may be some behaviors, habits, or people you need to let go of. It is a time to separate from common things and focus on the Lord. When God gets ready to do something amazing in our lives we must be completely prepared. Our character and lifestyle needs to match the destiny God has for us. I hear you asking “how can we consecrate ourselves?”
First, we can consecrate ourselves by asking for forgiveness of our sins and repenting from any wrong attitudes, wrong behaviors, wrong thinking, or any unforgiveness. Pray, and ask God to reveal the areas to you that you need forgiveness of. God said in His word, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14) Once you receive forgiveness and repent you open the door for God’s miracles in your life.
Second, we can consecrate ourselves by spending time alone with God. If you are not already doing so try to pick a specific time each day to spend with God. Many pastors and authors suggest beginning with 15 minutes a day and increasing as you adjust to your alone time. Be sure to select a time that will not be interrupted. Your time should consist of studying and meditating on God’s word and prayer. One of my favorite scriptures is Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” When we seek after God and put Him first He will ensure our needs are met.
Third, we can consecrate ourselves by examining our life. What habits, behaviors, and thoughts do we have that may hinder us from being all that God desires us to be or may be coming in between your relationship with God. As I stated in my testimony in Part I, I worked on my finances. I knew that home ownership was a huge responsibility. I knew that once I became a home owner I could no longer manage finances as I had done so in the past, but it was time to develop new financial habits.
Finally, we can consecrate ourselves by surrounding ourselves with like-minded people. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17) There is a popular e-mail that circulates frequently that states “everyone cannot sit on your front row.” As you reflect look at the people in your life. Are they individuals who are building you up or are they tearing you down? Do they bring more heartache and confusion than peace and joy? We want to have people in our lives that can encourage us by speaking words of life to us and praying for us. As we mature in Christ our friendship circles will change. Yes, even long term friendships may fade away. Everyone may not be able to handle where you are going or accept the new creature in Christ you become.
I recently heard Pastor Paula White say “if it’s part of your destiny you can’t lose it and if it isn’t you can’t keep it.” As you wait and consecrate yourself before God reflect on what and who can cross over to the other side of the Jordan River with you. Hebrews 12:1 says “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Consecration is a time of separation, so if something or someone is a hindrance to you and your future, then let go, so that you are fully prepared for the amazing things God wants to do in your life.
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31) Ultimately as we wait we are maturing in God. We are being strengthened and renewed into the men and women of God we are called to be. We are blessed as we hunger for God and seek after His ways knowing and trusting that we will receive the desires of our heart according to God’s perfect will. (Matthew 5:6)
I pray you were blessed on today. Next week we will continue with the final point in our study on Joshua 3. Be blessed and be encouraged.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for revealing to us the importance of consecration as we prepare and wait to receive the abundant life you have for us. As we spend time with you reveal to us the areas we need to seek forgiveness and repent from so that we can be in the right position for you to bless us. Reveal to us thoughts, attitudes, behaviors, and people that we need to remove from our lives for good. Thank you that as we delight in you and as we wait on you our strength is being renewed daily. In Jesus Name. Amen
~Written by Felicia McKnight~