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
How do we ready our hearts for forward movement?
The Israelites, before they can cross the Jordan to the Promised Land, are told that instead of plunging forward into this new future and land they have to stop and pause. They must prepare themselves before they will be ready to see God do “amazing things among [them].” They must consecrate themselves. What does this mean?
The heart of consecration is to be set apart and dedicated for a certain task. We see certain items be consecrated in the tabernacle like the altar, lampstand, and the ark of the covenant because they are to be used for worship. We see people, like the Nazirites, set apart for certain tasks. And in Joshua 3 the Israelites are to consecrate themselves and purify themselves to be ready to witness a holy and miraculous act by their holy God.
If we can be confident that God is working in this season of change, both in our church community and in our world, are we ourselves ready to see what he will do? Are we looking? Have we prepared our hearts to receive what he has for us? Ask yourself these questions as you ponder your own readiness:
- How are you seeing God move our community forward?
- How can you prepare yourself to participate in this forward movement?
By Jessica Rust