Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow The Lord will do wonders among you.” Joshua 3:5
Easter is just a few days away and is arguably the most prominent Christian day of the year. A day of rejoicing, of reassurance of hope and celebration that we worship a living God. A day that we celebrate the very foundation of our faith and that is that Jesus, The Son of God, took upon Himself the wrath of God for sin, which is death due every saint and He put that death to death forever that we may never taste one drop. A day that we celebrate the Good News that He is Risen! This news, The Gospel, has the power to set people free from the bondage of sin. This Gospel does not make bad people good but make dead men alive. The Gospel is not just good news for the lost to be found but is certainly good news for the believer to live a life worthy of being set free and made alive. But a question looms as we approach Easter. Are you ready? Are you prepared for Easter?
All throughout the Old Testament we see a repetitive command for God’s people in preparation to receive from The Lord. Consecrate yourselves! Prior to the people receiving the Ten Commandments in exodus God ordered that they “Consecrate themselves”. In Joshua as the Israelites prepare to cross the Jordan to take possession of the Promised Land God commanded that they wash and consecrate themselves. These are just a few of the many times that God commanded that His people consecrate themselves prior to Him doing something for or through them.
So what does it mean to consecrate? Simply put it means the setting apart of people, things, times or places as sacred for God to use. To consecrate means to separate yourself from the things that would make you unclean or contaminate your relationship with God. As believers we constantly ask and plead with God to work in our lives and lead and guide and direct us in the path that is not only pleasing to God but also good for us. But so often we do not prepare ourselves for this. We expect God to work yet we are not prepared possibly miss the blessing. So as we approach Easter and are in the midst of Holy Week may we Consecrate Ourselves in preparation for experiencing the wonders of God. Here are a few ways we can do this.
Read! Read the story of the Gospel. Read with the family the crucifixion and death of Jesus and how he willingly went to the Cross on our behalf. Read how he died and was placed in the tomb and rose on the third day. There is no substitute for reading in the Word of God how Jesus was obedient to the point of death on a Cross and overcame for the sake of the elect. For whatever is written in the former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4
Pray! Especially this week pray that God would open eyes to see and ears to hear the Gospel for the first time of people and that he would save them. Also pray that as you read and worship that the Holy Spirit would allow you to experience the Gospel in a new way and that the love of Christ would grow richer in you. Pray that the Spirit would stir your affections for Jesus even more and equip you to be who God has called you to be. Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, Ephesians 6:18
Fast! Take time this week to fast in some way. This is a very biblical way to consecrate yourself. When we fast it is a time of setting something aside in order to focus on a deeper relationship with The Lord. Fasting can be from many things such as food, television, media, even sleep. Take time this week to skip a meal and read and pray and meditate on God’s Word. Turn the television off and read and pray and fellowship with the family about the Gospel. Turn off the media that distracts you and robs you of time in prayer and the Word and enjoy just being with The Lord. So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty, Ezra 8:23
Come with eager expectation! Come expecting to receive from The Lord His blessings. We often don’t do this. We should come to Him with humble and honest hearts desiring to experience His grace and mercy in a new light. Expect God to reveal to you something new about His character and His love for you. Commit your way to The Lord; trust in Him and He will act. Psalm 37:5
As Easter quickly approaches I pray that we are prepared and eagerly await God to move in a mighty way. Consecrate us Lord and may we find more joy in Your salvation!