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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Then Joshua said to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.’ And Joshua said to the priests, ‘Take up the ark of the covenant and pass on before the people.’ So they took up the ark of the covenant and went before the people."—Joshua 3:5-6 (ESV)
When it comes to trips, I can admit that I’m not much of a planner. I don’t concern myself with itineraries, agendas, or plans . . . I only concern myself with what restaurants we’ll be hitting up. My wife, on the other hand, is all about the plans. She makes detailed itineraries that outline pretty much every single minute of our trip. She prepares in advance for what will happen when we arrive at our destination.
In Joshua 3:5–6, we see one of the most powerful pieces of advice ever given in the Bible. Joshua says, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” The word used here for consecrate means, “to be set apart; to prepare for a holy purpose; to dedicate; to sanctify or purify; to be kept as holy.” It’s the same word used to describe the keeping of the Sabbath, the dedication of the temple, and the ritual cleansing priests would undertake in order to be able to perform their duties.
Essentially, Joshua is instructing the people to dedicate themselves to God’s ways, purposes, and will, because the next day He was going to do amazing things through them! My friend, this is truly the greatest piece of advice I can think of for the Christian life. Prepare your heart daily, set yourself apart, dedicate yourself to Christ Jesus and His ways, because He wants to do wonders in and through you!
Paul describes this very thing in 2 Corinthians 7:1 (NIV), saying, “Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” Similarly, 1 John 3:2–3 (NLT) tells us, “Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.”
What does this daily purifying in preparation for His profound work look like? While it’s true that our sanctification is an inward process conducted by the Holy Spirit, we have a part in the process! Our part is to seek after Him. This involves devotion to His Word, prayer, and intentionally drawing near to God and the things of God while also fleeing from sin and the things of this world. When we prepare ourselves by aligning our hearts to His daily, He promises to do amazing, wondrous, miraculous things in and through us!
DIG: Search for verses about sanctification and purification.
DISCOVER: What does your daily sanctification look like?
DO: Put together a sanctification plan for yourself that includes daily prayer, Bible study, consistent times of worship, fellowship with other believers, and occasional fasting.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.