My apologies for the missed devotions of yesterday and the day before....
ConsecrationBefore they can cross the Jordan...
Before they can attack Jericho...
Before they undertake any major task...
God asks Israel to consecrate themselves.
What did "consecration" involve?
The English words we use to translate the original Hebrew word are interesting: "Purify", "Set apart", "Sanctify", "Consecrate", "Set yourself apart", "Dedicate yourself", "Keep yourselves holy", and "Separate yourselves".
Acts and rituals of Consecration included washing, cleansing, with-holding, abstaining and preparing.
One could probably summarise it in four movements:
- Reflection on one's life, priorities and values.
- Dealing with sin: Confession, Repentance & Receiving forgiveness (often symbolised by washing)
- Resolve to belong to God: This could be demonstrated by abstaining from food or practices that distract us. Or by wearing priestly garments or adopting symbols and practices that pointed away from earthly things toward heaven.
- Whole-hearted devotion to God: The rituals mean nothing if this is not the final state of our hearts.
When one analyses this, it really involves two things: turning away from temporary things (the world, our desires and ambitions) and turning towards God. (The latter part is the ultimate point, but we can't turn to God without turning away from other things.)
Even though we find ourselves in a covenant of Grace, consecration is something we do, not to earn God's love, but because we are much loved.
Ultimately it's about being filled with the Spirit.
And being filled with the Spirit is not so much asking how much of the Spirit I have,
but how much of me the Spirit has.
(Imagine the significance of going through the four movements described above before beginning a day or week or starting an important activity.)
|Joshua told the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you." (Joshua3:5)|
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Emmanuel Presby Church
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