The Crossing

The Crossing

Joshua 3:5 (ESV) Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.

“The mark of a saint is not perfection, but consecration. A saint is not a person without faults, but a man who has given himself without reserve to God. (Brooke Westcott)

For forty years the Children of Israel walked in the wilderness surrounding the Promised Land. A straight-line distance of 240 miles that would take the average person about 20 minutes to walk a mile. If you do the math using an 8-hour day which is a standard workday, it should have only taken the Israelites about ten days, or maybe two weeks if you consider the Sabbath, to cross the Jordan. What happened? They wanted the Hand of God without pursuing His Heart.

Moses and Aaron could not lead where they did not go. The promise is a result of obedience to God that begins with consecration. Now Joshua is commissioned by God to finish the journey and cross the Jordan but first there must be a consecration. Consecration means to set apart. To make something sacred. Dedicate to service. To be devoted. To be sanctified. It means to be changed. We are to be holy. Holiness can only be accomplished by the wholeness of Christ. He sanctifies us and it is through His Holy Ordination that a life of consecration can produce completion.

Ephesians 1:3-6 (ESV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

I was listening to a worship service on my way to work. The songs selected were all about the holiness of God. The most powerful form of praise is to worship God for who He is. To simply say, “Jesus – You are holy!” To be lost in the Presence of God without worry or care and simply rest in Who He is before heading off into the darkness to be the light. A pastor began to exhort the people and quoted Joshua 3:5. As he shared his heart clearly uttering on behalf of the Holy Spirit – he began to talk about consecration but in a whole new way. He didn’t talk about the rules and regulation of religion but rather to set ourselves apart from the feelings and emotions that challenge our faith each day.

We must step out of our past to embrace the future. The Promise of God is non-negotiable as the Father has given us every spiritual blessing in His Son, Jesus. It is just as real and tangible as the land on the other side of the Jordan. However, there were people over there that would not take kindly to these newcomers trying to inhabit what they believe to be their place and property. There would be battles. There would be opposition. The people would need absolute and total confidence in God’s Promise and Purpose to inhabit the position or place that He was leading them. So will I. So will you.

The guidelines and mandates of consecration is not the doctrinal outline set forth by our church affiliation. Holiness has nothing to do with my ability to live a faultless or flawless life but to daily live in true repentance. To acknowledge and respect my need for Jesus Christ to inhabit my heart, mind, body and soul and influence every attitude and action in my life. It means I must relinquish control of me and trust the Lord to do what He promises in me and through me. Consecration is not a religious act but a sacrificial relationship with the Living God through His Son – Jesus Christ who lives in you. I am His Beloved. I must live like He is mine.

2 Timothy 2:20-21 (ESV) Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

“Consecration is only possible when we give up our will about EVERYTHING.” (F.B. Meyer) My life must become a vessel. An empty vessel to allow the fullness of Christ to make it holy and acceptable for God’s Use. Consecration is a call to holiness that is the wholeness of Jesus Christ who leads us to His Fullness including full satisfaction and complete abundance by the surrender of self. Total trust and confidence in Jesus does not allow us to hang on to things like fear, doubt, disappointment, unforgiveness, anxiety, worry, control and every other emotion, feeling and stronghold held on to. Our promise is inevitable. Consecration opens the pathway to purpose.

Fulfillment comes when by surrendering our right to hold on to such things in order to be filled with the fullness of Jesus Christ. It is the place where the circumcision of our heart takes place cutting away the hard stony exterior to expose the new life within us.

Philippians 4:7-9 (ESV) And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Peace with God is established in Jesus Christ. To consecrate our life to Him as Lord is not an act of service but rather complete sacrifice of our will to be in His Will. It is not that complicated. But rather a daily giving of ourselves to the Lord piece by piece which He will receive wholeheartedly. The Lord knows us and hence has given us His Spirit to help us along the way. The Peace of God comes with peace with Him. To walk the narrow road (Matthew 7) is a lonely venture without His Partnership and Holy Inhabitation. Today – you are on the edge of the Jordan ready to enter your promise. What will you do? Wait another day to enter in or fully consecrate your life – mind, will and emotions – heart, soul and spirit – every ounce of your flesh and cell in your body to the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Gate. He is the Door. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life for you. What is breakthrough? It is when we decide to go after God’s Heart and cross over to the Promise. He is not withholding His Hand but offering us His Heart today.

“Consecration thus constitutes the only unconditional surrender which is also a total victory!” (Neal A. Maxwell)

Jeremiah 1:5 (ESV) “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Leviticus 20:7-8 (ESV) Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God. Keep my statutes and do them; I am the Lord who sanctifies you.

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It’s Friday – A Devotion

Romans 8:23-24 (NLT)

And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hopefor it.

 

It’s Friday! The work week is finally coming to an end. The hustle and bustle of routine gives way to rest and peace. Cares and worries are sidetracked temporarily for sojourns of carefree fun and relaxation. Though it technically still is a workday, it’s Friday! The thought occurs that one must survive only one more grueling day of toil and then freedom. It comes once a week making it hard to miss. No one has to remind us that Friday is coming because it has been hyped all week. The plans begin at 5:00pm. Everything will be better once the weekend is here. The labor and burden will be over for 48 full hours. The routine of society has dictated an official work week that ends with two days of rest. However, it was not the world’s idea to have a day of rest but God’s. He called the day of rest Sabbath and consecrated it as holy. For a long time, people have designated it as the time to worship God during our designated day of rest. It seems odd that ordained worship would be on the day we are called to stop and rejuvenate. So maybe it was mankind that adopted fitting God into our spare time and taking Him out of the rest of our life. Or maybe it is a misunderstanding of holiness that causes the confusion. Holiness is being set apart. It is giving something fully to God. Sunday has become a holy day for believers because it is set aside for corporate worship of the Lord, but that is not the only day that is holy. Believers are called to live consecrated lives. A set apart life is 24/7, not just on Sunday and the occasional Wednesday. However, as with most things in life, people have decided to place God in the same parameters of routine and scheduling as the rest of their lives. We live for Friday to begin to experience peace. We wait for Sunday to worship God. What if every day became our Friday? The anticipation would be infectious and overtake our life as we lived each day filled with expectation of the days to come. Moving away from placing all our hope in one day, we decided to experience hope every day. It would be a different world. We would live a brand new life if every day was Friday.

 

Ecclesiastes 2:22-24 (NLT)

So what do people get in this life for all their hard work and anxiety? Their days of labor are filled with pain and grief; even at night their minds cannot rest. It is all meaningless. So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God.

 

King Solomon made a very important discovery that is tucked in the words of Ecclesiastes. “It is all meaningless.” His description of labor in life and work filled with anxiety and stress is quite insightful. People place a great deal of emphasis on job performance and career paths but truly we are not called to be doctors, lawyers, managers, fast food servers, associates, or civil servants. God has called us to be His Children. We are to live consecrated, set apart and holy lives. Which means whatever we choose to do that we do it as to the Lord? No matter our profession is. However, it is not the institution whose name is on the paycheck that is your provider. It is God. Everything we have is from the Hand of God. It is up to us as Followers of Jesus Christ to find satisfaction in our work. It is our choice to enjoy life. All the factors are present. It is just up to us to position them properly in our life. In Romans, we find the wise words that we should not hope for what we already have. We are working hard, getting stressed out and not enjoying life for something that we already have. God has provided everything that you need to live a life full of peace, joy and rest. He has given you the ability to acquire the necessary provisions in your life. All that He asks is for your heart. Place your heart in the Lord and every day becomes Friday full of anticipation and expectation at what tomorrow will bring. You will begin to live for forever rather than just the weekend. Residency in the Kingdom of God will make worship a daily event, praise moment-to-moment and fellowship with the Lord a daily benefit.

 

Philippians 4:19 (NLT)

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

 

The core belief essential to live a life of Fridays is the understanding that God will supply all your needs and that it is a gift from Jesus Christ. Toil and labor are the human idea of success not God. By placing faith and trust in Jesus and His Sufficiency, we move from working for things in life to living for God. But Jesus has to be enough? Is He enough for you? Or are you God’s Little Helper who is constantly buffeting your faith with open-ended disclosures and working to make sure that God does not fail? Friday is for those who know that the weekend is coming. Those who have faith that their rest will be fulfilled can live in anticipation of the coming day because they know what they will find there. God’s peace, love, provision, protection and prosperity is in each new day lived for Him. God not only can supply all of your needs, wants, dreams and hope but He WILL for those who place their trust in Him. Is today your Friday? It can be. Choose to wait on the Lord. Make it a point to seek His Face. Live a life of anticipation of God and no-one else. Experience a meaningful life. Stop working so hard for worldly wealth and make a Kingdom investment. Celebrate! It’s Friday.