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July 16 – Consecrate yourselves

“Then Joshua said to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.’” – Joshua 3:5

Scripture reading: Joshua 3:1-6

Joshua told the people to consecrate themselves because the LORD was going to do wonders among them. That meant that they had to wash, and put on clean clothes, and abstain from sexual relations. But consecration isn’t just a matter of doing those outward, symbolic things. God wanted them to do those things because He wanted them to be spiritually alert and open, to see and understand the wonders that He was about to do among them.

You might wonder why they had to get ready for that. If God was going to do miracles, wouldn’t they be able to see that they were miracles? And wouldn’t they know, just from seeing what happened, that God had done it? But think about what happened when Jesus came. He healed the sick and gave sight to the blind and fed the crowds and He even raised the dead to life. But they crucified Him. Unbelief is stubborn. If your heart is not open, you cannot see what the Lord is doing, or hear what He is saying to you.

So God wanted Israel to be in a frame of mind, spiritually, for what He was going to show them. We need to have this spiritual posture, of looking to the Lord with expectation, to see and receive His salvation. And we cultivate this attitude by consecrating ourselves. That means, seeing ourselves as we are, sinners who can only be saved by the wonder of God’s sovereign grace in Christ.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that the Holy Spirit will help you to be spiritually alert and open and expectant each time you read or hear the gospel.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Dick Wynia is the pastor of the Vineyard Canadian Reformed Church in Beamsville, Ontario.

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