Getting Ready The Right Way

I took a short break from writing about I am learning about leadership and spiritual warfare in the book of Joshua. Instead, I honored the fallen on D-Day in a post called Honor, Courage, and Commitment – the code for the US Navy.

After that, it’s time to get back to reading the OT book of Joshua. I titled this post: Getting Ready the Right Way. This has nothing to do with getting dressed, or going on a road trip. Rather, it is about our hearts being ready to serve the Lord. Church Fam, you may already doing something good and I know the Lord is pleased whenever His children step up. However, probe deeper and you might see parts

Back to the Old Testament book of Joshua.

So far, we have seen
1. A Change of Command ceremony when Joshua took command
2. Joshua sending two spies into Jericho where they were sheltered a woman named Rahab.
3. The Israelites crossing the Jordan River a flood tide – a miracle.

This part is where it gets interesting. The people, all two to three million strong, stop. Why? Is there an enemy army? Another river? Jericho itself? At this point, God himself stops them and ask the men to circumcise themselves.

Wait? What? Come on, the Israelites would say, we have crossed the river. We’re ready to roll. We have momentum. The spies says the people are completely afraid of us. Let’s go! And besides, circumcision hurts. A lot. It would take us weeks to heal.

However, the Israelites obeyed. They stopped and obeyed God’s command. And God was pleased. In fact, God told them: “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.”

After they had been healed, the Israelites observed the Passover meal. What was even more interesting, manna stopped. The bread from heaven stopped. In fact, the Israelites ate from Canaan for the first time.

Fast forward to 2019. None of this makes much sense. If you are not a Jewish man, you probably did not get circumcised. You have never eaten manna. And unless you asked someone to demonstrate the Passover meal, a lot of context would be helpful.

When it comes to circumcision, once you get past the physical act, we come to a spiritual reality. The apostle Paul had a lot to say about what circumcision really meant in the New Testament, how it indicates that God has marked you, that you are different, and consecrated. That when you look down at yourself, you see scars and remember you are not your own.

We don’t hear that word in the church any more: consecration. It’s an old word, almost King James English, foreign to modern ears. We want to be “relevant”, “authentic”, and “missional”. To be honest, I still have no idea what those words really means. I know what my flaws are, but I also don’t air my dirty laundry. Meanwhile, when will the modern church add the word consecrated back into its vocabulary?

Here are some observations:
1. Consecration comes before action. Did you know that the night before a young man is made a knight in the 13th century, he was supposed to pray all night? He was supposed to dedicate his calling to God. Then and only then was he deemed ready.
2. I don’t think God deemed his people ready for actual service until they showed they were serious. When it comes to circumcision, there is no going back. You can’t just glue that part of your body back on. Likewise, being a Christian and then volunteering to serve God is a serious business.
3. Above all, consecration is God focused. It recognizes His holiness and man’s imperfection. In the book of Joshua, God told His people that he rolled away their reproach. He saw their sins in the wilderness. He saw that this generation who was about to go into Canaan were not ready. That they needed to see God is not just powerful but holy.

We don’t hear the word holy in church any more either. We talk about God’s love rightly, but that love is wrapped in holiness. In Isaiah and in Revelation, all the praises declare God’s holiness. That is His primary attribute.

I just wonder and I have to ask myself this question too is: just how ready am I really? Not in terms of technical skills but is my heart and my life truly consecrated. There is an old hymn that goes:

Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise

Praise is the end goal. But if you’re not truly ready the right way, you’ll never get there. And you’ll never be in the Promised Land either.

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