In Joshua 3:5, we are instructed to, Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do great things among you. I began to examine what God meant by the word “consecrate.” God showed me that a time of consecration happens when you truly set yourself aside and dedicate yourself to God. As we consecrate ourselves to the Lord, He is readying or preparing us to meet His holiness. The more I studied about consecration, the more God revealed to me in His Word.
One of the greatest examples of being consecrated by God is that of Moses in Exodus 19. When Moses approached the burning bush, he had no idea that he was standing on the holy ground of God. At that moment, God instructed Moses to remove his sandals. In doing so, God was “consecrating” Moses to prepare him for something unimaginable, something BIG—their meeting. What Moses did understand was how to be obedient and submit to God. God was getting Moses ready for something BIG! All Moses had to do was put his full trust in God and be ready for the Lord to do amazing things.
God told Moses to go to the people. For the next two days, Moses was instructed to get the people ready to meet the Holy God. He was told to have them scrub their clothes so that on the third day, they would be fully prepared. On the third day, God came down from Mount Sinai to make His presence known to all the people. So, Moses obeyed God and told the people to give their clothes a good scrubbing to prepare themselves to be in God’s presence. Without truly understanding the full scope of what it was to be consecrated, Moses trusted in God, did what he was told, and in his obedience, both he and his people were consecrated.
Reading and understanding God’s Word is a wonderful thing, but applying God’s teachings and lessons to our lives doesn’t always feel so wonderful. As I studied God’s Word about consecration, He provided a personal example one evening in my home concerning the impact of certain television shows and music. Since all those present clearly had differing opinions about the matter, a little debate ensued. Could it be that what we were watching or listening to might unintentionally open a door for the enemy to set up camp when we least expected it?
The conversation ended abruptly, causing most of us to feel somewhat awkward and unclear about where we stood on the matter. I wanted to stand with God, so I began to pray for God’s wisdom, for the words that would offer my spirit some peace. Even though God had laid on my spirit to study what it meant to be consecrated, we obviously weren’t doing those things, as a family, or the issue of what we watched and listened to wouldn’t have been in question.
A while later, I was standing in front of the washer with all these thoughts swirling around in my head. As I began pulling the clothes from the washer, I heard a noise inside the machine. Inside was a bottle of anointing oil that had been given to us at Dwelling Place Church International, where Jamie and Judy Jacobs Tuttle were the church’s lead pastors. Suddenly, it hit me that our garments had been anointed with this oil—mine, Tim’s, and my son, Kaeden’s. I said, “God, You went before us, before this issue even came up tonight, and You anointed our garments.”
Then I noticed that the dryer had a printed instruction on its surface that read, “Be clean before each cycle.” That’s it—each cycle of life. Each new season, we are to be cleansed and holy before the Lord. God had taken care of our concerns before we ever knew there were concerns. I praised Him! He was showing me that even though we were hearing things that bothered us, He had already gone before us and anointed our garments. He was consecrating us—making us clean, pure, and cleansed!
God continued to lead my study, encouraging me to turn to Exodus 29;21, where it says, and take some blood from the altar and some of the anointing oil and sprinkle it on Aaron and his garments and his sons and their garments. Then he and his sons and their garments will be consecrated. Without us even realizing it, God had consecrated us all. When I read this, I said, “Oh God, you are about to do something BIG with this whole family! For you to go before us and anoint our garments, you are getting us ready for something BIG!
God loves us so much; He takes care of us even when we don’t realize we need Him to do so. All we need to be concerned with is submitting to God and following Him. I don’t have all the answers, but God does. He will make us ready, prepare us, consecrate us for something BIG!