Digging in your heels

Carolyn’s at work, the kids are off to school and the dog’s been walked. Time for breakfast and some quiet time with God before running off to school.

We’re doing a 50-day prayer and fasting thing in preparation for both First Alliance’s 50th anniversary and a new building campaign. Today we were asked to begin consecrating, or setting ourselves apart, for the work ahead. In preparation for this we were given Joshua 7:13 to read.

13 Get up! Ritually consecrate the people and tell them this: ‘Ritually consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, because the Lord God of Israel says, “You are contaminated, O Israel! You will not be able to stand before your enemies until you remove what is contaminating you.

In the NIV it says that you have devoted things among you. I was confused, so I looked up the context. “Devoted things,” it turns out, means things from Jericho that were to be destroyed for the LORD.

I pondered this.

There are things that are from the world that I have to give over to God. I will not be able to stand unless these things are destroyed. Bad habits, habitual behaviors and thought patterns. Hurts. Hang-ups. For some people looking at this it might be an addiction to drugs, alcohol, gambling, food … you name it.

Repentance means to turn away from something (and, consequently TO something; in this case, God). Consecration means to purify or set aside. Basically, I see it this way: Repentance is turning your back on something in your past, a sin that is keeping you from God, and turning towards God, trying to leave that thing behind. Consecration is the act of digging in your heels and sticking to that. In this case I had to dig in my heels, dig deep inside myself and allow the millstone to turn, grinding that devoted thing to dust.

Is there a devoted item in your life that needs destroyed? What’s stopping you?

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