Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”
Now this is why he did so: All those who came out of Egypt–all the men of military age–died in the desert on the way after leaving Egypt. I will try to put the message for us today and hope you will understand where we are in ministry. The older generation in this Baptist faith that laid the ground work for our freedom to worship freely have passed on to their reward. Today the message is clear that this current generation MUST take up the mantle and continue the work. However, I am asking that you consecrate yourselves for the Lord is about to do great things. in your lives and ministry.
The move of Israelites from the wilderness into the Promised Land certainly marked a great leap for them as a people. No longer were they to be a group of nomads with their existence in the wilderness. No longer would they just get by, but in crossing the Jordan they were going to take their place as a nation in the world and begin to fulfill God’s redemptive plan for the world. You are about to cross over into your destiny. “Away over Jordan.”
When we read stories from the Bible we can gather principles to apply to our own lives. Just as the nation of Israel wandered aimlessly without fulfilling its God ordained destiny, so many believers also wander aimlessly without fulfilling the destiny that God has for them. If there ever was a challenge that God would make to the church of Spiritual Baptist, I believe it is Joshua 3:5:
And Joshua said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” I believe that the time has come and now is when we, as a people must follow the blueprint for your steps are ordered of the Lord. Tomorrow is your moment but first you must sanctify yourself so the Lord.
This morning we are going to look at the steps the Israelites took in their journey across the Jordan into the Promised Land and seek to apply them to our lives. The Bible is not a novel but a book with many applications for our daily living. You must be able to read your life in the scriptures and apply accordingly.
In reviewing these steps, we see in Joshua 3:5 the first step they took.
They sanctified themselves. (Joshua 3:5)
The word sanctify literally means to be set apart, dedicate, or consecrate by purification. This word appears several times in scripture with two main contexts. In order for us to cross over into our destiny we have to walk step by step into position for the faith walk into our destiny.
A. Being set apart – A call to be holy.
(Example the consecration of Aaron and his sons)
Exodus 29:21 And you shall take some of the blood that is on the altar, and some of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron and on his garments shall be hallowed, and his sons’ garments with him.
These priests went through this ceremony because God was showing them that they were set apart. Likewise, God was calling the nation of Israel to be set apart and even believers today to be set apart as holy priests. It is a far cry today from what the church ought to be. You have to walk in the principles that God has established for us to follow.
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Just as the blood of rams set the priests apart as holy, so the blood of Christ sets us apart as holy and thus we need to separate ourselves from that which is not holy.
Consider what is written in Exodus 28:36-37:
You shall make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, like the engraving on a signet: Holiness to the Lord. And you shall put it on a blue cord, that it may be on the turban, it shall be on the front of the turban.
This was something only the head priest could wear in ancient times. When the priest wore it, this plate was evident for all to see. For those of us in Christ, however, this is something that has been engraved on all of our foreheads and we must live such lives that it is evident for all to see. I believe that we must always live godly in Christ Jesus. In our homes, communities, church or on the job. You cannot be saved on a Sunday and live unholy for the other 6 days. Let me remind you that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Hebrews 13:8
B. Sanctification by purification-
Often times when the Israelites were called to sanctify themselves they had to wash themselves and their clothing.
Exodus 19:10 The Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments.” My Baptist brethren let us come to the cross with boldness. Firstly, prepare yourselves for the sanctifying process. I will urge you to lay aside your garments and spend time fasting before you venture on this journey.
When Joshua called the Israelites to sanctify themselves, I believe that they went through a similar ritual. The reason for this was that the inward preparation for meeting with God was reflected in the outward actions of maintaining physical cleanliness. Therefore, my brothers and sisters you have to show that you are clean in spirit and the way you carry yourselves is an indication of what your inside is like. In other words your outward appearance tells something of the inner man (spiritual).
This is my prayer for today, Psalm 139:23: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties.”
Your servant and brother,
+ Sir Godfrey Gregg
Archbishop and Presiding Prelate
Administrator and Apostolic Head
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TO BE CONTINUED ……………