Joshua told the people, “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” (Joshua 3:5).
We all know the story of Moses that how he delivered the Israelites out of Egypt. Israelites were coming out of Egypt and were going to The Promise Land which God had prepared for them. Before going into the Promise Land, Moses selected twelve representatives, one from each tribe of Israel. He sent them into Promise land to spy and bring a report about the land. These twelve spies came back; ten of them gave a report which was full of fear and advised not to go there. Two of them gave a good report and advised that Israelites should go there and take the land, one of them was Joshua.
The Israelites have been wandering in the dessert for the past forty years, their leader Moses who brought them salvation from Egypt, who led them through the great sea and who was their leader for such a long time, has just passed away. Their leader who acted on behalf of God for them, between them and God, who presented them the ten commandments, which becomes the basis of all their morality in the way they are supposed to live, he just died.
And God comes to Joshua, who was Moses’ right hand guy, and says to him, you’ve been wandering in the dessert for long enough, now it’s time for us to go and take the land that I’ve promised you, get ready to go to work.
Just before they head out, Joshua comes to the nation and says, “sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”. I believe that any time when God is about to do some amazing things in our lives, He calls us to sanctify ourselves. He wants to do amazing things for us, but the condition is, ‘are we sanctified to Him?’ Going to church once or twice a week is not sanctification, keeping the ten commandments is not sanctification, sharing your faith with friends is not sanctification, giving God the tithe is not sanctification, serving in a ministry is not sanctification, leading a small group is not sanctification, going to a mission trip is also not sanctification. All of these are important things but it’s not sanctification. Sanctification is more than doing good deeds, it’s deeper than that. The word sanctify means to set yourself apart. It’s a full devotion, it’s dethroning yourself and enthroning God, it’s giving God the veto power in your life, it’s giving all of you to all of Him. It is that moment in your life when you decide to give all of you to Him.
It’s possible to go to church every week and never give you wholly to Jesus. It’s possible to follow the rules and never follow Christ. I believe that you and I are only one decision away from a totally different life. It will probably be toughest decision you ever make but it’s a moment. Amazing always begins with sanctification. It’s the catalyst that God uses for every spiritual growth in our lives. When did the church start believing that God wants to send us to safe places? When did we start believing that God wants us to do easy things? Jesus didn’t die to keep us safe. He died to make us dangerous. What are you going to do in your moment?
Why would God place dreams inside of our heart? Dreams that are bigger than us, dreams that even scare us. Because He is calling us to the edge, He is calling us to live dangerously. It’s time for us to quit living like the purpose in our life is to arrive safely and comfortably at the point of death. Whether you are in a moment now, whether you just experienced a moment, or you are about to experience a moment, moments happen. That moment came in Moses’s life and he missed it, he was never able to enter the Promise Land. That moment came in Joshua’s life also and now he is giving his all to live that moment, he is asking Israelites to sanctify themselves. Moment Just show up when we don’t expect them, they just come out of nowhere. Something is going to happen, God is going to bring you to a point, there is going to be a moment and what you going to do? Are you going to be so consumed with yourself that you are going to miss that moment? Do you give into fear or do you surrender to faith? It’s time for us to give all of us to Him.
There is a passage of Scripture where Jesus was teaching people in John 12:24-25, “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” If a kernel of wheat doesn’t fall to the ground and die it only remain that one single kernel of wheat but if it falls to the ground and dies, it produces many seeds. The power of multiplication, when something dies God brings live. One of our greatest fear is that our plans are going to die, what we want in life is going to die. But Jesus said, if it falls to the ground, if you give it to Him, He produces so much more out of it. Sometimes we hold on so tightly to this life that we miss out on what God really wants to do through our lives. Are you willing to let it go? Are you willing to go all in? Are you willing to sanctify yourself and trust Him?
So, when you dedicate something for a special purpose, it brings to life the value of that thing. When we dedicate ourselves for God’s purposes, we fully realize the value that we are both to ourselves and to God as well. What we are do with our life becomes all the clearer and more focused when we know that our life is dedicated to God.
Ephesians 2:10 says, “for we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do marvelous things, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” What is the marvelous thing that God wants to do in your life? What is that extraordinary action God is calling your attention to and actively inviting you to join Him? That extraordinary thing that He is calling to you could be right underneath your nose.
Joshua says to Israel, before they are about to go take the Promised Land, before they are about to go do something amazing, he says, ‘sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.’ I encourage you to set yourself apart for and to God. Say to God and yourself every morning, ‘I belong to God. I am setting aside my heart, I am giving Christ my soul, I am setting apart my mind and my strength, I am making His purposes my purposes.