“I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean . . .” Leviticus 11:44
When God prepares a people for a great move on His part, He always calls them to repentance – confessing and turning away from sin, and consecration – setting oneself apart exclusively for the Lord. Prior to the exodus out of Egypt, the people were to cleanse their houses and anoint their doorframes with the blood of a Lamb. By this they ridded their homes of impurities and were set apart from the Egyptians who would suffer the wrath of God. Just before they crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land, the Israelites were commanded to consecrate themselves “for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you” (Joshua 3:5). Often King David ordered his men to consecrate themselves the day before a great battle.
All four gospels note the calling of John the Baptist who was sent to “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him” (Mark 1:3). In the first-century world, before a king came to visit one of his cities, the call would go out to level the roads on his path. John was also calling for “straight paths” before the coming King, but it was a call to repentance and consecration. It was a call for the people to prepare their hearts for the Lord.
Christians have pleaded with God for a great move of His Spirit in the United States. We want God to “do amazing things among us.” But are we hearing the call to prepare the way for Him? Am I heeding the call for repentance? Am I carefully examining my life for habits, desires, laziness, distractions and selfishness that serve as a quiet rebellion against God? Are we consecrating ourselves unto the Lord? Are you willing to let go of everything, no matter how attractive or comfortable, that draws your heart away? Are you getting rid of everything that that compromises your testimony and drags you into the world? What T.V. shows, movies, music, magazines, and websites need to go to make your heart ready for the Lord? What attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, rights, and worldly influences do I need to turn from in order to be used for the Kingdom of God?
I believe God is getting ready to do a great work in the world. But it will require people who are willing to set everything aside to join Him. That means whole-hearted devotion to Christ and an unwillingness to compromise with the world. I also believe a great battle is coming in this nation; the lines have already been drawn in our culture and our courts. Only a people with pure, consecrated hearts will be able to stand firm in the face of it.
Beloved, are you willing to set ourselves apart exclusively for Christ?