5 Joshua told the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you."
You know how God will put a certain verse in your path several times in the course of a week? This is one I've heard a couple times recently, and usually that means God is trying to tell me something. I read it once in "The Beloved Disciple" by Beth Moore, and it stuck out to me then, but when I stumbled upon it a second time (don't exactly remember where, I read my Bible and I read tons of blogs about God), I got excited. How many verses are in the Bible altogether? Hold on, let me find out. According to this, 31,102. That's a lot of different verses. So, I know that God speaks to us through his written word, and I know that when the words grab us, it is because something has struck a resonant chord within us, and our hearts feel that tug that says "This is for you". I think it is an awesome verse, very exciting, and pretty simple. Consecrate means to "set apart, to keep holy", and the rest is pretty self-explanatory. If we are setting ourselves apart as holy to be used by God, then he will do amazing things among us.
For example, I attend a church that has a lot of people who used to be down and out, as in: drug use, homelessness, gang life, many people that others would look down on. They have seen alot of trouble in their lives, admittedly much of it self-inflicted. I have to say, though, that I feel a sincerity in the love for Jesus at this church that outshines many I've been to, and they also sincerely love each other. One lady that has been coming for a year, Zakiyah, stood in front of a crowd of 2,000 tonight and gave her testimony of what God has done in her life recently. She has been coming to church about a year, and gave her life to Christ shortly after she started attending. She has, in her own words, gotten closer and closer to Jesus during this time, getting up at 5:30 each morning to spend time with her God.
She has had a hard time finding work, she told us, because she has five, count em', FIVE felonies under her belt. She didn't say for what, but she does have three daughters to raise, so it would suck not to be able to provide for them. She recently wrote Tim Kaine, the governor of Virginia, and praise God, she found favor in the governor's eyes, because she has been officially pardoned of ALL FIVE FELONIES! I am not an advocate of soft crime punishment by any means, but her heart has been transformed by a powerful God, and he saw fit to pardon her here on earth as he surely will when she stands before him in heaven. She set herself apart for him, and he did amazing things in her life. It was apparently a "God Rocks" kind of night at my church, because we have also been granted permission to send 8-10 people in to work Monday through Friday in the PUBLIC school system here in Richmond. We will have our own office, and kids can come for mentoring, tutoring, and I'm not sure what else, but I know that when the kids get in trouble they will have to do community hours at our church..I know it will be the best thing to happen ever in some kids' lives. Thank you, God, that you are so big!
I have still been having a rough time at work money-wise, and my attitude hasn't been great, but it is changing. I am not singing Zippadeedooda, but I am kind of "so what"ing bad situations instead of getting upset about them. God is teaching me to trust him through good and bad, and it is important to me to learn that.
Bible study on Tuesday night was completely awesome, it was my co-leader, Heather and I, and two girls from work: Amanda and Stefanie. Both girls are not living Christian lives currently, but praise God, they have the desire and Amanda at least is making huge changes in her lifestyle after dedicating her life to Christ two weeks ago. She even told Stefanie, who was a strong Christian at one point but has fallen away, that if Stef wanted to call and discuss things she learns in her quiet time, she would love to be there for her to talk with! You go, you new little Christian! We had awesome conversation and really opened up to each other. What a blessing to be able to take part in sharing God's love for these girls.
God gave us free will. We can do things our way, conforming to this world and taking its' empty pleasures as our profit. Or we can say "NO" to the the things that keep us in bondage to unholiness. That is when God can work in our situation. It takes faith to set yourself apart, because you have to believe that there is a reason you are doing it. God operates on the faith of his people.
Zakiyah set herself apart from her past, choosing a bright future with the Lord. He has done amazing things for her and through her, as she ministers to others in the body of Christ. Amanda is choosing to set herself apart, and is transforming before our eyes.
So, this week let's consecrate ourselves- set ourselves apart as holy, so that the Lord will do amazing things among us! Amazing means you'll be standing around with your mouth open, by the way. Maybe with a letter of full pardon from the governor in your hand.