And Joshua said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.”   – Joshua 3:5 (NKJV)

A highly respected member of our church spoke today about his son’s experience with cancer.  Praise God that his son is doing well now!  In his presentation, the speaker referred to a verse from the Book of Joshua in the Bible saying, “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow we go to battle.”  Hearing the verse ‘alone’, not spoken in the entire context from which it was taken, I heard it in a new way.  I’ve read Joshua several times in previous years, but must have read the verse  literally as it pertains to Joshua preparing his army for battle.  I failed to hear its application for daily living.   This verse is telling us to prepare for tomorrow by making ourselves right with God today.  What great advice!

I found two versions of the verse our speaker shared today.  One version is Joshua 7:13, which is likely the verse used by our speaker, as it quotes Joshua telling his men to sanctify themselves in preparation for a battle they’d be facing the next day, and went on to say that things were hidden among them that, if not dealt with, would set them apart from the Lord. (NLT) 

The other version is the verse quoted above in which Joshua was preparing the Israelites to cross the Jordan river as they made their long-awaited entrance to the Promised Land.  Joshua didn’t know what exactly would happen, but God had told him to approach the river and then wait until God showed him the way to go.  Apparently Joshua knew God well enough to know that “the Lord would do wonders among them.”   In preparation for the wondrous things God would do, Joshua wanted the Israelites to be prepared by making themselves right with the Lord and resolving any issues that would separate them from God.  

God wants to do wondrous things in all of our lives!  Are you prepared for that?  Do you make it possible for God to work in your life and through you so that others can see the wondrous things He does?  Do you look toward tomorrow wondering what wondrous things He might do?   Do you take it upon yourself to take care of anything that is keeping you from God?  More importantly, are you spiritually prepared for battles you might face? 

I have to admit.  I do expect to see God working in the world around me.  However, I don’t prepare for tomorrow by sanctifying myself today.  I take each day as it comes, and sometimes part of my day has gotten away before I finally go to God to prepare myself for what’s left of the day ahead.  I always regret that because many things might already have happened and I hadn’t yet sought God.  Taking Joshua’s advice, this wouldn’t be a problem!  If I sanctify myself today, I can go to bed ready for whatever the next day brings.  I would wake up already prepared, and think how well I’d rest knowing I had things in order with God! 

In these uncertain times, none of us know what to expect of the days to come, but thanks to Joshua, we know how to prepare ourselves for whatever lies ahead.  Maybe we’ll be going into a battle of some kind, or maybe we just need to be prepared for the great wonders God will do.  Either way, God makes it clear that He doesn’t want anything to come between ourselves and Him.  He loves us so much that He wants us ready and able to fully devote ourselves to the wondrous things He has planned for each of our days. 

Prepare yourself for tomorrow by sanctifying yourself today. 

NOTE:  Some Bible versions say to ‘consecrate’ or ‘purify’ ourselves.