I feel like lately God is speaking to me about promise, purpose, and purity. Continually, in my devotion time, I find myself thinking about all three. I can see how all three correlate with my life currently. I am in a place, like the Hebrews [read my last post] in the desert wandering. Just wandering. But somewhere off in the distance and future there is the Promised Land. God has set out something for me, in my future, somewhere, but it is not fornow. Right now God is beckoning me to believe in his promise. He is beckoning my heart to believe so strongly that he does indeed have wonders ahead for me. Purpose. I have purpose. It is not to just breathe and to go through life, but to embrace whatever is ahead. For the Hebrews it was Jericho. They had to face an obstacle before claiming their Promised Land. They had to do as God commanded in order to have the victory in the battle.
But beyond that victory is what I talk about now. Before facing Jericho, Joshua had commanded the people to “Sanctify yourselves. Tomorrow God will work miracle wonders among you” [Joshua 3:5]. In their victory at Jericho, God gave them a command to not take anything cursed. By cursed he meant pagan idolatry, unclean items, and anything else that was impure and against God. Any other plunder was fine for the taking. However, as easy of a command that seems, it was not obeyed. They broke their covenant with God- their promise to him- to not take of any plunder God asked them not to. Once again, the people had disobeyed God. They had, yet again, choose their way over God’s.
Joshua was heartbroken by this dishonor of God. He fell before God, in what I believe, was desperation, despair, and hurt. God’s response was similar to before the battle at Jericho. Purity and consecration. He said, “I can’t continue with you if you don’t rid yourselves of the cursed things. So get started. Purify the people. Tell them: Get ready for tomorrow by purifying yourselves…you won’t be able to face your enemies until you have gotten rid of the cursed things” [Joshua 7:10-13]. And there it is. God did not say that they failed and that there was no hope. He gave them a solution. Grace. He told the people to purify themselves…to go through the ritual of cleansing out the impurity that had entered their camp.
That is where we need to be. We are guaranteed for failure. We make mistakes. We choose our way, often, instead of God’s. But even in our failures, God allows for us to purify ourselves. What is it that you need to purify from your life? What is it that will hold you back from the full promise of God? I have many things running through my mind. I want that promise- the one before Jericho- that “God will work miracle wonders among you”. But my heart must be pure. My life must be purified and cleansed. After we face our Jericho, our victorious accomplishment, but also our selfishness, we know that we have a God of many chances. We have a God that lets us bring forth purity in our lives again. Only then can we move on toward the promise. Only then can we live with purpose. Purity.