In his role of pleading with the leaders of God’s people to give God their undivided devotion, Jeremiah very poignantly prophesied: “Stand at the crossroads and look; then ask for the ancient paths where the good way lies, then walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”
So it is that in today’s clash of kingdoms, that the mix between the spiritual atmosphere and the condition of the household of faith to respond requires something more. Sadly, those responding in Jeremiah’s day foolishly did so by saying “We will not walk in it.” (Jer 6:16) They had taken up blending their faith with seeking their guidance through idolatry, in proactively reaching for answers by means of burning incense to occult paraphernalia … all of which caused them to stumble in their ways and miss the ancient paths.
“They burn incense to a delusion and stumble in their ways—off the ancient paths—to walk on side-tracks, rather than a built-up highway.” Jer 18:15 TLV
In understanding the times and the specifics of the season now upon us, it is instructive to take a closer look at the requirements for God’s people when evil comes out of the closet and the conflict progresses toward God’s judgment on His enemies. However, that step first requires the goals of purification and a single-minded focus among God’s people.
While there can be fine-line distinctions between the biblical terms to sanctify and consecrate, consecration was the ancient practice of preparing for the needed protection to achieve these goals of purification and unity … generally preceding God’s judgment on the enemies of God.
The issue unveils the chink in the armor of the twenty-first century community of believers to operate at this level … as the community of God’s people. With the number of recent premature deaths of those serving in mantles of leadership in directly facing God’s enemies, perhaps it may be of benefit to take a closer look at the dynamic of this ancient practice of consecration.
The Biblical Foundations of Consecration
With the exception of only one of the Bible translations that I regularly peruse, the word “consecrate” is not found in the New Testament. Yet that particular translation (English Standard Version) is considered one of the more accurate among the many now available today. In most cases, this word “consecrate,” is replaced by the word sanctify. Yet when contextually viewed within Old Covenant Scripture, there is wisdom to be gleaned from the distinction.
The New Testament ESV verse that employs the word consecrate establishes the ultimate in the face-off with God’s enemies. It comes from Jesus’ high priestly prayer:
“For their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.” John 17:19
Both major Jewish translations (CJB, TLV) reveal the dimension of holiness implied by the original Aramaic for this verse.
“For their sakes I make Myself holy, so that they also may be made holy in truth.” (TLV)
Digging deeper to understand the practice of consecration, the prelude to the Leviticus 20:7 admonition to “consecrate” is dramatic and points to issues that if not dealt with, that can become matters of life and death. Consecration within this scriptural context is a serious practice of separating oneself unto God alone, for His purposes.
“So consecrate yourselves and be holy, for I am Adonai your God.” Lev 20:7 TLV
The prelude to this verse points to the practice of sacrificing their children to Molech or of condoning those in the community who have participated in such rituals. Along with the requirement of rooting out this pagan rite before being consecrated is eliminating the practice of those whose “soul turns to mediums and soothsayers” for guidance. In other words, it represents an act of cleansing from any influences other than God’s.
Consecration and God’s Raw Power
So throughout the Old Testament, directly or indirectly, to consecrate is tied to the spiritual preparation of drawing guidance from God alone … before facing and confronting God’s enemies, when the raw power of God is needed as the Equalizer.
Yet despite it being decades after Moses imparted this instruction in Leviticus, following the humiliating defeat of Ai (in Joshua 7:13), the Lord revealed to Joshua that the source of their defeat was due to a member of the community failing to heed His instruction. The judgment that ensued was itself preceded by consecration.
“Stand up! Consecrate the people and say, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, because the LORD, the God of Israel, has said this: “There are things designated for destruction in your midst, Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you have removed the designated things from your midst.’” (NASB)
A Unified Generation
Parenthetically, it should be noted that a significant shift had taken place with Joshua’s generation and the quest to possess the Promised Land. It was a shift that had prevented their fathers from inheriting the promises God intended for them. This shift bound them together … as one … under the clear God-given authority of Joshua.
“All that you have commanded us we will do and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you. Only may Adonai your God be with you, as he was with Moses! Whoever rebels against your command and does not obey your words in all that you command him, he will be subject to death. Only be strong and courageous.” Joshua 1:16-18
Yet, something had been done that undermined the expected victory at Ai. In this dramatic exchange with the Lord, the significance of dealing with the issue required consecration. Then the wisdom of God revealed the chink in their armor for the power of God they needed to stand against the enemies of God. It was the defilement from bringing into the camp and hoarding items considered “unholy.”
So, the NKJV translates “things designated for destruction” as being “cursed things.” Tied to the point made in the passage in Leviticus 20…. in his response to Adonai, Achan’s blended faith and motives polluted the power needed …. for the entire community … to defeat their enemy. Israelites died as a result in the defeat at Ai. The Leviticus passage makes very clear the seriousness of consecration for the power of God to be employed:
“I will set my face against that soul and cut him off from among his people.” Lev 20:6
Suffering and God’s Judgment on His Enemies
This dynamic bears on the foundation that underlies Peter’s explanation of suffering. Suffering represents the discipline of giving priority to reaching for and adhering to God’s higher standard, consistently.
“For the time has come for judgment to come first to the house of God.” 1 Peter 4:17
Going into battle against God’s enemies represented an unwavering community standard and discipline. So then, following the judgment on Achan, God gave Joshua the strategy needed for the reset and a subsequent dramatic defeat of Ai. That defeat proved to be a prelude to one of the more dramatic battles ever described in Scripture.
In the battle against the Amorites that followed, not only did the Lord rain down large hailstones on their enemies, but in order to extend the hours of daylight needed for their victory, Joshua commanded the sun to stop in the middle of the sky, which it did for about a full day. (Joshua 10:13)
When Something More Is Required
In facing God’s power with the emerging clash of kingdoms, much more will be required of the community of God’s people. Matthew 22:14 states “Many are called, but few are chosen.”
This premise concludes the story of the wedding feast when those too preoccupied to prepare themselves missed their opportunity to come. When the gates were opened for those in the highways and byways to be a part … this premise of “many are called, but few are chosen” illustrates that the standard was not lowered for those coming without wedding garments, but rather that the expectation was that the standard was to be recognized and maintained, underscoring the need for the consecration required to be a part of His Presence. So it was, so it is and so it will be.
Understanding the times today embraces the same realities faced by and the protection needed by ones like Joshua and Daniel and foreseen by John the Revelator when the spiritual conflict takes on unprecedented dimensions with what is required to face and defeat God’s enemies.
“[In the time of the end] …many will purify, cleanse and refine themselves; but the wicked will keep on acting wickedly, and none of the wicked will understand. But those with discernment will understand.” Daniel 12:10 CJB
“So consecrate yourselves for the Lord will do miracles among you.” Joshua 3:5
An Unprecedented Season
So it is that we’ve entered a season with dimensions not experienced by the generation now passing the baton … despite the prelude of the miracles of the revivals of the 60s through the 80s … the Charismatic renewal, the Jesus movement, the Vineyard movement.
Not unlike the time when conditions were such that God was speaking to Jeremiah to admonish His people to banish their blended occult religious practices, so we need to heed the warnings created by the blindness resulting from spiritual casualness and intermingled religious influences in lieu of undefiled responses to the holiness of God.
While there are some overwhelmed by the degree with which evil has been coming out of the closet, there is nothing new under the sun. There is wisdom to be gleaned by today’s emerging generation from the single-minded intentionality of the generation of Israelites who were led by Joshua against God’s enemies.
The response calls for serious preparation. That preparation will involve “deep-calls-to-deep” mindsets focused on God. These will be those immersed in His Truth, living sanctified lifestyles and engaging in the regular, sober practice of consecration as the early church did with the Lord’s Supper, as they met house to house. It has been said that the simple things confound the wise. So will be the predisposition of humility and being quick to repent and quick to forgive. Again, it will require mind-sets with far greater daily input from Spirit and Truth than from worldly sources and persuasions; ones that specifically avoid toxic and dark influences. Again, it should be stressed that we are talking about the purification and mobilization of the community of God’s people as a whole.
The recent movie “Sound of Freedom” represents a foreshadowing of the season emerging and the threshold of conflicts to be faced … with levels of darkness that for too long have remained under the radar in the West. Yet human trafficking and rites heretofore not even found in Western consciousness are not uncommon in the non-Western world. The preparation requires facing a spiritual atmosphere of clamor, confusion and curses.
The Response to an Atmosphere of Clamor and Curses
The psalmist cried out: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer.” Going on the offensive means understanding without any equivocation our identity in Him. It involves embracing the admonitions of Jesus to bless where we have been cursed.
Years ago, the Lord gave me a prayer strategy that I have put into regular practice to this day. He told me to make a list of my Job friends, ones who had spoken wrong things about me and with it He gave me a list of ones to pray for who had cursed me. The admonition is at the core of the Kingdom paradoxes imparted by Jesus: to bless those who have cursed us.
Praying for your Job friends and your enemies follow a thread of “Lord, fill them with the knowledge of Your will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. Direct their hearts into the love of God. Deliver them from the bondage of corruption. Send strong laborers into their harvest-field.” It’s the God-response to proactively be a Light in the midst of darkness. It follows that in maintaining the practice of consecration … that it be done to the degree that darkness bows to the Light. It takes faith and it takes courage.
There are numerous subtle, but vital factors tied to today’s employment of God power against the seeming out-of-control onslaught of God’s enemies manifesting within today’s cultures, governments and communication venues. They begin with the practice to:
“Consecrate yourselves for the Lord is going to do miracles among you.” Joshua 3:5
The Preparation for God’s Power
We have entered a spiritual atmosphere in which it is going to take a unity in the purity of responding to God’s appointed authority. That means a unity in doing it together. Doing so must go beyond the boundaries of local church communities. God has long responded to evil within the context of cities and nations. This reality is complemented by the opportunities of meeting house to house to pray and break bread, but by technology means that have no geographical boundaries.
“And you, Capernaum will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day.” Matt 11:23
Expect there to be unusual strategic alliances as the Body is mobilized and comes together in increasingly greater unity and effectiveness. In this process, avoid being captivated by self-serving promotional appeals, but rather seek the humility and evidence of fruit from efforts and agendas that deeply penetrate darkness and bring transformation. God’s judgment on His enemies will involve issues of Life and death, but will manifest most dramatically where darkness bows and captives are set free.
This growing mobilization, purification and establishing of alliances will have at its crux the Lordship, the Messiahship of Jesus and strategic prayer movements. Many will be called upon to operate in unfamiliar and difficult spiritual environments.
As it was during the days of Daniel, prayerful, consecrated intentionality and unity in support of one another represents the baseline preparation for the daily activities that Daniel and his companions had to operate with the authority they wielded in the king’s court. Jesus admonished the generations to come for this preparation with the words: “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to Life and there are few who find it.” (Matt 7:14) Yet, in facing the bar being raised and walking a consecrated life with God through difficult times, we find rest for our souls from the ancient paths and simplicity of the words of David:
“O LORD, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? It is he who walks with integrity and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart. Who does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend; in whose eyes a reprobate is despised, but who honors those who fear the LORD; who swears to his own hurt and does not change; who does not put out his money at interest, nor takes up a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.” Psalm 15
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Morris Ruddick has been a forerunner of the Joseph-calling and God’s economy message, being an international voice for the higher dimensions of spiritual game-changers and intercessors since the mid-90s. As founder of Global Initiatives Foundation, the Strategic Intercession Global Network [SIGN] and designer of the God’s Economy Entrepreneurial Equippers Program and the Jewish Business Secrets YouTube series, Mr. Ruddick’s messages equip leaders and economic community builders with strategy where God’s light is dim in diverse regions around the globe.
He is author of “The Joseph-Daniel Calling;” “Gods Economy, Israel and the Nations;” “The Heart of a King;” “Something More;” “Righteous Power in a Corrupt World;” “Leadership by Anointing;” and “Mantle of Fire,” which address the mobilization of business and governmental leaders with destinies to impact their communities. They are available in print and e-versions from www.Amazon.com, www.apple.com/ibooks and www.BarnesandNoble.com.
Global Initiatives Foundation (www.strategic-initiatives.org) is a tax-exempt 501 (c) 3 non-profit whose efforts mobilize economic community builders imparting influence and the blessings of God. Checks on US banks should be made out to Global Initiatives and mailed to 3838 South Wabash Street, Denver CO 80237 or by credit card at https://strategic-initiatives.org/donate/
2023 Copyright Morris Ruddick — email@example.com
Since early 1996, the Strategic Intercession Global Network (SIGN) has mobilized prophetic intercessors and leaders committed to targeting strategic-level issues impacting the Body on a global basis. For more information go to https://strategic-initiatives.org