Read the Scripture and devotional either on your own or with your people (family, small group, roommates), and then come together for the discussion each day.
Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. 2 After three days the officers went throughout the camp, 3 giving orders to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. 4 Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about two thousand cubits[a] between you and the ark; do not go near it.”
5 Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”
6 Joshua said to the priests, “Take up the ark of the covenant and pass on ahead of the people.” So they took it up and went ahead of them.
As people who follow Jesus, we are continually being transformed to be more like Jesus. We become part of God’s set-apart people and experience continual consecration. We are set apart for a distinct and special purpose as disciples.
We can also experience momentary or seasonal consecration. Momentary consecration is setting aside time to experience God and hear from Him in ways that do not fit into our daily rhythms. This is what we are all invited into during Revival Week.
Revival Week is an opportunity for each of us to remove distractions and idols from our lives in order to hear from God and experience His presence. It is a time when we separate ourselves from the ways we fill our time and satisfy our appetites so that we remain hungry for God. Fasting, from food or entertainment or other things, is not a way that we manipulate God to get what we want or an avenue to get God to love us more. God’s love for us is steadfast regardless of what we do and God is not interested in our bargains.
Consecration is an opportunity to remind ourselves of God’s holiness and how utterly different He is from humanity. We are invited to check our hearts and see if God sits on the throne of our lives or if we have moved ourselves into that spot. We can stop and view God with wonder.
Participation in Revival Week will look different for everyone. Some people have been fasting with the church in January for years. Some people have never fasted. Some people cannot fast from food for a variety of reasons. It will be easy to compare what you are doing with what someone else in your family or small group is doing. Resist that urge and spend some time asking God what He would have you remove from your life for the week in order to hear Him.
If you were hosting an important guest in your home, you would spend time getting ready for that. You would clean. You would plan delicious meals and make sure you had the ingredients to make them. You would prepare a space for your guest to sleep. Imagine your fast during Revival Week as you’re preparing a place for God to inhabit for a season.
Perhaps you will fast from food. Perhaps you will skip one meal a day or stop drinking coffee and alcohol. Perhaps you will abstain from sugar. Perhaps you will also make some time by fasting from entertainment, maybe skipping Netflix and social media in those hours before bedtime.
We are all are being formed and malformed by the rhythms of our lives. Revival Week is a chance for us to remove things that form us in ways that do not look like Jesus. It’s also an opportunity for us to remove things that are actually neutral in order to make extra room for God to inhabit. Some things, such as food, will be added back into our lives. Other things, such as our media consumption, may shift permanently as our desires change. For now, we are setting aside this week as something special for God. We expect great things.
Watch the Beyond Survival podcast for more on consecration.
How are you participating in the fast? Share with each other for encouragement and accountability.
For your kids: how can you make space for God in your week?
Isaiah 6 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
Consider the holiness of God and how great His love for us must be. Ask God to reveal things that you need to let go of in order to experience His presence.