Sanctifying Against Tomorrow
There are five things that could happen to a preacher tomorrow and for them he needs to sanctify himself today.
Tomorrow could bring death.
John Wesley was always ready to die. He said everything was in order, not even a pair of gloves out of place!
Tomorrow the minister may be laid aside and unable to preach.
It may be due to circumstances beyond his control—to illness or accident. It may be that a moral or spiritual breakdown makes him a castaway, disapproved. I have seen both kinds and nothing is sadder than an inactive minister out of the battle.
Tomorrow may bring a restricted and limited ministry because of age or for other reasons.
He may hit on only two cylinders the rest of his days. He is a bird with a broken pinion. Where once he ran he now walks. Once he leaped but now he limps.
Tomorrow may of course bring no change—just the regular grind—but it takes more grace for that than for emergency.
A man may rise to meet death or disaster better than the routine of day-by-day. A maid complained that her work was “so daily!” The middle mile is the hardest part of the journey. There is not the exhilaration of the start or the thrill of the finish but only “the burden and heat of the day.”
Then, tomorrow could be the greatest day, the day of success and triumph.
One never knows what one letter or telephone call might do! Today one might be on the threshold of a ministry he never dreamed possible.
For all these five tomorrows a man should get ready today. God spoke to Israel in an hour of defeat. There was sin in the camp and Achan must be dealt with. If a minister is to be set apart against tomorrow, there must be cleansing from sin, fresh submission to the Lordship of Christ and the filling of the Spirit. Then he is prepared for whatever is being prepared for him. And no matter which of these five tomorrows may show up next day, it can be a day of victory.
There is one more glorious possibility tomorrow, but I do not like to say “tomorrow” for I like to think of it always as possible today. Our Lord may return. That is an absolute certainty some tomorrow. I like the story of the gardener who kept his master’s garden immaculate. The owner of the garden was away and no one knew when he might return. Someone said, “You keep this place as though the master might return tomorrow.” “Not tomorrow,” the gardener replied, “today!”
It has been said that Paul had only two days on his calendar, “Today” and “That Day.” He who is ready for today is ready for that day and he who is ready for that day is ready for today. He is ready for all five tomorrows and for the Great Tomorrow that may be today!