"Joshua told the people, 'Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you'" (Josh. 3:5 NIV).

Many times people say, "I'm not thinking about tomorrow; I'm just living day by day." But do you realize that what happens to you tomorrow depends on what you do today?

For example, say you're planning to go on a church trip, and the bus is scheduled to leave promptly at five o'clock on Saturday morning. However, instead of getting everything ready for the trip on Friday, you decide to do it the morning of the trip.

Then on Saturday morning, you accidentally wake up late! So you scramble around to get ready, but by the time you get to the church, the bus has already left. Well, guess what? If you'd taken care of things on Friday when it was "today," you would have been ready for "tomorrow"!

That's one reason so many people end up in trouble spiritually - they never prepare for tomorrow with their faith. They don't continue to study the Word. They don't continue to maintain fellowship with God in prayer.

We need to get ready spiritually today for what the Lord wants to do tomorrow!

Notice that Joshua said to the people, "Consecrate yourselves." That's the first step towards a successful tomorrow - consecration. What does that mean? It means to set yourself apart, to be submitted to God "lock, stock, and barrel," as we'd say in Texas. In other words, it means to be fully devoted to God in everything.

In order to consecrate yourself, you have to get rid of "excess baggage" in your life.

When I was in the Army, all the recruits were issued military packs that we had to carry around on our backs during field drills. Those packs were filled with all sorts of gear - C rations, a canteen, a change of clothes, a first-aid kit, half of a shelter tent - just about anything we would need out in the field.

But when it came time to conduct certain training exercises, we got rid of those backpacks in a hurry. Why? Because we didn't want anything slowing us down. We had to outrun bullets, and we needed to move as fast as possible!

You see, when a soldier is out on the battlefield in the heat of battle, he gets rid of everything he can that will hinder him. Yet some folks are engaged in spiritual battles, trying to fight the good fight of faith, but they have all kinds of excess baggage weighing them down!

Get rid of anything that will hold you back spiritually. Get rid of fear, anger, ill will, unforgiveness, hatred, and so forth. Those things are "excess baggage," and they will hinder you in running your Christian race. If you don't get rid of them today, they will affect you spiritually tomorrow.

For instance, how many times have you heard someone say, "I'm going to start my diet tomorrow"? But then that "tomorrow" never comes, and the person never loses the weight that he said he would. I remember that I had been saying for years that I was going to lose some weight and start an exercise program. Then one day I stopped and said, "No, I'm not going to start; I am starting! My tomorrow begins today!"

Friend, what you do today will affect where you are tomorrow. Your tomorrow has to begin today in your personal life. You can't live a worldly lifestyle and tell off-colored jokes today and expect to be spiritually strong tomorrow. You can't forsake assembling together with other believers today and expect to be spiritually strong tomorrow. You can't run with the wrong crowd today, befriending those who serve the world, without it affecting your spiritual life tomorrow.

Your tomorrow also has to begin today in your home. If you want to establish true, godly relationships with your husband, wife, or children, you have to begin today - not tomorrow.

And your tomorrow has to begin today in the church, because the success of your local church depends upon the success of your own personal life. A chain is only as physically strong as its weakest link, and a church is only as spiritually strong as its weakest member!

Friend, you are not here just to exist. You are building a life. If you build your life upon the wrong ideals and the wrong principles, you won't stand the test of time. But if you build it upon the principles and values of the Word of God today, then you're preparing for a successful life tomorrow.

The decision is yours. The Lord will do amazing things in your life if you will consecrate yourself and get yourself ready for success - because your tomorrow begins today!

Source: From a Pastor's Heart by Kenneth E. Hagin. Jr.
Excerpt permission granted by Faith Library Publications