Have you heard God tell you something? He just drops it into your heart and mind faster than you could even say it to somebody and you know that you know it is God!!!
The other day I was visiting with a friend. It was a good conversation about the things of the Lord. Then without expectation God spoke to me the following words:
Joy leapt up in my heart! With these words I felt the Lord was taking me deeper in Him. I am a mature Christian but I felt like the Lord was dealing with me in a strong way. Sometimes, we go about our daily lives and maybe get lax or complacent or even self-satisfied. I thought I knew what to consecrate myself meant but wanted to do more of an in-depth study on consecration. During my Christian walk, I want to be real, honest, open.
When God speaks to you like He did me, He wants you to ponder the words, seek His face, be obedient to what He tells you. I don’t believe I know the whole of the message right now but I do want what He wants for my life.
Let’s study a little about consecration.
What does it mean to be consecrated?
The word consecrate means to be set apart for the service of God. There were four main words that were used in the Hebrew to describe this:
- Haram – to devote
- Nazar – To separate
- Qadhesh – To set apart
- Mille yadh – to fill the hand: used to describe the ordinations of priests
The term consecrate was applied to several aspects of the Jewish life:
- Places: Holy of Holies – The inner most part of the temple
- People: Priests and prophets
- Things: Altar of Incense and the Ark of the Covenant
- Times: Various feasts and special days such as Yom Kippur or Passover
Consecration is for all Christians. It is not optional but required since we are all priests for God.
2 Corinthians 5:14-15
“For the love of Christ constrains us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
And that he died for all, that they who live should no longer live unto themselves, but unto him who died for them, and rose again.”
The Constraining power of the Lord’s Love—
Constrained means “pressed on from all sides,” tightly confined on all sides. Christ’s love binds us. He shed His blood because He loves us. Because of that great love, we are His. We are wrapped in His love. Praise God!!!
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
“Love is a basis of consecration. Love has bound us up, and we cannot run away. When a person is in love, he will have a sense of bondage. We are bound by Him; we have no way out. He has died for us, and we should live unto Him today. Hence, love is the basis of consecration. A man consecrates himself to the Lord because of the Lord’s love. No one can consecrate himself unless he first touches the Lord’s love. A man must touch the Lord’s love before he can consecrate himself to Him. When one touches the Lord’s love, consecration spontaneously follows.” (Watchman Nee)
The Lord’s expectation of Consecration in our lives:
1 Cor. 6:19-20
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”
Because the Lord bought our lives with His own sinless blood, he has the right to ask us to consecrate ourselves.
Consecration unto service to God—it is the receiving of the ministry of service to God. It is to say to the Lord, “Because you have loved me, saved me, brought me out of darkness into your marvelous light, because you protect me and keep me, because You have so drastically changed my life for the better, because you have made a new person of me—I will serve you and do what you ask of me!”
In order to be consecrated we must first ask Jesus to forgive us, to cleanse of all unrighteousness, of all sin. Repent! We have been bought with a price—The Blood of Jesus. Our entire beings belongs to Him alone.
The Hebrew word consecration means “to have one’s hands filled”. “I exhort you therefore, brothers, through the compassions of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, well pleasing to God which is your reasonable service” Rom. 12:1
A saturation of Christ is what God calls consecration. God calls us to service and we answer, “Yes, Lord I am yours body, soul, will, emotions. I am grateful and privileged to serve you however you see fit.” See Romans 6
Consecration is service or to “wait upon the Lord”. Be prepared to serve. We present our bodies to serve God in whatever capacity the Lord has for us. We need to be flexible. The Lord comes first.
“Our entire life is directed toward the service of God. Consecration is not how much we can give to God. It is being accepted by God and being granted the honor of serving Him.” (Watchman Nee)
Consecration means that we say, “Lord, You have given me the opportunity and the right to come before You and to serve You.” It is saying, “Lord, I am Yours. My ears were purchased by the blood; they belong to You. My hands were purchased by the blood; they belong to You. My feet were purchased by the blood; they belong to You. From now on I can no longer use them for myself.” (Watchman Nee)
(Watchman Nee was a devout Chinese Christian who died in 1972. He spent the last 20 years of his life in prison being persecuted by the Communist in China. He wrote about the Christian life and founded many churches in China.)
Jesus is to be first in our lives!
Let’s look in Mark 10:17-31. A rich young man came to Jesus and ask what must he do to inherit eternal life? The young man told Jesus that he had kept the commandments but Jesus said he needed to go and sell everything, give that to the poor and then follow him. The young man didn’t do it.
Jesus looked into the heart of this young man. Jesus wasn’t saying that you couldn’t have money to be saved but that you must not have idols or anything that was more important that the Lord. The young man wanted to go to heaven but he put riches and wealth above the service and love of the Lord.
Consecration is putting Jesus absolutely first in your life, above all else, be ready, be prepared to serve him and do what He asks. Christianity is not casual. Christ asks us to take up our cross daily. Luke 9:23 “Then he said to them all: Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”
Following Jesus, being a committed Christian is not burdensome. When the Lord said take up our cross daily, He was saying, “die to self” each and every day. Surrender your will, ambitions, life, politics, opinions, dreams, hopes, fears, to the Lord each day. Listen to his voice and do what He says. The Cross represents death. Jesus died on the cross. Living a Christian life is great joy but the dying to self is often what is hard. Discipleship is sacrifice. It means taking all idols out of your life like the rich young man and following Him.
If you wonder if you are ready to take up your cross, consider these questions:
- Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means losing some of your closest friends?
- Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means alienation from your family?
- Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means the loss of your reputation?
- Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means losing your job?
- Are you willing to follow Jesus if it means losing your life?
In some places of the world, these consequences are reality. But notice the questions are phrased, “Are you willing?” Following Jesus doesn’t necessarily mean all these things will happen to you, but are you willing to take up your cross? If there comes a point in your life where you are faced with a choice—Jesus or the comforts of this life—which will you choose? (taken from GotQuestions.org)
Consecration is putting Jesus first, setting yourself apart from what you once were, dedicate yourself to the things of God, prepare yourself to be sensitive to the voice of God and when He calls—answer.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
Joshua 3:5 says, “Joshua told the people, Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”
God wanted them to: Turn their hearts to God. Put their faith and trust in God and His promises. Put away sin and do good as the Lord showed them. Make a true commitment to God’s ways! Be an overcomer! Many of us look good on the outside but harbor anger, bitterness, unforgiveness.
We often manipulate people and try to be in control of every situation. To see God’s amazing works in our lives, we must examine ourselves and motives and commit ourselves to Him in every area. This surrendering involves every part of our lives—physical, mental, and spiritual.
God wants us to grow and not remain spiritual babies but become His useful servants. Absolutely know you have been bought with a price! The Bible says, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit…, and you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price. So then glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
Romans 14:8 says, “Whether we live or we die, we are the Lord’s.”
In other words, we are owned by Christ. Not unwillingly but we give our lives to the Lord when we ask Him to forgive us and save us from our sins. We consciously and willingly become God’s servants or slaves. Yet, many people say, “I only want to serve God or do for God a certain extent.” They want to go to church, feel good about themselves, but still keep a part of their lives and hearts apart so they can do what they want. They want to be independent instead of acknowledging to God, to the world, to themselves that they have been bought with a price and they are literally owned by our Savior Jesus Christ. So they stray away, or never grow as a Christian because they are always fighting against God’s service.
When we consecrate ourselves to God, we sacrifice our desires not because we have to but because we want to. We are in a love relationship with Jesus. Because we love the Lord, we are willing to lay aside our own wishes and do what the Lord asks. It is not grievous; it is a joy because we know the Lord has our best interests in mind. He is divine, He knows what is ahead, He is Sovereign.
Exodus 21:1-6 shows us a picture of our love relationship with the Lord. Verse 5 – 6 says, “But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.”
If only all of us would say of our love, “I do not ever want to be free of the Lord. I am His man or woman forever. I am His servant, His slave. Do with me what you want! Your way is the best for me!” Not making this commitment in just words but in deeds!
Consecration is not just for our own benefit but also for the Body of Christ. When we consecrate ourselves, we are able to help other people whether Christian or the ungodly. Through consecration we will be in the right place at the right time because we will hear the voice of God and know what to do.
How can we consecrate ourselves?
- Be willing to spend time alone with God. Try to set a time that you will not be interrupted.
- Examine your life. Ask God to show you things that you are thinking or doing that would come between Him and you.
- Ask forgiveness for wrong attitudes, wrong thinking, unforgiveness, busyness, any idolatry. Idolatry is anything you set above doing the will of God in your life—whether it is wealth, the accumulating of wealth, your family, your pride.
- Want to be used of the Lord regardless of whatever way. Not everyone is called to be a missionary or be a pastor but everyone is called into service someway.
- Grow up in the things of God, surrender all to Him, read and study your Bible.
These are but a few of the ways to consecrate yourself to the Lord. Ask God to help you!
“Solitude, silence, and unceasing prayer form the core concepts of the spirituality of the desert.”
Henri Nouwen, The Way of the Heart
I am desperate for the Lord and I want hear his voice! I want to be constrained by Christ! I want to do what the Lord said to me and have the results of what the Lord said to me!