21 Jun The call to consecration
Joshua 3:5 “Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you”.
The word “consecrated” is mentioned in the old testament numerous times and it essentially alludes to utter devotion to and complete dependence on God – to be consecrated means to be set apart for exclusive use for God and by God as His pure and honorable vessels. I believe it is every christian’s desire to be powerfully and supernaturally used by God and to ultimately see His kingdom advance.
2 Timothy 2: 20-21
20 In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. 21 If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.
Consecration is beyond sanctification. It is our “surrendering to God” – God does His part to sanctify us through Jesus Christ and we, as believers, do our part by deliberately consecrating ourselves to Him – we are called to lay down our own plans, our agendas and our carnal passions, in order to fully pursue God’s will and God’s purpose for our lives. There comes a point in our christian walk when we need to take our relationship with The Lord to the next level. We can’t stay where we’ve been, we can’t remain the same, we get to go deeper, we get to experience Him more and we get to step into a higher dimension, which often requires a fresh and new anointing and more grace, therefore more prayer time and a greater intentionality on our part.
John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
After we get saved, our lives no longer belong to us. We are not our own anymore. The Bible says that we are bought with a high price. We are practically given the opportunity and the privilege to serve Jesus with our lives – whatever we do on a daily basis, we have to recognize that every second of our time, every ounce of our being and every breath we take is a gift from God and it is meant to glorify Him. Therefore, consecration is an intentional way of living, whereby a believer opts to honour God with everything he/she is, has and does. It is an ever-deepening love for The Lord, based on what He did for us at the cross. It is a decision to live a life sold out to God. It is a conscious choice to dethrone ourselves and enthrone Jesus not only as our Saviour but also as our Lord – Lord over our lives.
Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me: and that life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me.
As exciting as it is to know and serve Jesus, things can easily get mundane if there is lack of intention and diligence behind our relationship with Him. The other day I was listening to a sermon about long prayers and the purpose of engaging in lengthy prayer sessions – I thought the message was timely and aligned with the idea of consecration. It is of utmost importance to spend a significant amount of time on our knees (figuratively and literally in some cases), praying, seeking God’s face and waiting on Him, to hear from Him and then to go out and actually impact the world around us from that place. In essence, the amount of time we spend in the presence of God will determine how far He will take us and at what level He will use us. It is entirely up to us. Kathryn Kuhlman, a great servant of Jesus, used to say that God is not looking for a capable vase, He is looking for one that is available. We just need to be available.
Moreover, we want to make sure that our cup is constantly and consistently full – in fact, we want to make sure that our cup is overflowing with the love of God so we can pass it on to the people we encounter every day. We want to be filled and refilled with the power of The Holy Spirit so we can take on the task that is set before us and also preach the gospel with boldness. We long to be anointed so we can do what we are called to do. We can’t accomplish what God has intended for us to accomplish without a strong anointing and a fresh divine oil being poured down on us. And the anointing requires intimate fellowship with God through the practice of abiding.
4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
Even the apostles spent a lot of time in prayer – they dwelt in the presence of God and waited upon The Lord. They yearned to be filled with a holy and new fire to be able to carry the great commission. It says in Acts that they met in the Upper Room and prayed for days before the day of Pentecost and suddenly there was a sound from Heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. We must follow their example and keep the fire burning on the inside.
The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out
But they, that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
God is and has always been looking for people who will do a little bit more than average. People that are eager to go the extra mile and another extra mile… A distinguished few that will be willing to be separated from the crowd in order to wholly commit to the holy and high calling on their lives. God is looking for a few people who are hungry for righteousness. You know, when Jesus went to pray in Gethsemane, He only took 3 of His disciples – He didn’t need to bring all of His disciples along with Him for this particular prayer time. Three were enough to fulfill the mission of the moment.. God is searching for a person who is prepared to put everything aside and let himself be empowered and used by Him to bring about the revival and the transformation of souls that need to take place before Jesus’s return. Jesus says in Matthew 10:38-39: whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Whenever God wants to bring a radical change that shakes a generation to its core or whenever He wants to take His people from glory to glory, from one level to another, He sets them apart and commands them to consecrate themselves. Samson’s parents were instructed to consecrate Samson for God’s service – concretely, God had reserved him as a judge and a warrior to defeat the Philistines who were oppressing Israel at that time. Same thing with Moses. He spent 40 days on Mount Sinai where he met with God and received the 10 commandments. Even for Jesus, it was paramount for Him to isolate Himselft and consecrate Himself to God The Father – He spent 40 days, fasting and praying in the desert before He began His ministry – He showed us the way.
I believe, those of us who are still alive today and love God and are dedicated to His purpose, we have been reserved and preserved for such a time as this, to be exclusively used for the expansion of His kingdom, to convey the grace, the light and the love of God to a needy world, to collect the harvest so to speak – for it is ready, and to win as many souls as possible in these final moments of the last days before Jesus comes back. I pray we’ll be obedient and diligent.
As one pastor likes to say: “On our knees for the kingdom.”