“The mark of a saint is not perfection, but consecration. A saint is not a man without faults, but a man who has given himself without reserve to God.” — W. T. Richardson.
Consecration is a word many Christians have heard but few truly understand. It’s defined as setting oneself apart or dedicating oneself to God. But how does one go about doing that in a world that is constantly competing for our devotion? Is it even humanly possible under the curse of sin? God’s Word seems to think so.
From Romans 12:1-2, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Clearly consecration is something that God expects from His faithful children.
Consecration involves sacrifice, the shedding of our worldliness for God’s holiness. It requires one to resist the temptations of the world for the purity of righteousness. It necessitates a transformation of the mind and a willingness to follow the will of God at all costs.
It is certainly not something one can do apart from the power of the Holy Spirit, but it is something achievable in this world. As Christians we have been set apart as people in the world but not of the world. 1 Peter 2:9 reminds us that we are “A chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
The Bible guides us further saying, “Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness” (Romans 6:13).
Consecration brings to life the new person created in Christ. No longer can one who has set himself apart to God willingly dedicated themselves to worldliness. The one who has consecrated themselves to God now lives in righteousness and honor, understanding that perfection may never be achieved but that devotion and dedication are wholly in the realm of possibilities.
The consecrated life longs to do everything with a worshipful attitude toward a God who has given us all good things. It is a life dedicated to making a kingdom difference in the world within every thought, word and deed. The consecrated life makes everything it does a ministry.
Joshua told the people to “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you” (Joshua 3:5). Joshua knew that for God to use us in the greatest way, we must prepare ourselves as wholly dedicated to the cause. For us to do wonderful things in God’s name we must trust in Him fully and offer ourselves up completely.
Once we presented our members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness (Romans 6:19), but now God asks us to present our members as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. It means more than a lifestyle change, it means to sacrifice many of the worldly things you once held dear so that you might be presentable before God with your eyes set like flint on what is to come. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise” (Psalm 51:17).
Where are you on your journey to consecration? Are you well on your way or have you yet to begin crossing from worldliness to godliness? Give yourself first to the Lord. Trust in Him to do wonders among you. Prepare yourself by setting yourself apart for the work of Almighty God and trust in Him to do great and mighty things through you.
To consecrate yourself might seem like a lofty goal, but it is perfectly achievable, even in a world that tries to steal your dreams. The Holy Spirit is ready and willing to work in you. Trust in God in all things and follow Him wherever He may lead. It will bring you everlasting joy. Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, help us to dedicate our lives to you in ways that the world will never overcome. By the power of Your Holy Spirit move us to a life dedicated to serving you, all the while willing to walk the extra mile. Amen.