What is consecration? To respond to this question, I researched definitions. There are some interesting ones:
- According to Google, it’s the act of declaring something, typically a church, sacred
- Again according to Google, it’s the act of declaring the body and wine to represent, or to be the body and blood of Christ
- Merriam-Webster defines it as an act of inducting someone into a permanent office with a religious rite
The definition that really caught my eye, though, is this one:
[the act of dedicating] your heart to God: […] to answer God’s call to spiritual consecration. This means making a conscious, willing decision to dedicate your soul, mind, heart, and body to God.Wikihow.com
Why has this caught my eye? Well, let’s throw our minds back to last week’s message, The Devil Knows It; You Better Believe It!. The basic message last week was that of believing – believing in the promises of God and believing in who He says you were called to be. And, if believing, then standing on the promises – promises that lead to the fulfilment of your purpose.
Well, it is written that faith without works is dead. Therefore, if you believe, that belief should be represented in what you do with your life, and how you live your life. It is not enough to declare ‘I believe’, and then to do nothing with that belief. It is not enough to profess, ‘I believe’, but then to continue living life as you always have, with no change in your thoughts, words, behaviours (even reactions to situations). It is not enough to believe, but then to stand in doubt or fear (while moving from fear is scary) or to run at the first challenge, or to consistently buckle when challenged.
Therefore, if you believe, there is a commitment or dedication that is required. If you believe, there is a transformation to which you are called. That transformation leads to your HEWing such that you are able to fulfil your purpose, to answer the true call on your life. Now, this is not to say that everyone becomes an ordained minister…no! Don’t misunderstand. But, if we’re to be guided by the definition above of consecrating yourself, it’s a ‘conscious, willing decision to dedicate your soul, mind, heart, and body to God.’ This act of consecrating draws us to live our lives a certain way, and in so doing, to connect so closely to God, that we are inevitably drawn along the path that leads to our purpose – whatever and wherever that purpose lies.
This is not an easy path. It is a scary path. It is one filled with much uncertainty. It is one that draws us to flow in a direction that goes against conventional wisdom. There will be many dark places along the way, but we must continue to trust God. It is a path of much surrender and submission. It is a path that requires us to suspend the ‘logical flow’. It is a path that will cause onlookers to question our sense of judgement. Many times, the very onlookers will be perplexed, dismayed or alarmed at our course of action. I invite you here to cast your mind to Noah who, himself, committed to building an ark because he believed the word of God that a great flood would come upon the earth. Consider equally Abraham who left his father’s land to go to a ‘land that [God] would show him’. He had no clue where he was to go, but he believed ‘him who had promised to be faithful’, and so, he committed. There are many other accounts of those who acted in faith, just take a read of Hebrews 11 for a list of some of the many.
At this point, I am reminded of the poem, The Gate of the Year, by Minnie Louise Haskins which reads, in part,
Faith (belief), requires us to step into the ‘darkness’ in order to become children of the light. Paradoxical, right? Well, who can question God, so inscrutable are His ways? I did say, belief requires us to commit in a direction that does not conform to the logical (human) way.
The commitment or dedication of our lives will also call us to stand firm in the face of our challengers. There will be those who do not understand what we have chosen to do, who will be threatened by what we have chosen to do and who will come at us. Some of them act in love, others because our choice makes them uncomfortable and so, they need us to conform to what makes them comfortable. Dedication of our lives to God, who fashioned us in our mother’s womb and who, therefore, has authored our purpose, calls us to stand in the face of those who question or challenge us. Taking a cue from this Sunday’s gospel, we must stand firm, convicted of our purpose as Jesus did when He responded thus to the Pharisees, ‘Go and tell that fox for me, “Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work.”‘ (Luke 13:32). Now, Jesus had some divine licence, so, I’m not necessarily telling you to call others foxes. But you catch my drift, don’t you? So firm was He in His purpose that He scoffed at the notion that He should run and hide as He was being cautioned to do in this account. My question to you is this, ‘Will you run and hide, or will you stand on the promises of God?’ If you run and hide (even when those thoughts are your own, for this path is full of much self-doubt), how will you fulfil your purpose?
But, what’s it all for? Yes, purpose, but what’s the glory of purpose? Purpose leads to fulfilment and to complete joy. The most convincing response for me is this:
He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself.Philippians 3:21
I say here, I don’t mind moving from a body of humiliation to one of glory. How about you?
Friends, I close here, and in so doing, leave you with these words, again from the poem by Minnie Louise Haskins:
I pray that you too, for your belief, commit/dedicate your lives so that you, too, will be taken to that hill to witness the breaking of day, the fulfilment of your purpose.
Until next time,