The Word of God defines consecration as “the separation of oneself from things that are unclean or impure; especially anything that would contaminate one’s relationship with a perfect God.” Consecration also means sanctification, holiness, and purity.
The importance of being consecrated or pure in our relationship with God the Father is seen in the book of Joshua. After forty years in the wilderness, the children of Israel were about to cross over the Jordan River into Canaan, the land that was given to Abraham and his descendants according to the promise of God. They were given a command and a promise:
“Joshua told the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you’” (Joshua 3:5).
The Bible instructs us as believers to be a holy people, separate from the world; as this is a critical component in our relationship with God the Father.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. (2 Corinthians 6:17)
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)
But how can we live a consecrated life in a world drowning in sin (immoral acts considered to be transgressions against the divine law of God)? Here are a few steps to start us on our journey of living a consecrated life:
Step 1. Separate ourselves from worldly desires, as they lead to a life of self-destructive and immoral behaviors. Without consecration, we are no different from the liar, the thief, the adulterer, the greedy, the drunkard, the reviler, the swindler, and other works of the flesh. Eliminate music and entertainment that are perverted, the love of earthly possessions that overshadow our love for God, self-pleasing behaviors, influences that cause us to be ignorant to obedience, and anything that replaces God (i.e., idols).
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16)
Step 2. Draw closer to God. Refusing or renouncing the wickedness of the world will not be enough to truly keep us. We need to connect to the source, which is God the Father, through Christ Jesus. We can connect to him through daily prayer, periodic fasting, and true repentance. Without prayer, we live defeated lives. Spiritual fasting causes us to rely on God, helps us to be filled with the fruits of the Spirit, opens our hearts to hear from God, gives power to our prayers, and helps us to consume God’s Word. Repentance brings us closer to God the Father, cause God to wash away our sins and purify us, and positions us to inherit the things God has for us.
“…be constant in prayer.” (Romans 12:12); “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2)
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:8)
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalms 91:1)
Step 3. Stay committed. Consecration is not a one-time event; it is a way of life. We must be committed to pursuing God for the rest of our life and trusting that he has our best interest at heart.
“Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.” (Psalm 37:5-6);
“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Step 4. Be thankful. A consecrated life is a life of both prayer and thanksgiving. True prayer and thanks lead to full sanctification and consecration.
“In everything, give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (I Thessalonians 5:18)
Faith Challenge: This week, jot down things that keep you from living a consecrated life; identify patterns and behaviors that are contrary to consecrated living. Devise a plan using the steps outlined to start your journey to consecrated living. Remember this is a journey and stay committed and thankful to God the Father in everything.