Tuesday, March 22, 2011
CONSECRATION -SET YOURSELF APART
Good Evening to All!
The Hayford Bible Handbook defines Consecration as the act of "setting apart, or dedicating something or someone for GOD'S use.
It also says in the Old Testament, the temple and its trappings were the most important objects consecrated to God. (2 Chronicles 7:5-9; Ezra 6:16-17), and Aaron and his sons were consecrated to the priesthood (Exodus 29; Leviticus 8). Even such items as the spoils of battle (Joshua6:19; Micah 4:13) and cattle could be consecrated (Leviticus 27:28). Before the beginning of the priesthood in Israel's history, the firstborn of men and beasts alike were consecrated (Exodus13:2; Number 13:12). In the New Testament, the supreme example of consecration is Christ himself (John 17:19; Hebrews 7:28; 10:10), though believers are also consecrated by Christ (John 17:17p; 1 Peter 2:9), and are urged to consecrate themselves as well (Romans 12:1; 2 Timothy 2:21).
Would you believe that I've heard the word "consecrate" used for a long time, but I never really thought about what it means? I had sort of an idea, but I never gave it MUCH thought.
To set apart, to use for a holy purpose. . . . me, holy? Those two words in the same phrase. I couldn't imagine. That is why it is so important to study the Word and get closer to God. It is His wish that we do this, but ONLY with His help can it happen.
We have to take the first steps. Read your Bible. When you go to church, lift those hands in worship. When you do this you are lifting "Holy Hands". Hands being used for the purpose of worshiping God. God inhabits our praises. The more you praise Him outwardly, the more you STEP OUT of your comfort zone, the more He likes it. I have had people ask me "aren't you embarrassed to do that in front of people? I worship outwardly all the time. I leap (jump up and down), I dance for the Lord, ( hop from one foot to the other) clap my hands shout to the Lord, just all kinds of things (all which are scriptural). My reply to these people are "no", I'm not embarrassed. I'm not doing it for anyone but the Lord, so I don't care what others think, I will continue to praise Him. If King David could do it and "more", then who am I to be embarrassed? I feel so much closer to God when I do it. He knows what a sacrifice it is when we step out of our comfort zones for Him. Jesus was ridiculed all through His ministry, mocked and worse and we're worried about what some judgmental people are thinking? Shame on us!
God says we should be consecrated to Him. Set ourselves apart for HIS use. We were not put on this earth to go "bar hopping," watching "R" rated movies, or any other entertainment as such. The way I know if what I'm doing is acceptable is I ask myself, if Jesus were here on earth, would I ask Him to come along, or watch that movie with me? Would Jesus do these things on His own? If the answer to one or both of those questions is no, then I won't do it.
I'm not saying we need to be reading our Bibles 24/7, (although it wouldn't hurt, especially if you have a memory like mine)LOL, but even so, we need to have a "right" spirit. I Psalm 51:10, Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Romans 12 :1 says, "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". How can we do this unless we consecrate ourselves to God? Again, I'm not saying we have to become a "walking Bible", although I wish I could, but just to be an example of a true Christian, letting God's light shine through you (us).
There are so many people out there who are Christians in name only. I don't think it is intentional all the time, but we find it too easy to let worldly things in life get in the way of our Christian walk and before we know it we are acting just like the "world", (in which Satan is the ruler). We really need to be more conscientious about what thoughts we let in, what we allow our eyes to see, and ESPECIALLY OUR TONGUES, as our tongues have the power of life and death in them. Proverbs 18:21 says Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. I like the way The Message Bible puts it: Words kill, words give life; they're either poison or fruit--you choose.
Although I may not agree with some of Joyce Meyer's ideas, I like the way she phrases things. In her Amplified Bible commentary "power in your mouth", she says, "Proverbs 18:21 teaches us that death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who indulge in it will eat its fruit, either for death or for life. We have all heard the phrase "You're going to have to eat your words". Proverbs 18:21 confirms this truth the words we speak influence our lives.
Words are also awesome. They are containers for power; they carry either a life-giving force or a destructive force.
We all need to watch WHAT we say and HOW we say it. Pardon me for spending so much time on the subject of the Tongue, but I feel that because it is the most unruly member of our body, it is the most detrimental thing in our walk with God. It can "make us or break us" and we can't very well set ourselves apart for Holy use, and still say negative and hurtful things to people. Our tongues are one of the quickest ways to get us headed away from God. Between our tongues and our attitudes, we've got a full time job, at least until it starts coming naturally, to keep us "set apart" like God wants from us.
We have to keep our eyes on the Prize. (heaven) and doing that means obeying God, obeying God means doing what He asks, and doing what He asks is having our lives consecrated to Him, to set ourselves apart from the world and live for Him. If we do that, then everything else will start to come natural. My priorities have changed since I started living for God. Now I don't even want to do the things I used to, and don't miss them at all. I didn't have to "give up" (as I have heard it called by "worldly people") anything, I just had to change my priorities. Instead of going to bars and drinking, I go to restaurants and have cokes or coffee. Instead of watching "R" rated movies with foul language, I watch really good CLEAN family shows. I love to dance, so I go to church and dance for the Lord. I don't give up things I changed my outlook of the kinds of things I like to do.
I feel much better about myself and happy because I KNOW for certain where my eternity is going to be spent. I don't have to wonder like I used to. That's no lie. years ago, while I was participating in the "worldly life" of all the above stuff I mentioned, I use to wonder (to myself of course) I wonder if God will forgive me for this or for that. I wonder where I'll go when I die.
Now I don't wonder, I don't worry, because I have gotten my priorities straight, and I've got my eyes on the Prize.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying I'm perfect and that I don't mess up. I'm far from it and I mess up a lot more than I would like to admit, but the key is when I do, I don't get the attitude "I messed up, so I can't go to church, I can't face Him". That's falling AWAY from God. When we fall, we need to fall forward, forward into the Arms of God and His forgiveness. Then, turn away from that sin and don't repeat it.
To be used by God, to be consecrated or set apart for His use does not come naturally. We must train our mouths to stay closed until our brains have a chance to think about the consequences of what we are going to say. If watching "R" rated movies is your thing, then bad habits such as this must be broken, and habits of clean movies must be adopted. Of course these are just a very few of the things which we must stay on the lookout for to abstain from or to change about ourselves (with God's help). If you aren't sure about what's acceptable and what's not, go to the Bible. It has the answer for EVERYTHING. If it helps, remember Sin is NOT ALLOWED in heaven, so these things must be repented (turned away from) before we can get into heaven. By doing these things we are getting ourselves ready to be consecrated unto God, and taking steps toward our final destination which is an eternity in Heaven with our LORD.
Don't keep thinking "I have plenty of time to change", because we don't. God doesn't even promise us tomorrow. We may get hit by a bus walking across the street, or He might come tomorrow no one knows. We need to be ready for whatever comes.
Consecrate yourself, and be used of God. When I make that statement, I don't necessarily mean a position in church. You can be used of God in many aspects and avenues. Pray a SERIOUS prayer about it to Him. He will tell you what He wants you to do, and remember your children are watching you. They will learn what you teach them by example.
Be certain where you will spend eternity.
I'm holding true to form today. I had the "jabbers" all day long ( I didn't stop talking), and my blog continued this pattern, (longer than usual). I guess I should have broken it down into 2 posts, but I wouldn't have known where to stop! LOL!
References: Hayford Bible Handbook by Jack W. Hayford
The Everyday Life Bible by Joyce Meyer
Good Night to All and May God Bless!