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Consecration: A Partnership with God

by Kent Henry

We have entered into a partnership with our heavenly Father concerning holiness by making our lives available to be His holy vessels. In many ways we have fallen down on our end of the agreement by not walking in a higher level of moral excellence; some of us through ignorance, and some of us through disobedience. But the end result is the same. This is the hour to begin to change.

Living a Separated Life
"Consecration." I keep hearing this over and over in my spirit. This is the season to purify our lives and begin to live a truly God-filled, separated life. It is no small undertaking considering the amount of ungodly baggage that has been left in our lives from the world and religious indoctrination. Yet we can cleanse ourselves, not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of God.

Consecration has two basic elements that demand our attention and understanding. One, God has consecrated us to the work of His service in the earth by the blood, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Savior and Redeemer. Two, there is our daily responsibility of walking out our consecration in obedience to the Word of God.

The embodiment of three of the primary Hebrew words for consecration gives us an example we can use as a model. Qadash means "to be clean ceremonially or morally;" Nazar is defined as "abstaining from impurity, to set apart;" and charam is "to seclude, specifically to devote to religious use."

Made to be Clean
Qadash meant that God could make, pronounce, or observe to be clean, either ceremonially or morally. In Christ, we have received this standing. Our heavenly Father has made us clean through the blood of Jesus. II Corinthians 5:21 states it clearly: "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (Jesus Christ)." We were declared ceremonially, even morally, clean.

In Exodus 28:41 it says, "And you (Moses) shall put them (priestly garments) on Aaron your brother and on his sons with him; and you shall anoint them and ordain them, and consecrate them (dedicate, hallow, purify, sanctify [wholly]), that they may serve as priests." A similar calling has been given to each member of the Body of Christ, to serve this generation as consecrated priests to and before the Lord. Revelation 1:6 says that "Jesus made us kings and priests (literally a kingdom of priests), unto God." A real revelation of this fact does yield a higher motivation for living a life worthy of a son of God, a member of the Body of Christ, a joint heir in the royal priesthood.

Called to be Priests
A major missing element in the church today is that the call to be priests has gone forth, but very few are living the lives essential to priesthood. Many Christians are now living on the extreme outer edges of the Biblical standards for upright living.

God's idea of purity and holiness is much higher than the currently accepted standards of most Christian circles. Corporately, in the Body of Christ, we haven't had an overwhelming number of brilliant, shining examples to model our lives after, or an overabundance of concentrated Biblical teaching affirming these areas of personal consecration. But this cannot be an ongoing excuse to keep us from changing, nor used as the only reason why others have fallen far short of God's standards in the past.

Abstain from Impurity
The second Hebrew word, Nazar, tells us about another necessary part of consecration, which is, "to remain aloof or abstain from impurity." Numbers 6 spells out the law of the Nazirites. These men took a vow before the Lord to live a life of abstinence from certain things. In this case, as it is recounted, the unshaven hair was to be an offering to the Lord.

The point for us today is not to become legalistic in our approach to abstinence, but rather to follow after the principles put forth in the Bible. We must also follow through in obedience when the Holy Spirit directs light on an area of our lives, exposing the error of our way.

Many of us hear the word of the Lord, but don't follow through and change our lives in order to become consistent to that Word. It is not necessarily an issue of heart as much as an issue of permanence. It's not good enough to obey for only a few days, or weeks or months. We have to tear down and remove all the "high places" on a permanent basis.

A Secluded Life of Devotion
Finally, the word charam completes the consecration picture. We can remove ourselves and abstain from impure things, but we must also reciprocate by "secluding" ourselves away and "devoting" ourselves to God. There is a mental and spiritual attitude that overtakes a person as he spends consistent, quality time in prayer. It's the mind set that he, as a priest of the Lord, has a special, covenant relationship to keep himself unstained from the weight of ungodly things. It is done in the same spirit as a woman keeping herself for her husband. It is a very holy thing to the Lord.

To the Hebrew people, living a separated life was a primary objective in their lives. To most of us who were brought up in a Gentile nation, our personal standards are usually left to our own imaginations. The Hebrew people would have been reviled if they practiced some of the attitudes and lifestyles that were so readily accepted, even blatantly followed, in their day. It should suffice to say that we, as believers, in trying to walk in a scriptural and godly fashion, must guard against being drawn into and persuaded to follow worldly ways. It may not be popular, but it is God's priestly way. In Leviticus 27, there are three verses (21, 28 and 29) that sum up the heart of things devoted to the Lord. Verse 28 declares, "Anything which a man sets apart (devotes or consecrates) to the Lord out of all he has...shall not be sold or redeemed. Anything devoted (consecrated) to destruction is most holy to the Lord." A man in those times knew what it meant to devote something to the Lord. It was something costly. Living a secluded life before the Lord is costly as well. It involves your whole life. Unless you lose it, you can't gain the higher things of God in their deeper measure.

Reprinted with permission.


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