Holiness is certainly vital in our army.
Caring for the less fortunate, the orphan, the widow; equally important.
Having a deep desire to serve the Lord is also a requirement to this Salvation that is ours, yet there is something more…something else that is needed.
William Booth declared it as a young man years before he and Catherine began the Christian Mission. There is an action that all of us should seriously consider before attempting to win the world for Jesus.
Yes, we must certainly get on with it, and never waver, but THIS is a vital component to actually succeeding in the Lord’s name.
What is ‘THIS’, you ask?
Not Just Words:
We can say many things in our lives and in our ministries and at times these utterings only remain just that – words. For instance, (perhaps this might sound a bit harsh, please know I do not mean it to be) we as an Army can say that we are practicing sacramental living and nothing could be further from the truth…or perhaps we do not even know what it means to live a sacramental life.
Hence, the notion of consecration in our lives needs to take place.
Have we offered the Lord “all there is of me”, or are these simply utterances full of sound and fury signifying nothing but mere words?
Are we making our hearts, minds and souls spaces of the sacred and divine, or is the act of consecration foreign to our faith and practice?
What Consecration isn’t:
Consecration isn’t a magic ‘holiness’ pill that will suddenly end our uncertainties, dry up our faithlessness, and cause thousands to attend our church services. Consecration is not simply a ceremony or ritual to perform either, such as many of the old pharisaic practices of old. Consecration is not a ‘one and done’ type of event either.
What Consecration is:
Consecration is a moment of conviction that is driven by our ability to listen to the Holy Spirit. Consecration is an act and not a ritual. Consecration is God breathing into our very hearts and souls and we, the faithful servant, being moved into awe and action. Consecration is a catalyst for deeper spiritual change that brings us closer to reflecting the very image of Christ. Consecration removes the ‘doing’ of the Christian life, and replaces it with ‘being’ a Christ-follower. From this transformative act, the outpouring response is a world impacted by Christ in us.
We will still face difficult days.
We will still find opposition.
We will experience pain, heartache and tears…
BUT, when we remain in a state of ‘Being’ rather than ‘Doing’ – our identity dies and with it the new life and identity of Christ can be seen in us.
How does this happen?
Consecration will occur when:
We get serious of being Holy men and women.
We put down childish things that distract us and instead focus on Kingdom building.
We stop clamoring for the praise of others and start running after the presence of God every moment.
We hunger for more of His words as we read and consume the Bible, the writings of other Christ-followers who can take our faith deeper.
The act of consecration is to devote our lives fully to the Lord. As we do so we find true peace, hope and love. Consecrating our lives will me that we do so over and over again, often times fighting our old, sinful selves as we surrender more and more of our hearts and lives. Thus we at times will come to places of reconsecration, where we rededicate, renew, and revive our faith with a fresh indwelling of God’s presence. This certainly doesn’t mean that God has drifted from us so much so that we have to find Him, No! Actually the opposite occurs – we drift from God and it is His still small voice which calls to us and implores us to find renewal through reconsecration of our hearts, souls and minds.
Undoubtedly, Holiness and Consecration walk side by side.
We cannot have one without the other within this mainframe of our marred world. That which was meant to be Holy needs to first be consecrated to God. When we consecrate our lives to God, or reconsecrate it we are aligning our souls into the image of Christ once more. We, in essence are saying, “Here I am Lord, send me!”
Questions to Ponder:
Do you, dear Salvationist need to return to the cleansing waters of consecration? Have you drifted away from the firm foundation? The Holy Spirit is calling to all of us to find Him again. We are being called to rededicate our lives to Him if we have wandered away. He is calling us to a deeper faith, a more substantial existence…but we must be willing to give up those things which hinder us and hold us back.
“Take My Life and let it be”
Take my life and let it be
Consecrated Lord to Thee
Take my moments and my days
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my voice and let me sing
Always only for my King
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee
Take my love my Lord I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store
Take myself and I will be
Ever only all for Thee
-Frances Ridley Havergal | Henri Abraham Cesar Malan
Something more for our Army to Ponder today.