ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Consecrate Yourselves!

Updated on December 13, 2017
Source

Not Our Own

There is a subtle, mistaken thought in Christianity that we can be saved, but not fully give ourselves over to the Lord and what He says concerning how we should live. Yet, what does it mean to be "saved" in the first place, if not to be taken out of the lives we once led apart from God in our sin, and be placed into the new, sanctified lives He gives us through Jesus? Since it is His life in which we now live, we no longer have control over our lives, because we are no longer our own. As Paul says in Galatians, "I have been crucified with Christ: and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me".1 Failing to live as whom we have been made to be in Christ brings about negative effects in our lives, as well as in the lives of the people around us. These negative effects include unbelievers not wanting to hear about Jesus because they see little or no difference between our lives and theirs.

Facing the Disconnect

This point leads to a thought I have been having of late concerning the state of the young people in this up-and-coming generation. I often hear concern expressed over how few of them are believers, or how few come to church, or how lost most of them seem to be. I agree, and am concerned myself, for the Lord desires them to be in His Kingdom—He loves them! We also speak of calling forth the Christians in this young generation to be set apart unto the Lord, to see them come into what the Lord Jesus has for them in Him and be a light to those of their generation who are unsaved. But I feel a disconnect in all of this when I look at those of us who are older. These desires are good, but how can we ask young people to do what we who are older in the faith often will not do ourselves? Is consecration for the young only? Is being fully committed to the Lord only attached to youthful zeal? Or is this a call meant for all of us together, young, middle-aged, and old alike? I submit that it is, and there is no getting out of it. We lead by example, not just words.

If we want to see the youth and young adults come and set themselves apart to the Lord, then those of us who are older must do so ourselves first. Young people desperately need to see us living the reality of who we are in Christ. I say this in particular to those of us who are immediately after them in age. They watch us more than we think they do. We are, in general, a rather lackluster bunch, ever-dwindling in number in the ranks of the Church. The feel-good Christianity we grew up with as children and youth has taken its toll. I cannot tell you how many people I have met in this age bracket (30-ish to 45-ish) who had some experience with the Church while growing up. Whether that experience was good or bad, they are now, generally speaking, indifferent to Christianity. Why? One would like to blame our culture and its gradual descent into further ungodliness over the past few decades. This has a hand in the problem, to be sure, but the main problem has been the Church. Our half-baked, Jesus-pill approach has failed, and failed miserably. People need life to bring them out of the death they are in spiritually—the life of Jesus Himself. If they do not see us living in that life Jesus gives us, to what are they going to be drawn? A light show and the best guitarist in town? A short, "culturally-relevant" sermon? Perhaps initially, but many will find themselves still lacking spiritually after a while, and eventually lose interest altogether. We in the Church need to be living the vibrant, consecrated lives we have been called to live as believers, loving Jesus and one another wholeheartedly, and not just "with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth".2 Our witness must be faithful and consistent, both inside and outside the church meeting. When people see Jesus lifted up by our words and deeds, then they will be drawn to Him. And not just drawn, but brought into His Kingdom and changed.

Simple Devotion

This article is not a call to be "radical" for Christ. It is simply being whom you have been created to be in Jesus. You are not your own; you belong to Him. That means He directs your course, not you. Actually allowing the Lord to have control of one's life is an unnerving prospect for some. We have been fooled into thinking it will be boring, or weird, or extreme. It is none of those things. Total, abandoned surrender to the awesome King and Creator of the universe is the most exhilarating experience known to man. Of course the the thought is terrifying to our natural minds, but we are not supposed to lean on our own understanding in the first place (remember the oft-quoted, but seldom followed verse from Proverbs?). Yes, unbelievers will think you are strange. We do not live for the approval of those who do not love Jesus, however; we live as unto the Lord so that they can come join us in the freedom that is in Him, and Him alone.

So, take the word "radical" out of the equation. It does not exist in the language of the New Testament. ("Zeal" and "fervor", yes, but not "radical".) Put in its place, "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments".3 It's that simple, and those words are for every believer. We make following the Lord wholeheartedly sound much more difficult than it is. It is a day by day walking by the Holy Spirit, obeying the Lord in His strength. Will you stumble? Yes. But His grace picks us back up. The key here is to have a heart after the Lord Jesus that desires to do His will above all else. When we do His will, dead works and self-effort fall by the wayside. Sins and distractions that sidelined us are cast away as we draw near to our King. Praying, studying the Scriptures, worshiping, and just sitting in God's presence become a delight rather than a chore. Selfless love for the brethren and unbelievers becomes a reality. Faith and trust in Jesus moves in, and unbelief and fear moves out. In short, consecration to our Lord is not a pain; it is a joy that brings freedom. We may feel some pain as we let go of lesser things, but what we gain in place of those things will last forever.

Let me ask you in closing: is Jesus more important than anything else to you? Don't answer that question off-hand; sit and consider it. Ask the Holy Spirit, "Have I really devoted myself wholly to You? Do I really live like I am not my own, or am I still running my life?" Be encouraged no matter what the reply is; He will not leave you in a lesser place if you yield yourself to Him. "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."4


Notes:

1. Galatians 2:20, NASB

2. from 1 John 3:18, NASB

3. John 14:15, NASB

4. Philippians 1:6, NASB

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      4 weeks ago

      @ Lincy Francis: Thank-you! Yes, that question of who is first in our lives is an important one.

    • Lincy Francis profile image

      Lincy Francis 

      5 weeks ago from Allahabad

      A very nice article! Especially the conclusion part. We need to ask that question to ourselves time and again.

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      3 months ago

      @ Jack:

      Thanks for your thoughts on this. I try to stay in a place of delighting in Jesus daily, as "many waters cannot quench love". It's much harder to be pulled away by the current of this world when one has the eyes of one's heart on His face. I pray all of us who truly know Him will stay faithful to the end!

    • Jack Jenn profile image

      Jack Jenn 

      3 months ago from Nelson Bay NSW Australia.

      Hi Rhosynwen,

      It's such a shame and a pity that so many are fallen in this late age of Laodicea that we find ourselves in, which is only going to get a lot worse as the day draws closer. So many are blind to it simply because Satan knows that his end is but a few years hence and is ramping up his attacks on the world. And we can see these things, that we know are bad and wrong, all around us which are only confirming that we are in the 'last days' and most will be caught unawares when they come.

      I am 75 years old and I can remember a time when I was young that there was a godly attitude in the church visible in Australia but that is no longer the case and I'm sure you would echo the same thoughts about your country. Even though Australia is regarded as a Christian country by the world it has really become a Godless country over the last decade or so. The church visible is fast becoming like a desert and not many put their faith in them these days.

      If you are aware of the Spirit working in you, studying His words and being led by the Spirit - that will be more profitable than attending a fallen church, which all will soon be coerced by the false prophet to amalgamate into a one-world-religion in the second half of the Tribulation.

      Every word you have said in your article is so true but most are blind to it. Satan is a master deceiver and many have become victims of his subtle, insidious attacks on our minds, sometimes even unaware of it, which is where the battle ground is. You only have to realise what was considered serious sin yesterday is commonplace today - saying 'we all do it' in some form and excuse themselves of it and that's how far society has fallen.

      I too, worry about the young today, knowing where they are headed when it doesn't have to be this way - if people would just consider Him, the gift He has given and what He is holding out to us. And it's free, there is no cost to us, the cost was to God. Yes, Jesus' love for us is unconditional, which is why He did what He did but salvation IS conditional - as long as you continue in faith, that is what makes it conditional. And for some submission is the hardest step, they just need to give in and submit to the Spirit's leading - it's about being willing.

      I really liked a sentence in the paragraph above the last one - "Praying, studying the scriptures, worshipping, and just sitting in God's presence becomes a delight rather than a chore."

      Delight is such a beautiful word and it speaks of how someone thinks about us and I pray that He would delight in us.

      Again Rhosynwen, I enjoyed your thoughts and my best regards,

      Jack.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)