When the Music Fades -Part 3 (Consecrating Your Life)
“I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship”. Rom 12:1
Holiness. It’s a word that has gotten a bad wrap for some in the church. Depending on the denomination you may have grown up in it can have different connotations. For some it represents rules, regulations and a feeling of not being good enough. For others it might signify something unattainable and far reaching that is reserved for Diety and the like. And then there are those who believe being holy is another form of being perfect. But what does it really mean to be Holy? What does a holy life resemble? We’ve been talking about what a life of worship looks like and here Paul says that our spiritual service of worship is to present our living bodies as a holy sacrifice. We will talk about the sacrifice piece next week, but this week we want to focus on the type of sacrifice we are supposed to present. A holy one.
The word holy used in this verse means to be consecrated or set apart from the world and unto God for a special purpose. So many times we see in the Old Testament God separating his people from the things of the world. In Numbers He told them to take possession of the land, but to destroy all of the idols in the land once they did. He wanted to make sure they didn’t worship any other gods. Why? Because he needed them separate. In Judges He told them to take the land He has promised them, but to make sure not to keep any of the current inhabitants as their slaves. He told them to drive them away completely and to not make any covenants with them. Why? Because He needed them separate. We see this over and over again in scripture which begs the questions; why did God place such a high value on His people being separated from the things of this world? Well, because being separated from one thing ultimately makes us available for another. You see, God had plans for His people. But in order for those plans to be accomplished He needed them all to Himself, free from sin and the things that would take their attention away from Him. He needed them available to Him and not caught up in the mess of the surrounding sin.
Friends, God has a plan and purpose for us. But we can’t be available to fulfill God plans and purpose for our lives, if we are already bound to the plans and purpose of our flesh.
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us..” Heb 12:1
There is a race that we are supposed to be running. But along with that race comes opportunities to be slowed down. Along with that race comes the distractions and sin of this world. It can get complicated. But God knows the value of the race and how the things of this world will hinder us from completing it. So He calls us out. He calls us to a consecrated life that is supposed to be detached from the things that aim to do nothing but weigh us down. Friends, there is a race set before us, but we can’t run if we are attached to things that cannot come with us. Paul says that because God’s great mercy shown to us our reasonable form of worship is to present our bodies as a sacrifice that is holy. That means that in light of all He has done for us, the least we can do in return is put ourselves in a position that best let’s us run hard after Him. We run our best when we are unencumbered. We run our best when we are free from distractions and sin. We run our best when we are set apart from this world and wholly consecrated unto Him.
But, we all know that separation is tough and sometimes even painful. Mainly because we can become more concerned about what we are being set apart from than what we are being set apart for. There are attachments and things in our lives we have grown to love which can make consecration difficult at times. It is easy for us to get so focused on what we lose in the process, that we forfeit the ability to appreciate what we are actually gaining. You see, us being set apart from the world allows us to have a very specific, unique and God-ordained purpose fulfilled in our lives. To know Him.
“‘Therefore, Come out from their midst and be seperate,’ says the Lord. ‘And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. And I will be a Father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me,’ says the Lord Almighty.” 2Cor 6:17-18
You see, through our lives being consecrated we get to experience an intimacy with the Father that could not be experienced otherwise. God is not consecrating us to torture us. He is consecrating us to draw us closer to Him. He wants us set apart so that nothing can hinder us from being able to fully receive the love and intimacy that a Father longs to give to His children. He calls us out in order to call us up. We have to begin to value where we are going to, way more than where we are coming from. We have to begin to value what is being offered even more than what is being forsaken. You see, a reasonable life of worship looks like us presenting ourselves to the Lord, separated from this world and free to run towards Him with absolutely nothing weighing us down. And it’s in that pursuit of Him that He meets us with everything we could possibly ever need. That’s a holy and consecrated life and that’s the life we were created for.
Questions to Journal Through
- What are some things that are currently weighing you down and hindering you from running the race set before you? What is God trying to separate you from?
- Write a prayer being honest with why you don’t want to let these things/people go and ask God to help you value your life of consecration above anything else.