Consecration Begins by Understanding Your Part in Consecration and God's!
Defining Consecration
The Bible says, "You shall consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am the Lord your God" (Leviticus 20:7).
A technical definition of consecration means that you are to set yourself apart from evil, turn to the Lord, and be prepared to be used by God.
Consecration - Our part and God’s
Consecration plays an important role in your growth toward God. But consecration has 2 parts; our part and God’s.
Our part is the practical side of separating ourselves from sinful living. Our part is the topic of this section about how to repent.
God’s part of our being consecrated, is to prepare us for His use by actually making us holy. Note that in being prepared for holy use, God has to also prepare our body for being used in ministry.
If you are a Christian, God has already cleansed you on the inside and made you holy. But consecration in the Old Testament was for cleansing the outside of vessels too.
After salvation, God's part in consecrating us for His use is to wash our body with His presence. More information about how this works is covered in the section called, "What about Shame."
Both our part and God's part in consecration work together.
Half of our part in consecration involves separating ourselves from evil by continually working with our heart so that we drink from earthly sources less and less all the time. But doing that is only half of what we can do for practical holy living.
The other half of our part in consecration is that of actually drawing near to God and drinking.
God designed us so that we have to be "drinking" from something. By our drinking from God, purity works it's way into our experience because enjoying God's presence becomes our preferred way of quenching our thirst, not sin or unwanted behaviors. By drinking from God, the earthly ways of unrighteous living become less and less attractive to us.
But by our turning to God and drinking something else happens: God is able to do His part in consecrating us.
By our drawing near to God and our letting Him draw near to us, God is able to prepares us for His use because He washes us holy all the while He is drawing near to us.
Do you want to be prepared for God's purposes? You have to draw near to God and let Him draw near to you, or the outside of your vessel won't be consecrated to God.
God will do His part. We just have to do ours. Practical holiness and the cleansing of God for holy use cannot be separated. One without the other is not possible.
Consecration First
The Bible says, "...Now that you have consecrated yourselves to the Lord, come near..." (2 Chron. 29:31). The cross of Christ is the doorway to experiencing the presence of God. We have to consecrate ourselves before we enter the throne room to draw near to the Lord.
But please note that consecration is not something that you can do and then think you are done with it. The Bible says that "Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple." (Luke 14:27). But "carrying our cross" is something that we will always have to do.
None of us will ever grow enough to put our cross down. The Bible talks about "always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus..." (2 Cor. 4:10). Since we won't ever grow out of it, consecration has to become a way of life.
Our consecration won't ever be complete. So when it says, "...Now that you have consecrated yourselves to the Lord, come near..." (2 Chron. 29:31), this does not mean that you should be fully consecrated before you draw near to God.
Don’t wait for the day when you look at your practical righteousness and say, "Now I think I am doing good enough to draw near." If you do that, you will only be depending on the righteousness you think you have achieved and not God.
Be in consecration for several days or just a few weeks and then take steps to draw near to God.
Practical purity from consecrated living is not possible without also drawing near and quenching our thirst with God: you have to enter and drink the Spirit. Otherwise, your thirst will drive you back to earthly sources. If consecrating yourself doesn't also turn you to God, you will find yourself just as bad off as when you started.
You can do your part! You can trust God to do His.