Skip to main content

What's that I smell?

Sometimes I think we confuse concentration with consecration. Concentration can be very time-limited, while consecration takes us beyond time-limits into a life-long pursuit. Consecration goes beyond the surface - in fact, it embraces all of our being when it is operational in our lives. Consecration is simply the act of setting something apart for a specific use - not for a while, but for a lifetime. When we say that the brownies are made special for daddy because they are his favorite treats, we have the expectation that the one receiving enjoyment out of those brownies will be daddy. The same is true when we say we have dedicated our lives to the service of our heavenly Father - he will receive the enjoyment our dedication brings.

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:1-2)

Grace and mercy are two very powerful forces at work in our lives. It is the "favor" of God and the "pardon" of God that is at work in us. The first step in dedicating our lives to his service is to yield what he already owns! We are in a kind of "territory dispute" with God most of the time - our will against his. We want to enjoy the liberty of his grace and release of his pardon, but when it comes to actually turning over the "deed" to our lives, we totally hesitate. We are called to be separated UNTO God for his special work within and through us. What we fail to recognize is that separation is completely voluntary - it isn't a life taken, it is a life yielded.

In the off chance that I am not clear here, let me explain. God never REQUIRES our dedication. He is honored by it, but he never compels us to serve him. WE choose whom we will serve. What we fail to recognize is that by dedicating ourselves to him, we are really being set apart for the most awesome enjoyment that one could ever experience. Just like daddy may savor those brownies that have been "dedicated" to him, our heavenly Father will savor our dedication - by giving over our "right" to hold control of our lives into his hands. The most awesome thing happens when we finally yield the control of our lives to Jesus - we begin to bear the image of that which we have yielded ourselves to. Did you ever see two totally close friends and notice how much they "resemble" each other in their habits, ideals, and even in their communication? "Likeness" actually occurs because of the frequency of contact that they have with one another.

When we finally desire God's enjoyment of our lives more than our own enjoyment of our sin, God is honored to take what we yield to him. But...he only takes what is yielded (dedicated / consecrated) - he is not going to take it against our will! There is a practice in the Old Testament that we don't see any longer in our church services - the practice of the altar sacrifices. That is okay, since Jesus was the perfect sacrifice offered once for all! Yet, I think there was some value in seeing how the altar affected what was dedicated to God by being placed on it! Every gift laid at the altar is affected by the altar. I call this the "altering" effect of the "altar". It is like putting those brownies on a tray for the enjoyment of one person only - each time they go to the tray, the aroma of those brownies rises to meet their nostrils. At the altar of God's grace and mercy, there is an aroma that reaches God's nostrils and invites him to enjoy that which has been dedicated to him. Yet, at the altar, God awakens a sense of need in us, as well. It is at the altar that we are acknowledging our dependence upon him.

One last note - the CALLED OF God are CALLED FOR God - his enjoyment alone. He already paid the price for our souls at the cross. When we yield the right to govern our lives (our will), we are truly giving evidence that we are willing to have that which controls us the most affected by the altar. God calls this having our minds renewed. I think he might have had the picture of the altar in mind - leaving no part of our self-will untouched by the fire of the Spirit. So, be touched - begin with concentration - then move on to consecration. Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce …

Period!

When someone tells you that you need to wrap your mind around some concept, they are telling you that the subject at hand will take some effort on our part to actually get enough of a hint of it in order to even remotely understand it. The subject is complex, even a little overwhelming, and we will have to apply ourselves to really grasp it very well. We cannot wrap our minds around God's wisdom and knowledge - because it is infinite and our brains are sadly finite. We can only 'think' so far and then we have to 'trust'. Some of us think there is nothing we can trust if we cannot 'think' it through, but this will never work when it comes to our faith. Faith requires trust in what is unseen and not fully comprehended. The truth we believe is really building our trust, but until we approach God with more trust than 'thought', we will never fully grasp some of the things he has prepared for us.

We cannot wrap our minds around God’s wisdom and knowledge…

Give him the pieces

What or Who is it that causes division among you right now? Maybe it is more of a 'what' than a 'who' that is creating the division between you and something you need in your life. Perhaps you are struggling with an addiction to something that keeps coming between you and true liberty from the hold that thing has on you. Yes, addiction is really the worst kind of enslavement one can imagine - being so emotionally or psychologically attached to the 'thing' that any attempt to break free causes so much trauma in your life that you just cannot imagine being free. But...God is above that addiction - he is stronger than the emotional or psychological pull that thing has in your life. Maybe the dividing force in your life right now is a 'who' - a tough relationship challenge between you and a coworker, a spouse that seems to no longer share your interests or values, or even a relative that doesn't understand some of your choices and now chooses to withdra…