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!


Popular posts from this blog

Getting at the heart of it all

Have you ever seen someone so good with their skinning knife they can just peel away the hide of an animal without a rip or tear, no waste of any of the meat just below that skin? I have seen some fishermen able to fillet their catch with such skill not even one bone is found in the fillet. How do they learn this skill? I think it comes to them through practice and with the employment of the right 'tool' to do the job at hand. There is comfort in knowing that God means what he says and his Word will come to pass. His Word is like the scalpel in the skilled hands of a surgeon or the knife in the hands of the skilled hunter. As a nurse, I have seen the skillful use of the scalpel - dissecting away the finest of tissue to protect the healthy tissue and to expose the tissue that has become devitalized by disease or decay. I have also seen the damage done by a "blade" in the hands of one not trained or at all skilled in its use. The difference is beyond description.

God m…

Noticed by grace

Stop and notice life around you from time to time - you might just be surprised by what you observe!
Sometimes we miss the "little things" in life. I guess I am as guilty of "glossing over" stuff as the next person. I wonder how much I really miss out on because I never stop long enough, listen close enough, or draw close enough to really "catch" what is happening? There are times when life passes us by at break-neck speed, or perhaps we are passing it by at that insane speed! Slow down, listen a little, get in touch with things and people around you. Notice stuff - it might just blow your mind!

I spelled out your character in detail to the men and women you gave me. They were yours in the first place; then you gave them to me, and they have now done what you said. They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that everything you gave me is firsthand from you, for the message you gave me, I gave them; and they took it, and were convinced that I came fro…

Be a little salt

Ever wonder why Jesus left his disciples with the idea of being 'salt on this earth'? We don't fully appreciate salt these days because we aren't as accustomed to how it was used during the times Jesus spoke those words. We often have to put ourselves into the culture where the words are being recorded in order to fully comprehend the significance of their meaning. In the days of the disciples, salt was a basic "staple" of life. It was that which acted as "preservation" for everything. It also was the main seasoning of the dishes prepared - although there were other spices, salt was a 'staple'. Perhaps we would do well to look at some of the other functions of salt in order to see what Jesus may have meant when he referred to our lives a salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of the earth.

"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltin…