Consecration and Compromise
In a recent posting of a Daily Prayer for Spiritual Growth I wrote, “Compromise is the greatest threat to consecration.” This is because consecration carries with it the implicit idea of all. When something or someone is consecrated they are totally devoted, all in, nothing held back. Whereas, compromise implies, “give a little, get a little.” If one party or the other doesn’t get something out of a compromise, compromise did not happen. In a spiritual sense, we spot this attitude when we want to please God, but we still want to please ourselves a bit, as well. We tend to hold back on full consecration, hedging so we can still have some opportunities for self-pleasing.
The idea of consecration is one which has drawn me for many years. The word is highlighted throughout my study Bible, but the Scripture itself does not lay out the concept with the same clarity which we find in a subject like atonement or sacrifice. I have sought, but have had little success in finding much literature from any age which really engages the topic in much depth, and I have yet to take up a systematic study of my own.
However, I did run across a powerful little book entitled, Consecration, by Ernest and Chidinma Amuzie. In it they say, “Consecration means devoted to God. It means separation from common use and solemn dedication to sacred use…when you consecrate yourself to the Lord, you turn your back on things of the world, and look intently upward to God, serving Him all the days of your life…” They go on to say that many people come to Christ without even the intention of being consecrated. We should not find this surprising, given that much of the “gospel” message over the past few decades has been more in line with “Come to God and receive forgiveness and Heaven” (which, praise God, we do get!), but little emphasis on the call to be holy and pleasing to the Lord. We have emphasized His amazing love and grace to the almost exclusion of His holiness and His command that we, too, should be holy—set apart, devoted, fleeing all that would defile us. We seek to, at best, be good—do the right things, avoid the big, hairy sins, and strive for reformation—settling for life short of transformation only abiding in Him and empowered by His Spirit can accomplish.
We seem to be oblivious to the “alls” to which the Scriptures call us. We look at, “Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, ALL your soul, and ALL your might,” and sink under the impossibility of it, settling for something we feel is more manageable (more doable in our own strength)—something far short of consecration to that goal. We forget that God tells us, “I am the God who makes you holy.” We forget that what God asks (commands), He enables. We forget that He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it. We forget that Jesus told us to abide in Him, because apart from Him we can do nothing.
Indeed, the secret of consecration is found in the abiding life. We seek Him for fellowship, worship, teaching through His word, gazing upon Him in wonder and adoration, being transformed into His likeness in increasing measure. And who was more consecrated than Jesus Christ? The more we witness and absorb His full devotion to pleasing and obeying the Father, the more we will long to do so ourselves, eschewing compromise, caring ever less about pleasing ourselves because the greatest pleasure we get is knowing we are pleasing Him.
We should ask ourselves if consecration is even on our radar. Then we should ask the Lord to show us where compromise has been getting in the way of our willingness to be fully consecrated, giving our all to Him. When has “pleasing self” become more important than pleasing God? We really must be ruthless in these answers. Jesus gave His all to redeem us, delighting His Father, so we must not think that God expects anything less than our all in pleasing Him.
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries
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