Consecration means to be ''set apart, or separated, for use by the Lord''. It is the giving of our whole being to God for service. This does not mean just preaching or working for God. ''Service'' in the Bible has the meaning of ''waiting on God'' to obey Him ( Lk 12:35-37; Heb 13:15-16). In other words, if He wishes us to stand, we stand; if He wants us to wait, we wait; and if He desires us to run, we run. WE ARE HIS TO OBEY.

Consecration is a definite act of our will before God. There is a point of time in the experience of every Christian when he will face the challenge of the total consecration of his life to the Lord ( Joshua 3:5; 1 Peter 3:15) - the challenge to take on the attitude that everything he is, has, or ever wants to be, is now in the Lord's hands.

PRESENTIG OURSELVES TO THE LORD

read Leviticus 8:18-28

The ceremony of the consecration of Aaron and his sons to the priesthood is a picture for us of the presenting of our lives to the Lord - for EVERY Christian is now a priest to God.

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light" (1 Peter 2:9).

Three parts of Aaron's body were touched by the blood of the sacrifice. They represent the consecration of our total being:

The Ear: hearkening to the word of the Lord.
The Thumb: doing the will of the Lord.
The Toe: walking in His paths.

"Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness" (Rom 6:13).

Consecration is an act of our FREE WILL made possible through the wonderful change the Lord has made in our lives. We could not consecrate our sinful lives to God, but because Jesus has set us free through His work on the Cross and has made us no longer slaves to Satan and our old sinful nature we can now offer ourselves to God.

" ...because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death" (Rom 8:2).

Consecration is not a putting to death of the old life. The Lord wants the NEW CREATION (2 Cor 5:17) to be offered in consecration to Him, not the old one (1 Peter 4:2).

''With eyes wide open to the mercies of God, l beg you, my brothers, as an act of intelligent worship, to give him your bodies, as a living sacrifice, consecrated to him and acceptable by him" (Rom 12:1 (Phillips).

Paul pictures the consecration of our lives to the Lord as a ''living sacrifice'', and says it is holy to the Lord and ''acceptable by him''. This can only refer to the New Creation Jesus has made us, for it's only in Him that we are holy and acceptable to God.

We can learn much from Abraham's experience (Gen 22:1-19). Isaac was God's special gift to Abraham - a miracle son - the fulfilment of God's promise to him. And it was Isaac that God asked Abraham to sacrifice. In the same way, the Lord wants us to consecrate the new life He has given us to Him.

THE BURNT OFFERING

read Leviticus 1:1-17

The Burnt Offering of the Old Testament law is a picture of our "living sacrifice'' to the Lord. It was the highest of all the offerings. The ENTIRE animal (representing the believer) was placed on the altar. The fire under this particular offering was kept burning continually - day and night. It was not an offering for sin, but spoke of the entire surrender and dedication of the worshipper to God.

THE DAILY WALK OF CONSECRATION

Once the initial act of consecration is made to the Lord, it is followed by a continual attitude in our daily lives. When Paul said, ''I die every day . . . '' (1 Cor 15:31), he meant that he literally laid his life on the line each and every day (2 Cor 11:23-28). Paul encourages the Philippian church to look at Jesus as our great example of daily consecration (Jn 4:34; 5:30; Mt 26:39,42).

Taking Up The Cross

'' . . . If anyone wants to follow in my footsteps he must give up all right to himself, take up his cross and follow me'' (Mt 16:24 (Phillips).

A Life Attitude

''Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, TAKING THE VERY NATURE OF A SERVANT, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!'' (Phil 2:5-8).

"Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mt 20:25-28).

We have been made "co-heirs'' with Christ (Rom 8:17). Now we are to show the same attitude as the Lord Jesus Himself as we consecrate our lives to serve God.

Our part is CONSECRATION - the surrendering of our new lives totally to the Lord.
God's part is SANCTIFICATION - the separating in holiness, by His Spirit, of those consecrated to Him.

"May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it'' (1 Thes 5:23).