If hell can’t keep me from consecration, hell will work to limit consecration in my life. Consecration requires the loss of something than God gains control of by my willing surrender–sacrifice is an example and is the most common Bible picture of consecration. The end result of consecration has to do with the use or control of the consecration sacrifice. If hell can’t keep me from giving control of things to God, hell will work to limit the things consecrated to God to gain some advantage to influence control of those things.
I know when something is consecrated as soon as God touches it and I say, No! That No! identifies an area of limited consecration in my life. And, be assured, if I love it, God will touch it! I will religiously give God stuff in which I lack deep interest, but maintain a hold of control on things I am deeply passionate about. While this often reveals a radical silliness in me, holding out from God insignificant stuff, God will go to the heart of the issue. God will go to the mat for my passion.
I have a problem with Jesus. He wants all. He will never stop until He gets all. He will corner me until He gets all. He will touch my promise, my purpose, because He gave them to me in the first place.
Beware the thought, God won’t touch that because that is my promise. “The Lord gives. The Lord takes. Blessed be the Name of the Lord. And, in all this Job did not sin.” Ask Abraham about the promised one as the patriarch places Isaac upon the altar as a sacrifice. It is not the thing itself that God wants or needs, but you fully consecrated. He can resurrect your son, restore you loss, give you double everything the enemy takes. It is you He wants, He died for. He will not stop until He has all.
Consecration means “it doesn’t belong to me anymore.” I lose control by surrendering control. It is the consecrated things that stand in the Holy Place. It is the consecrated ones who carry anointing, conquer giants.
Discipling occurs when the disciple loses control by surrendering control. No forced behavior can produce transformation. The limts of transformation can be measured in the limits of the power of the Cross, the power of the Spirit, and the fullness of consecration.
Old Testament sacrifice is based upon substitution, that an animal can take our place in securing consecration. It was woefully incomplete but our teacher to bring us into the eternal, unlimited substitution sacrifice of Jesus. “I am crucified…” Through the power of the Cross, the power of the Spirit, I present my body. Herein I am the priest and the offering by God’s mercies. Holy and accepted. This is my priestly ministry.
Leadership is a consecration offering poured out. As 2 Corinthians 4 says – “Through suffering, these bodies of ours constantly share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be obvious in our dying bodies. So we live in the face of death, but it has resulted in eternal life for you. But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, and so I speak.” We know that the same God who raised our Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself along with you. All of these things are for your benefit. And as God’s grace brings more and more people to Christ, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.” The substitutionary consecration doesn’t redeem anyone or anything, but is our priestly ministry in worship, Gospel, and serving. That is leadership.
It is possible to limit the power of the Cross, the power of the Spirit in my life and to frustrate God’s grace. To live in limited consecration is to limit God’s grace. Paul shows the connection in Galatians 2: “Crucified with Christ, I remain alive, but not I, Christ…I do not frustrate God’s grace.” The unconsecrated lies beyond the flow of grace.