Set Apart and Consecrated
The word, consecrate, stood out to me in my devotions yesterday. Consecrate: to make something or declare something sacred, blessed, sanctified, make holy, dedicated to God, devoted, reserved, anointed, set apart.
In Luke 2, we read that Jesus’ parents took Him to the temple to be consecrated to God. We took that seriously as the template for consecrating our children to God when they were babies. We verbally, from our hearts, consecrated them to God and we prayed that they would be set apart by God, for God.
Often we attribute that word to only religious connotations when we’re in church or to those “religious” people who are becoming pastors, priests, deacons, evangelists, nuns, etc. But Joshua told the Hebrews in Joshua 3:5 “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.” Israel needed to remember what kind of people God was calling them to be. They were moving into the Promised Land to establish a nation that would display God’s character and will that fulfilled God’s promise to bless all nations through His people (Genesis 12:1-3). God was setting them apart as His holy people for His work that required holiness in their lives.
Yesterday morning as I read about “consecration”, the words to this old hymn by Fannie Crosby, “Draw Me Nearer” came to me:
Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord,
By the power of grace divine;
Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
And my will be lost in Thine.
What if that were the prayer we prayed, not just for ourselves, but for our families, our marriages, our children, and our businesses? “Lord, I ask you to “consecrate” (set apart, make holy, bless, make sacred) my family, my children, my business, my marriage.” That prayer means stepping away from things and actions that are outside of a “consecrated” life, like the way we manage our personal funds, the way we treat our husband or wife; the way we dress and the way we use our time and talents; what we watch like questionable internet sites, movies, literature and from the priorities we set for ourselves to the way we love and respect each other — in our homes, business and the marketplace. Consecrating our families means building homes of integrity and honor that will build a legacy; giving God priority in decision making; making God CENTER of everything.
We live in a world when it’s often difficult to distinguish whose side we’re on, but when we take Joshua’s words seriously from Joshua 24:14,15 “Choose you this day who you will serve. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” then there’s no question whose side we’re on. We’ve been consecrated and we’re on the Lord’s side.