In a previous post we discussed the meaning of consecration and four compelling reasons for us to give ourselves to God. We hope you read that post to understand the tremendous difference it makes in our Christian life when we give ourselves to the Lord.
But knowing the reasons for handing ourselves over to the Lord may not be enough for us to take the action of consecrating ourselves. We have to see something more concerning the underlying basis for our giving ourselves to the Lord. We also have to see what can motivate us to consecrate ourselves willingly to the Lord. If we see these two things, our consecration will not be a dry or forced act based merely on knowing it’s good for us. It will be a sweet exercise of our hearts towards the Lord Jesus.
The basis of our consecration
If you were to buy a book from the store, paying the stated price for it, it would belong fully and legally to you. But if the book could talk, it might argue with you: “What are you doing? What right do you have to take me with you? I don’t want to belong to you. I’d rather belong to myself. I want to stay with the other books here.”
What would you say? You would tell the book, “I paid for you. Based on that, you now belong to me.” The book would have no choice but to go with you. You’re the rightful owner now with full authority over the book.
Do we realize that we have a “rightful owner”? Our owner is the Lord Himself. He became our owner with full authority over us, at great cost to Himself. Two verses clearly state this:
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price. So then glorify God in your body.” (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
“For whether we live, we live to the Lord, and whether we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” (Rom. 14:8)
Furthermore, our Lord Jesus paid the price to redeem us not with something He simply had, not with something objective or apart from Himself. He paid the price with nothing less than His own precious blood:
“Knowing that it was not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, that you were redeemed from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers, but with precious blood, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot, the blood of Christ.” (1 Pet. 1:18-19)
Now, because He gave His life to purchase us, we belong to Christ, and He legally owns us.
But although we belong to Him, the Lord still waits for us to take the action of handing ourselves over to Him willingly. He would never force us. He wants us to choose Him, but He gave us a free will. Unlike the example of the book, we are living beings, not inanimate objects, and can determine what we do.
This is why it’s crucial for us to see that, in fact, we are no longer our own. We belong to the One who purchased us. If we see and appreciate all the Lord did to gain us, we’ll recognize His rights over us. We’ll pray, “Lord Jesus, thank You for paying the price of Your own precious blood for me! Thank You, Lord, I no longer belong to myself. I belong to You! You paid the highest price of Your own blood for me! I recognize Your full rights over me. So Lord, I give myself to You. I hand myself over to You.”
The solid basis for consecrating ourselves to the Lord is His purchase of us. We are no longer our own.
The motivating factor of our consecration
We may see the solid, objective basis for consecration, but we may not be touched by it in our heart. We may acknowledge God’s rights over us because Christ purchased us with His blood on the cross, but we may do so in a begrudging way. So what can cause us to give ourselves willingly, even lovingly, to the Lord?
Besides the fact of God’s legal right over us, there also exists an irresistible force that has motivated people throughout the centuries to give their all to Christ. That irresistible force is the love of God. When His love comes to us, we can’t help but yield in consecration to the Lord.
We clearly see the poured out love of God in our Lord’s giving up His own life for us. We were worthy of nothing but judgment. Yet God in His Son, Jesus Christ, came to this earth and suffered a death on the cross we simply cannot imagine—all in love for us.
If we read in the Bible the account of the Lord’s life and especially His death on the cross for us, we will be touched in the depths of our being with the love of Christ. As we consider the Lord and what He did for us, we’ll say with Paul,
“The love of Christ constrains us because we have judged this, that One died for all, therefore all died.” (2 Cor. 5:14)
His love, so tender yet so mighty, so gentle yet so relentless, constrains and moves us. It motivates us to spontaneously give ourselves to Him. Our presenting ourselves to Him is no longer simply because we recognize His rights over us. It’s also our loving response to His love for us.
When we taste the love of Christ and are brought to see His preciousness, no one needs to exhort us to present ourselves to the Lord. We’ll spontaneously find ourselves telling the Lord, perhaps even in tears, “Lord, I am worthy of nothing. Yet in Your love You suffered and died on the cross for me. Lord, what love is this! It’s beyond my understanding! I love You, dear Lord. I give myself to You, all I have and all I am.”
So the solid basis of our consecration is God’s ownership of us, and the motivating factor of our consecration is God’s constraining love. When we taste the love of God, we can’t help but respond in love to Him.
The words of this hymn express the sweet experience of being constrained by the Lord’s love to give our all to Him.
“Thy mighty love, O God, constraineth me,
As some strong tide it presseth on its way,
Seeking a channel in my self-bound soul,
Yearning to sweep all barriers away.
Shall I not yield to that constraining power?
Shall I not say, O tide of love, flow in?
My God, Thy gentleness hath conquered me,
Life cannot be as it hath hither been.
Break through my nature, mighty, heavenly love,
Clear every avenue of thought and brain,
Flood my affections, purify my will,
Let nothing but Thine own pure life remain.
Thus wholly mastered and possessed by God,
Forth from my life, spontaneous and free,
Shall flow a stream of tenderness and grace,
Loving, because God loved, eternally.”
(You can hear the music here: http://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/431.)
May the Lord open our eyes to see the precious price He paid to purchase us and that we belong to Him. And may we be constrained by the love of Christ and experience the sweetness of handing ourselves over to Him.
If you want to learn more about consecration and how to consecrate yourself to God, take a look at these additional posts: What Is Consecration and Why Do I Need to Consecrate Myself to God?, How Do I Consecrate Myself to the Lord?, and Loving Jesus with Our Best.
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