XXXVII. UNDIVIDED CONSECRATION
`And Ittai answered, As the Lord liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life, even there also will thy servant be.' -- 2 Sam. 15:21
`Whosoever he be of you that renounceth not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple.' -- Luke 14:33
`Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be to you a Father.' -- 2 Cor. 6:17,18
`Yea verily, and I count all things to be loss for Christ Jesus my Lord.' -- Phil. 3:8
We have already said that surrender to the Lord is something that for the Christian always obtains newer and deeper significance. When this takes place, he comes to understand how this surrender involves nothing less than a complete and undivided consecration to live only, always, wholly for Jesus. as entirely as the temple was dedicated to the service of God alone, so that every one knew that it existed only for that purpose; as entirely as the offering on the altar could be used only according to the command of God, and no one had a right to dispose of one portion of it otherwise than God had said: so entirely do you belong to your Lord, and so undivided must your consecration to Him be. God continually reminded Israel that He had redeemed them to be His possession. (Ex. 19:4,5; Lev. 1:8,9; Deut. 7:6; Rom. 12:1; 1 Cor. 3:16,17) Let us see what this implies.
There is personal attachment to Jesus, and intercourse with Him in secret. He will be, He must be, the beloved, the desire, the joy of our souls. It is not, in the first instance, to the service of God, but to Jesus as our Friend and King, our Redeemer and God, that we are to be consecrated. (John 14:21; 15:14,15; 21:17; Gal. 2:10) It is only the spiritual impulse of a personal cordial love that can set us in a condition for a life of complete consecration. Continually did Jesus use the words: `For My sake,' `Follow Me,' `My disciple'; He Himself must be the central point. (Matt. 10:32,33,37,38,40: Luke 14:26,27,33; 18:22) He gave Himself: to desire to have Him, to love, to depend on Him, is the characteristic of a disciple.
Then there is public confession. What has been given to any one, that he will have acknowledged by all as his property. His possessions are his glory. When the Lord Jesus manifests His great grace to a soul in redeeming it, He desires that the world should see and know it: He would be known and honoured as its proprietor. He desires that every one that belongs to Him should confess Him, and that it should come out that Jesus is King. (Ex. 33:16; Josh. 24:15; John 13:35) Apart from this public confession, the surrender is but a half-hearted one. As a part of this public confession, it is also required that we should join His people and acknowledge them as our people. The one new commandment that the Lord gave, the sure token by which all should recognize that we are His disciples, is brotherly love. Although the children of God in a locality are few, or despised, or full of imperfection, yet do you join them. Love them: hold intercourse with them. Attach yourself to them in prayer meetings and otherwise. Love them fervently: brotherly love has wonderful power to open the heart for the love and the indwelling of God. (Ruth 1:16; John 15:12; Rom. 7:5; 1 Cor. 12:2021; Eph. 4:14,16; 1 Pet. 1:22)
To complete consecration, there also belongs separation from sin and the world. Touch not the unclean thing. Know that the world is under the power of the Evil One. Ask not how much of it you can retain without being lost. Ask not always what is sin and what is lawful. Even of that which is lawful, the Christian must oftentimes make a willing renunciation, in order to be able to live wholly for his God. (1 Cor. 8:13; 9:25,27; 10:23; 2 Cor. 6:16,17; 2 Tim. 2:4) Abstinence even from lawful things is often indispensable for the full imitation of the Lord Jesus. Live as one who is really separated for God and His holiness. He who renounces everything, who counts everything loss for Jesus' sake, shall even in this life receive an hundredfold. (Gen. 22:16,17; 2 Chron. 25:9; Luke 18:29; John 12:24,25; Phil. 3:8)
And what I separate from everything, I will use. Entire consecration has its eye upon making us useful and fit for God and His service. Let there not be with you the least doubt as to whether God has need of you, and will make you a great blessing. Only give yourself unreservedly into His hands. Present yourself to Him, that He may fill you with His blessing, His love, His Spirit: you shall be a blessing. (2 Tim. 2:21)
Let no one fear that this demand for a complete consecration is too high for him. You are not under the law which demands, but gives no power. You are under grace, which itself works what it requires. (2 Cor. 9:8; 2 Thess. 1:11,12) Like the first surrender, so is every fresh dedication yielded to this Jesus, whom the Father has given to do all things for you. Consecration is a deed of faith, a part of the glorious life of faith. It is on this account that you have to say: It is not I, but the grace of God in me, that will do it. I live only by faith in Him who works in me as well the willing as the performance. (1 Cor. 15:10; Gal. 2:20; Phil. 2:13)
Blessed Lord, open the eyes of my heart that I may see how completely Thou wouldst have me for Thyself. Be Thou in the hidden depths of my heart the one power that keeps me occupied, and holds me in possession. Let all know of me that Thou art my King, that I ask only for Thy will. In my separation from the world, in my surrender to Thy people and to Thy will, let it be manifest that I am wholly, yea, wholly, the Lord's. Amen.
1. There is well-nigh no point of the Christian life in connection with which I should more desire to urge you to pray to God that He may enlighten your eyes, than this of the entire consecration that God desires. In myself and others, I discover that with our own thoughts we can form no conception how completely God Himself would take possession of our will and live in us. The Holy Spirit must reveal this in us. Only then indeed does a conviction arise of how little we understand this. We are not to think: I see truly how entirely I must live for God, but I cannot accomplish this: no, we are to say: I am still blind, I have still no view of what is the glory of a life in which God is all: if I should once see that, I would strongly desire and believe that, not I, but God, should work it in me.
2. Let there not be in your mind the least doubt as to whether you have given yourself to God, to live wholly and only as His. Express this conviction often before Him. Acknowledge that you do not yet see or understand what it means, but abide by this, that you desire it to be so. Reckon on the Holy Spirit to seal you, to stamp you as God's entire possession. Even if you stumble and discover self-will, hold fast your integrity, and trustfully aver that the deep, firm choice of your heart is in all things, in all things, to live to God.
3. Keep always before your eyes that the power to give all to the Lord, and to be all for the Lord, arises from the fact that He has given all for you, that He is all for you. Faith in what He did for you is the power of what you do for Him.