The New Life: Words of God for Young Disciples of Christ
Chapter 37 Undivided Consecration
"And Ittai answered the king and said, As the Lord liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be" kjv@2Samuel:15:21.
"Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple" kjv@Luke:14:33.
"Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you" kjv@2Corinthians:6:17-18.
"I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord" kjv@Philippians:3:8.
We have already said that surrender to the Lord is something that always obtains newer and deeper significance for the Christian. When this takes place, he comes to understand how this surrender involves nothing less than a complete and undivided consecration to live only, always, and wholly for Jesus. As entirely as the temple was dedicated to the service of God alone, so that everyone knew that it existed for that purpose only, likewise, you belong entirely to your Lord. As entirely as the offering on the altar could be used only according to God's command, and no one had a right to dispose of one portion other than He had said, your consecration to Him must be equally as undivided. God continually reminded Israel that He had redeemed them to be His possession.1 Let us see what this implies.
There is personal attachment to Jesus, and fellowship with Him in secret. He will be--He must be--the beloved, the desire, the joy of our souls. We are to be first consecrated to the service of Jesus as our Friend and King, our Redeemer and God.2 It is only the spiritual impulse of a personal, cordial love that can place us in a condition for a life of complete consecration. Continually Jesus used the words, "For My sake," "Follow Me," "My disciple." He Himself must be the central point.3 He gave Himself. The characteristic of a disciple is to desire to have Him, to love and to depend on Him.
Then there is public confession. What has been given to any one will be 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 wants to be known and honoured as its proprietor. He desires that everyone who belongs to Him would confess Him and proclaim that Jesus is King.4 Without this public confession, the surrender is but a half-hearted one. As a part of this public confession, it is also required that we join His people and acknowledge them as our people. The one new commandment that the Lord gave--the sure sign by which all should recognise that we are His disciples--is brotherly love. Although the children of God in a locality are few or despised or full of imperfection, you are to join them. Love them. Hold fellowship 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.5
To complete your consecration, there also must be separation from sin and the world. Do not touch the unclean thing. Know that the world is under the power of the Evil One. Do not ask how much of it you can retain without being lost. Do not always ask what is sin and what is lawful. Even that which is lawful the Christian must often make a willing renunciation of, in order to be able to live wholly for his God.6 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, will receive a hundredfold even in this life.7
And what I separate from everything, I will use. Entire consecration has its eye on making us useful and fit for God and His service. Let there not be the least amount of 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, so that He may fill you with His blessing, His love, His Spirit. You will be a blessing.8
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.9 Like the first surrender, every fresh dedication is yielded to Jesus, whom the Father has given to do all things for you. Consecration is an act 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 the willing as well as the performance. 10
Blessed Lord, open the eyes of my heart so that I may see how completely You would have me for Yourself. May you be, in the hidden depths of my heart, the one power that keeps me occupied and holds me in possession. Let all know You are my King, that I ask only for Your will. In my separation from the world, in my surrender to Your people and to Your will, let it be manifest that I am wholly, yes wholly, the Lord's. Amen.
1. There is almost 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 of how completely God Himself wants to 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. Once I see that, I would strongly desire and believe that not I, but God, should work it in me."
2. Let there be no doubt in your mind as to whether you have given yourself to God, to live wholly and only as His. Express this conviction before him often. Acknowledge that you do not yet see or understand what it means, but abide by this, that you desire it to be so. Rely on the Holy Spirit to seal you, to stamp you as God's entire possession. Even if you stumble and discover self-will, hold your integrity tightly, and trustfully affirm that the deep, firm choice of your heart is to live for God in all things.
3. Always keep 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.