I urge you to go ahead now and offer yourself to God, no strings attached. Consecrate yourself to Him. Put yourself on the altar, and tell God that you and all you have belong to Him. Be assured that He loves you more than you can imagine. And as you give yourself to Him, He will bless you in ways you never thought possible.
“It’s time!” are the two words I recently heard from the Lord that have had an incredible impact on me. These two words have released in me a sense of faith and expectancy beyond anything I have known probably in years. It released a sense in me that things I have prayed about and put off for the future are now here.
I am not to cry out for revival or awakening as I have in the past, but I am to walk, act and speak in the realization that God’s time to act mightily on our behalf is here. Then, just recently, God showed me what I believe is the next step in moving more fully into this new season into which He has brought us.
God’s Call to a New Consecration
It was during our Tuesday night stream, and I spoke in passing about Elisabeth Elliot and how her husband, Jim, was murdered along with four other young missionaries by the Auca Indians of South America, whom they were trying to reach for Christ. Elisabeth and some of the other wives later returned to this same tribe and led to Christ the very men who had murdered their husbands.
As I told this story, I began to weep, and I had this clear realization that God is calling us to a new level of consecration. At the same time, the words of Joshua as he was about to lead Israel into the Promised Land were brought with force to my mind: “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you” (Josh. 3:5, ESV). A new consecration is necessary if we are to fully enter the new season to which God has brought us.
What Is Consecration?
Consecration is the giving over of a thing or person completely to God. A friend recently pointed out that there is an element of destruction in many of the Old Testament passages about consecration. Idols must be destroyed, and consecration may involve the destruction of things in our lives that are not pleasing to God.
Consecration may look differently in your life and mine, but as we give ourselves unreservedly to God, He will take—and maybe destroy—the thing that is distracting us and keeping us from fully loving and obeying Him.
I recall as a young man and new believer having to lay my musical abilities and aspirations on the altar and give them completely to God. As a young person, I loved to play and sing country-rock music in parties, bars and other unsavory settings. When I gave my life to Christ, I put it all away for a time—but then I began to slip back into playing the old songs when I would stop by the homes of old friends and they would want to get out the instruments and jam. But even as I would play, there was a struggle going on inside, for I knew this was the one area that had the power to pull me away from the Lord. It was an idol that had to be destroyed!
Then one day I received an invitation to do a gig that was very appealing and attractive to my flesh and ego. I decided I would accept in spite of the struggle that was going on inside of me. The night after receiving the invitation, I went to church and experienced the hand of the Lord upon me in a powerful way, calling me to give myself and my music completely and singularly to Him.
At the end of the sermon, I went to the front of that small church and knelt before the Lord. I laid everything on the altar, giving myself completely to Him. I said, “Lord, if You will help me, from this moment forward, I will only play songs that bring glory and honor to You.”
That was my consecration, and something astonishing happened on the inside of me. There came an incredible joy that seemed to consume me for the next several days.
I recall driving alone in my car and shouting at the top of my voice because I could not contain the happiness and joy that was bursting forth from my heart. The power of that temptation was broken, and from then on it was easy to say no. I have been completely free ever since. But the interesting thing is, even though I have no passion or desire for secular music, if I were to find myself in a situation where it would be appropriate to play a wholesome non-Christian song, I am free to do so.
Consecration Brought a Miracle
Many of you have heard the story of the miraculous healing of my brother, Pete, when three doctors said he would not live more than 10 minutes after he was run over by a farm tractor at the age of 7. It was a new and fresh consecration by my father that led to the miracle. When our dad heard those devastating words from the doctors, the only thing on his mind was that for five years he had ignored the clear call of God to preach the gospel. He had told no one of this call, for it seemed impossible since he only had a fourth-grade education and a family to care for.
But as they wheeled Pete away, my father stepped into a bathroom and made his consecration to God. Outwardly it looked simple, but for Daddy it was a very serious and heartfelt act. He raised his right hand and said, “Lord, I’m ready!” At that moment, the power of God fell, and Pete was instantly and miraculously healed. One of the doctors returned a while later and said, “Mr. Hyatt, there has been a Higher Power here tonight!”
Just before the children of Israel were to cross the Jordan and begin possessing their God-given inheritance, Joshua said to them, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” I believe consecration is a necessary prerequisite for fully possessing our God-given inheritance and entering the new season to which He has brought us. It’s time!