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Sunday, April 26, 2015

10. Spiritual Ascension Step #5: Consecrate (Part 1 of 3)

Note: This is one of a series of posts devoted to the study of D&C 93:1, and the 10th examining the phrase "keepeth my commandments".

In my previous post, we discussed the fact that those who sought the Lord's forgiveness found that He was not only anxious to declare them clean, but He was also anxious to impart unto them greater manifestations of God. You make the first move, and He greets you "with open arms to receive you" (Mormon 6:17) into a totally higher level of spirituality and closeness to Him.

Thus, as you repent on a regular (even daily) basis, you may notice your life being blessed with greater amounts of grace! Because of that, you may also notice that you're also more willing to sacrifice your will for His.

What a wonderful feeling it is! You repent, you receive grace, you feel like giving yourself to God more, and He blesses you even more!

Elder Maxwell put it even more eloquently:
"As the sins of the telestial world are left behind, the focus falls ever more steadily upon the sins of omission, which often keep us from full consecration." (Elder Neal A. Maxwell, "Repentance", October 1991 General Conference)
I believe that repentance -- the giving of our burdens to Christ -- is one way you can consecrate your life to Him; for, by its very definition, consecration means to set apart or dedicate something as sacred, devoted to holy purposes.

Go Beyond Repentance! Turn Your Life -- ALL of it -- over to God

Psalm 61:3 says "For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy."

Proverbs 18:10 says "The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run into it and are safe." 

But what does that mean? 

When you run into a tower, you disappear. When you run into the name of the Lord, it means to get inside His identity, His authority. Him. 

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn once explained that during Passover, the ancient Israelites had to get inside the house with the lamb to be safe. 

And so it is with you. Salvation means getting your life inside His life. Get your name inside His name, your weaknesses inside His strength, your unrighteousness inside His righteousness, and your sins inside His holiness. 

So, I ask you: is your life showing, or is His? 

Is your ego showing, or is He evident? 

If your life is still showing, it's not safe. Get covered. Get your life, heart, emotions, sins, fears, ego, ambition, and everything else inside the name, identity, authority and will of God. 

If you want to be safe, then disappear into Him. 

The name of the Lord is a strong tower. Run into it, and be safe.

King Benjamin -- who was no stranger to towers (Mosiah 2:7-8) -- called this "putting off the natural man", "yielding to the enticings of the Holy Spirit" and becoming "a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord." (Mosiah 3:19) 

Many tend to think that consecration is just a yielding up of our material possessions. 

Au contraire! Ultimate consecration is the yielding up of oneself to God -- all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind (Matthew 22:36-40). Then our performances will be fully consecrated for the lasting welfare of our souls (2 Nephi 32:9).
"True success in this life comes in consecrating our lives —- that is, our time and choices -— to God’s purposes (John 17:1,4; D&C 19:19). In so doing, we permit Him to raise us to our highest destiny." (Elder D. Todd Christofferson, "Reflections on a Consecrated Life", October 2010 General Conference)

Spiritually Growing Past Repentance

"For Moses had said, Consecrate yourselves to day to the Lord, even every man upon his son, and upon his brother; that he may bestow upon you a blessing this day." (Exodus 32:29)

Consecration is a day-to-day process of dedication and re-dedication, probable mistakes, humility, refinement and purification.

Nobody is perfect in it. Yet every day, you pick yourself back up, immerse yourself in God's word and do your best to follow the example of the most consecrated person of all time, Jesus Christ.

"When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities." (Pres. Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May 1988, p. 4)

For example, this means you abandon such things as stubbornness, rebellion and rationalization and replace them with a desire for correction, by God, and acceptance of all that the Lord may require.

It means reprioritizing your life if you're more focused on sports than scriptures, finances than family, Sunday recreation time than the sacrament.

It means saying -- and meaning:

I'll go where you want me to go.
I'll do what you want me to do.
I'll be what you want me to be.

It means seeking for God's glory, the attitude of "how can I best serve?" -- wherever you go and whatever you do.

It means looking on your own time, talents, and possessions as stewardships.

It means that you recognize that nothing is your own. Everything is the Lord's.
"Christ says, Give me all of you! I don’t want so much of your time, so much of your talents and money, and so much of your work. I want YOU! ALL OF YOU! I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man or woman, but to KILL IT! No half measures will do. I don’t want to only prune a branch here and a branch there; rather I want the whole tree out! Hand it over to me, the whole outfit, all of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams. Turn them ALL over to me, give yourself to me and I will make of you a new self---in my image. Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. My will, shall become your will. My heart, shall become your heart." C.S. Lewis
In my next post, we'll discuss how to actually do this -- how to consecrate your life on a daily basis, so you can reap the blessings and benefits of a truly consecrated life.

1 comment:

  1. This is filled with so much truth and light! Giving my all to him. Thanks for this reminder. Your sister in Christ-Sally Ann