“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”
In discussing the concept of divine leading, two words usually come to play- “Consecration” and “Surrender”. You must recognize that when God leads men, the response is either of consecration or that of surrender. For many, the latter is usually the case.
Today, we will consider both terms vis-à-vis biblical examples and how God actually expects us to respond to Him.
Consecration is the dedication of something or someone to the worship of someone or a deity. The consecrated item or person willingly does the bidding of the deity.
We see this principle play out in the life of Joseph. Through all his trials and opportunities, he never lost sight of pleasing God. This is a trait we must imbibe as believers.
Another example is the life of Jesus here on earth. For everything He did, He alluded it to the Father’s will. Even at the most difficult time – the night before His crucifixion, He still chose to go God’s way.
The words of consecration can be clearly discerned in the words of Jesus:
“Then saith He unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And He went a little farther, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
On the other hand, surrender generally connotes yielding to the possession or power of another.
The surrendering party mostly gives in due to defeat or something related. In this case, service is not automatic or willingly but necessitated by duress or prevailing circumstances.
When God sent Jonah to preach to the people of Nineveh, he disobeyed and went on a journey to Tarshish. The journey was turbulent until Jonah acknowledged his wrong and was thrown into the sea. (Jonah 1:1-7)
Eventually, he yielded after God prevailed on him. God restored him and gave him the same instruction again (Jonah 3:2). This time, he obeyed.
In the same vein, Paul was zealous but initially for a wrong cause. He was fully persuaded that his persecution of the followers of Christ was pleasing to God until his Damascus experience. (Acts 9:1-9)
After Paul’s conversion, we see that he was completely sold out to the service of God. This was evident in many of his works, missionary journeys and bold statements such as our anchor text.
Philippians 1:21 further proves this: “For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.” Philippians 1:21(NLT)
Friends, God would rather have us consecrated to Him at all times than experience trouble before surrendering to His will. His way is best, follow Him wholeheartedly.