Salvation is the root of Christianity. Salvations or people being saved or coming to know Christ is a constant conversation among churches. It is the beginning point to your walk with Christ. Sometimes people use the word “decision”. It is that point where you come into faith with Jesus Christ and begin your journey to becoming a disciple of Christ. One of the mistakes that we often make is when we equate being “saved” with being a “disciple” and the two are not the same. You can be saved without being a disciple. Salvation truly can be summarized as an event while discipleship is better described as a process. A messy process at that.
Another word used less often is consecration. This word is mainly associated with religion. The “secr” portion of the word comes from a Latin root where we get our English word sacred. The dictionary defines consecration as: the act of consecrating; dedication to the service and worship of a deity. Other definitions include things like “wholly committed to” or “devoted to”. Consecration in terms of Christianity is being wholly devoted or committed to Christ.
Though salvation should be the starting process, it often becomes the end process for many because devotion and commitment begin to wane. Salvation can be done once, but consecration must be done continuously. There are constantly things that we must examine in our lives that need to change or be removed for us to become more like Christ. All of these things are not bad or wrong, sometimes they are just interferences. As with all relationships, there are certain things that we must abandon and change for those relationships to flourish. Our relationship with Christ is no different. Sometimes it is a habit or hobby, while other times it is an attitude or idea that is interfering in devotion to Christ.
The act of consecration requires examination of our life and intentional actions on our part to take the necessary steps and make the required changes in order for us to look more like the disciple that Christ desires. This is not always easy and almost never comfortable, but it is necessary. Thriving relationships require sacrifice. Christ gave the ultimate sacrifice for us. The sacrifices that we make are small in comparison.
Beginning Sunday, January 17, our church will begin a period of fasting and consecration. Fasting is generally associated with food so we have added the concept of consecration this year so we can look at our lives and where we really need to make changes. I encourage you to examine your life and begin asking yourself if you have things that are keeping you from being the disciple that Christ desires. Are there habits or attitudes that need to change? Are there things that are distracting you from the purpose for which you were created? It may be something that is obvious. It may be something that will require some soul searching. Some of these things can be revealed just by asking those close to us what things they see in our lives that seem to trip us up. It could be something as simple as social media or something major like some type of substance addiction that is crippling you. Whatever it is, I encourage you to begin the process of consecration during this 21-day period. See the positive changes that take place in your life as you begin to remove things that are hindering or distracting you.
I believe these 21 days can be transformational for all of us. Encourage others on their journey by sharing with us some of the good things that are happening in your life because of your efforts in consecration. Our goal is for all of us to more closely resemble Christ through this process.