“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).
Effective faith must include the conviction that the God’s demands are reasonable. By conviction we not only mean agreeing that we fall short of God’s glory, but also of the need for consecration. To be given totally over to the Lord is an important part of sanctification.
Do we believe that what God asks of us – a whole-hearted devotion to Himself, a true and loyal love to Him – is right, reasonable, and the best thing for us? This is exactly what Paul says in Romans 12.
To do God’s will has to be the sweetest, safest and surest thing on earth. Anything short of this is a result of sin, unbelief, and disobedience.
The Lord Jesus Christ said, “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother” (Matthew 12:50.) Do you hear what He is saying to us? Obedience to the will of God is a sure sign that the believer has a living relationship with Christ. Therefore, to do the will of God must indeed be good, perfect and well-pleasing.
Sanctification makes consecration possible
We must get confused at this point. Consecration is not a condition for receiving the Holy Spirit, for if that were the case, it would be by works rather than faith. Consecration is a product of receiving the blessing rather than the cause of it.
None of us can yield our all unto God without the abiding and comforting presence of the Spirit of God. When He comes into our lives then, and only then, are we able to offer unto God our bodies as a living sacrifice. If receiving the blessing does not lead us to do this, then we are not following the leading of the Holy Spirit. Surely a part of the Spirit’s ministry is to make us holy!
Conviction of sin
The Lord must convict us of sin, lukewarmness and hypocrisy, and He must reveal to us the unreasonableness of living for ourselves in any part of our lives, before we can even attempt to consecrate everything to Him.
Such conviction brings with it a hunger and thirst after righteousness. It is the painful realisation that there is much within us that does not bring honour to His name.
Do we agree that God is a holy God? Is it not therefore reasonable for Him to demand of us a wholly consecrated life? Instead of making excuses for our sinfulness, let us stop listening to the whisperings of unbelief, and dare to cast our lot with God. Let us look the matter square in the face, and once and for all “walk worthy of the vocation” wherewith we are called (Ephesians 4:1.) The apostle Peter writes, “But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15-16, Leviticus 20:7 and Leviticus 11:44.)