In the two previous posts, “Vital Groups as the Basis of God’s Move in the Present Age” and “Becoming Vital: Step 2”, we have touched on the first two steps of becoming vital. Namely, they are 1) a thorough fellowship with the Lord and 2) a thorough confession. Just as a thorough fellowship with the Lord leads us to a thorough confession, a thorough confession leads us to the next step, consecration. And once again, the more thorough our consecration is, the better. In Chapter 7 of “1993 Blending Conference Messages concerning the Lord’s Recovery and Our Present Need”, the following speaking was released:
We also need to make a thorough consecration of ourselves and of all that we have and do to the Lord… To be such people we need to put aside our personal interests, our care for the necessities of this life, and make a strong resolution and an absolute consecration to the Lord. Second Timothy 2:4 says that no soldier entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please the one who enlisted him. If we are going to be vital persons, we must clear away all earthly entanglements… We need to make, with much and thorough prayer, a Nazarite’s consecration to the Lord (Num. 6:1-4). In the Old Testament, one could be a priest by birth according to the order of Aaron. But if the priesthood became degraded, the Lord made a provision for others to become priests by voluntary consecration. During a time of degradation there needs to be people who voluntarily consecrate themselves to the Lord in an absolute way as Nazarites.
So what does it mean to have a thorough consecration?
In a speaking to college-aged saints during a semi-annual training a number of years ago, Brother Minoru Chen charged the audience to practice detailed consecration. This is not the general, “Lord, I give myself to You.” Rather, it is “Lord, I give You my eyes, ears, mouth, hands, feet… I give You my thoughts, concepts, imagination, dreams, expectations, goals, aspirations, ambitions, world-view, likes, dislikes, desires, preferences, decisions, directions, outlooks… I give You my relationship with my wife, children, saints, co-workers, boss, relatives, friends… I give You my bank account(s), house, car, credit cards, clothes, shoes, golf-clubs, TV, computer, smartphones… I give You my job, family-life, church life, service, shepherding, truth pursuit… I give You my Monday night, Tuesday night, Wednesday night… I give You my mornings, lunchtimes, weekends… I give You my energy, rest, health, diet, exercise…”
This list is of course not exhaustive and serves only as a small example. In principle, the more detailed this type of consecration, the better. Furthermore, this type of consecration takes time and is best practiced periodically, especially at major cross-roads in life. Then day by day and even moment by moment, we must maintain and renew our consecration more generally to keep the fire on the altar aflame. Every morning we should pray, “Lord, I give myself to You today.”
Ultimately, it is not we ourselves who can be absolute. Rather, we take Christ as our absoluteness, as our burnt offering. While we give everything itemized to Him, we realize that all we can do is lay our hands on His beautiful head and be identified with the One who was burnt to ashes, for God’s satisfaction. This frees us. This vitalizes us. May we all set aside time to bathe in His presence, to make a thorough confession, and to thoroughly consecrate ourselves to Him for His purpose – which is to build up the Body of Christ through the vital groups.