Chapter 5—Consecration

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God’s promise is “You will seek me, and you will find me because you will seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13.

We must give all of our heart to God, or we cannot be changed to be like Him. Our sinful hearts are unlike God, and naturally turn from Him. The Bible describes the way we are: “spiritually dead”; “your heart and mind are sick”; “not a healthy spot on your body.” Ephesians 2:1; Isaiah 1:5, 6. Sinners are held fast by Satan. They are in “the trap of the Devil, who had caught them and made them obey his will.” 2 Timothy 2:26.

Do not think that God likes to see His children suffer. All heaven is interested in our happiness. Our heavenly Father does not keep us from doing anything that will bring us true joy. He asks us to turn away from wrong habits and other things that will bring us suffering. He knows they will keep us from happiness and heaven.

God wants to heal us. He wants to set us free. To do this He must change us entirely so that we have new desires and habits. But He cannot do this until we give ourselves completely to Him.

The battle against self is the greatest battle ever fought. It is hard for us to give ourselves to God and let Him control our minds. But we must let God rule or He cannot make us new and holy.

Satan wants us to believe that we will be slaves in God’s kingdom, blindly submitting to unreasonable demands. He says that God asks us to obey Him without giving reasons for His commands. But this is not true. We serve God with our reason as well as our conscience. God says to the people He has made, “Come now, and let us reason together.” Isaiah 1:18, KJV. God does not force us to obey. He cannot accept our worship unless we give it freely and with the mind.

Being forced to obey God would prevent us from developing our minds and characters. We would be like machines, and this is not what our Creator wants. He wants us, the crowning work of Creation, to make the best possible use of our minds and bodies. He teaches us about the great blessings He wants to bring us through His grace.

God invites us to give ourselves to Him so that He may guide us and carry out His plans for us. He gives us the right to choose what we shall do. We may choose to be set free from sin and share in the wonderful liberty that He gives His children.

When we give ourselves to God, we give up all that would separate us from Him. The Saviour said, “None of you can be my disciple unless you give up everything you have.” Luke 14:33. We must give up everything that takes our hearts away from God.

Many people worship riches. The desire for wealth and the love of money bind them to Satan. Others desire honor more than anything else. They want people to look up to them and praise them. Still others wish for an easy, selfish life with freedom from care. But we must turn away from all these. We cannot belong half to God and half to the world. We are God’s children only when we are entirely His.

Some people say that they serve God, but they try to obey His laws without His help. By their own works they try to develop a good character and receive salvation. Their hearts are not moved by the love of Christ. They try to do good works because they think God requires this in order for them to reach heaven. Such religion is worth nothing.

When Christ lives in us, we will be filled with His love. The joy of His friendship will make us want to be near Him. We shall think about Him so much that we will forget our selfish desires. Love for Him will guide every action. If we feel the love of God, we will not ask how little we can do to obey Him. We will try to do all that our Redeemer wants. People who say they are Christians and do not feel deep love for Christ are using words without meaning. To follow Christ is hard work for them.

Should we feel it is too much to give all to Christ? We must ask ourselves the question, “What has Christ given for me?” The Son of God gave all—life and love and suffering—to save us. Can we, who are not worth this great love, keep back our hearts from Him?

Every moment of our lives we have received the blessings of His grace. Because of this we can never really know from how much trouble we have been saved. Can we look at the One who died for our sins and turn from such love? Our Lord of glory humbled Himself. Shall we complain because we must fight against selfishness and be humble?

Many proud hearts are asking, “Why do I need to humble myself and be sorry for my sins before I am sure that God will accept me?” I point you to Christ. He was sinless. He was the Prince of heaven, and yet He took our place and carried all our sins. “He willingly gave his life and shared the fate of evil men. He took the place of many sinners and prayed that they might be forgiven.” Isaiah 53:12.

What do we give when we give Him everything? We give Jesus a sinful heart for Him to make pure and clean. We ask Him to save us by His infinite love. And yet people think it is hard to give up all! I am ashamed to hear these words spoken; I am ashamed to write them.

God does not ask us to give up anything that is good for us to keep. He is thinking of what is best for us. I wish that all who have not chosen Christ could realize this. Christ has something far better for them than they could ask for themselves. People are not being fair to themselves when they go against what God wants.

We can find no real joy in walking in the path He tells us not to take. He knows what is good for us, and He has the best plan for each person. The path of disobeying God is the path of unhappiness and death.

Do not think that God likes to see His children suffer. All heaven is interested in our happiness. Our heavenly Father does not keep us from doing anything that will bring us true joy. He asks us to turn away from wrong habits and other things that will bring us suffering. He knows they will keep us from happiness and heaven.

The world’s Redeemer accepts people as they are, with all their weaknesses and many faults. But He will wash away their sins and redeem them through His blood. He will satisfy the desires of all who are willing to bear His load and share His work. He wants to give peace and rest to all who come to Him. He asks them to do only those things that will lead to great happiness. Those who do not obey cannot know this pleasure. True joy is to have Christ, the hope of glory, in the life.

Many people are asking, “How can I give myself to God?” They want to give themselves to Him, but their moral strength is weak. They doubt God and are controlled by sinful habits. Their promises are easily broken, like ropes of sand. They cannot control their thoughts or their desires. Because they cannot keep their promises, they lose confidence in themselves and wonder if they are sincere. They feel that God cannot accept them. But they must not lose hope.

We all need to understand the value of willpower. The power of choice is the ruling power in life. Everything depends on the right use of this power. God has given the power of choice to each person, and it is theirs to use. We cannot change our hearts. We cannot by ourselves give our love to God. But we can choose to serve Him. We can give Him the powers of our mind. Then He will help us choose the right way. Our whole being will be guided by the Spirit of Christ. We will love God, and our thoughts will be like His.

It is right that we should desire to be good and to be holy. But we must not stop there. These desires will not help us. Many people will be lost while hoping and desiring to be Christians. They do not come to the place where they yield the powers of the mind to God. They do not choose to be Christians.

An entire change may be made in our lives through the right use of the power of choice. When we put ourselves on God’s side, He gives us His great power to hold us. By giving ourselves to God each day we will be able to live a new life, the life of faith.

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