It's been months now, but Papa God has been speaking to me about consecration.  It's a subject I love.  Consecration is an idea that warms my heart.  When life feels like a cold winter's day in my heart, the subject of consecration is like a cozy fireplace, a soft blanket and a hot cup of cocoa.  Consecration reminds, that while I have no control of the outside environment, I have the power to manage and guard my heart.  O what a feeling of strength and acceptance! It is the Father's good pleasure to invite us, to woo us, into a heart that longs for consecration.  The word "consecrate" is "to make holy."  It comes from two root words that mean "together" and "to make holy" or "dedicated."  Upon further study it goes deeper to highlight "bind, restrict, enclose or protect."  In this season I have been seeking understanding about living the consecrated life.  God told Joshua and the Israelite community to consecrate themselves, or set themselves apart, because they were going to cross the Jordan river and inherit the Promised Land.  You and I are not too different.  There are promises, dreams and aspirations that God has for us.  However, the character required to fulfill them and the strength necessary to attain them is formed in the place of consecration.  I want Holy Spirit to show us how to be fruitful.

Fruitfulness, I believe, is possible when we take a deeper look at the 4 origin meanings.

a. "bind" - at first impression this words implies being tethered to something.  I feel like I have just been put in a box that is smaller than my dreams.  The word "bind" is not a word that inspires big dreaming or big thinking.  It feels like a small word with a strong negative connotation.  Instead of thinking this way though, let's turn the jewel and look at it through a different light.  What "bind" implies is that we are eternally inseparable from the love of God.  To be bound is to choose to serve God and serve humanity even though we've been made free to serve whatever we want.  To be bound is to make a choice to serve God, the Lover of my soul, and serve him only even though I am free to choose other lovers.

b. "restrict" - as an American, this words flies in the face of our independence and free spirited living.  However, if we turn the jewel another time we will find indescribable beauty.  When God restricts me, it is not to keep me from something, but it is to compel me with his love to say 'yes' to something so that saying 'no' is easy.  "Restrict" is to have a heart living with happy holiness.  To restrict is to respond in love and choose the best things instead of good things.  Good is the enemy of best.  When I feel God talking to me about what he is restricting, it's not him showing me what I can't have, but it's him showing me what's missing.  The first feels like "hands off", while the latter feels invitational.

c. "enclose" - It is to be lost. It is to explore.  When I am 'enclosed' I am taking an adventure into the heights, depths, breadth and width of the love of God.  I am enclosed in love which damages fear and establishes seurity and confidence in my heart.

d. "protect" - You and I have no reason to worry.  After all, worry is faith.  It's just faith in the wrong things.  We can trust His strength and His ability to protect, our relationship and our investment.

When you and I commit to live a consecrated life, we are committing ourselves to explore what it means to say yes to the love of God in such a way that serve him alone, choose the best, explore his heart and trust his abiility to protect.