Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How to Prepare Yourself for Service

Consecration. A word that means set apart for a specific purpose.

When we think of consecration, we think of the Levitical priesthood, setting themselves apart/consecrating themselves before ministering before the LORD. The same is true today.

Set apart for a specific purpose also means to prepare.

Last week, we talked about Daniel preparing himself for the vision he received. He fasted three weeks, only eating bland foods. He abstained from meat, bread, and wine.

It was a physical action he took.

But it came from his heart. Today I want to look at another instance where Daniel set himself apart.

Imagine coming into Babylon a slave. Being spoken to in a language you did not understand. 
Taken from everything you knew. No facebook, google maps, or Travelocity to give you any idea of where you were going.

Nothing.

Daniel was taken, along with his three fiery-furnace friends, and were to be integrated into society. Taught the language and customs etc…and to eat meat and wine from the king’s table.

Daniel 1:8 tells us, “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.”

In ancient times, meat was sacrificed to false gods, and wine was like a drink offering to them, so to sit at the table and eat and drink, meant you were acknowledging, accepting, and even worshipping their gods.

Daniel wasn’t being forced to hard labor. He was about to go into a prestigious training program. Refusing to follow the rules could be disastrous at the least and at most deliver a death sentence.

Don’t think Daniel didn’t think of the consequences. But in the end, he purposed in his heart. 
He made the decision. To set himself apart. To not compromise.
To be different.  To be who he was called to be.

It took courage and bravery. 


Consecrating ourselves to God and to His purposes takes conscious decisions. It will take determining in our hearts.

Whatever the outcome. Whatever the penalty.

The reward is always greater.

If you sit in the middle of the fence, nine times out of ten, you’ll fall.

Make a choice. Determine in your heart what you will and will not do.

And trust God with the outcome and rewards.

“So Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,  “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.”  So he consented with them in this matter, and tested them ten days.” Daniel 1:11-14

The results:

“And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies.” Daniel 1:15
“And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.” Daniel 1:20

How many times better were they?

Ten?

Coincidence? I think not.


What is something you can set apart/consecrate to the LORD? 



3 comments:

  1. I've set apart a lot of things in life. Seems like God works on one area and then slowly moves to the next. I am sure there are many, many more. You've given me a prayer focus for the week:)

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  2. The biggest thing we can consecrate is conscience.

    That means not supporting, in word or deed, things that are contrary to our faith and moral code.

    As an example...for Christians, this generally means that we can;t watch much commercial TV, because the programming on the major networks promotes lifestyle choices with which we can't agree.

    Is it a sacrifice? Sure. No Superbowl, no NASCAR, and a lot of Christmas specials have to go by the boards.

    But on the other hand...TBN and the Church Channel aren't that bed.

    It also includes voting. This is harder, because in some cases you've got to choose the lesser of two evils. Voting for a fringe candidate whose beliefs are fully in line with yours is a gesture that makes you feel better, but it's an abrogation of responsibility, and no amount of "if everyone voted their conscience!" sophistry can change that.

    Generally, it's a Donkey or an Elephant, Blue or Red, and sometimes you've just got to hold your nose and vote.

    Better a partial victory for our faith than a total defeat.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com

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  3. My time. What I give my time to says volumes about what I value, and time is something that I can control (partially, at least) whether I like to admit it or not. I need to be more conscious of using my time preparing for His direction.

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