Consecration is an invitation to walk with God. And the beautiful thing about God is that He puts His promises as incentives for us to keep His instructions. There’s always something to look forward to as incentive for obeying His commands. The Bible said in Hebrews 12 vs 1-2 that Jesus had glory set before Him and this motivated Him to endure the horror that is the cross of Calvary, despising its shame.
Here in 2nd Corinthians 6 vs 16 to chapter 7 vs 1, God is laying promises about for us and inviting us to inherit them by doing a few things. It has been argued severally whether God gives us everything for free or if we have to do certain things to activate the blessings. Well, let me just say that even salvation of our souls, that very first step of entrance into the kingdom of God is free, but will never be yours until you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth. Almost every other gift in the kingdom of God follows this principle. You must take a step towards it before it can become your own.
These are the promises God has outlined for us in the passage above:
- I will be with them
- I will walk among them
- I will be their God
- They will be my people
- I will receive them
- I will be their Father
- They will be my sons and daughters
These promises are mind blowing. Nothing can ever be more glorious. An understanding of who God is will make one realize that these promises means that the possessor of heaven and earth will now terbanacle with you, with all His resources deployed on your behalf. Nothing else really matters. It is like Abraham having God on his side. I have once imagined signing up a covenant with the president of my country, Nigeria. If we agreed on a covenant that binds us together to share whatever we have. Everything I have is at his disposal, and everything he has is at my disposal. Not as in a friendship where a few things may be off limit, but in covenant where neither of us has any right to keep away from the one what the other owned. That is the kind of relationship God engages with man, and that is what He is promising here.
But there are conditions. Call them responsibilities.
But the conditions are not unduly burdensome, as God’s yokes are easy. Let’s look at it in this way. Say the man for whom you have such relationship as I have imagined above wants to visit you to spend the holidays at your home. He may necessarily let you know there are few things he would love to be in a particular way to make his stay easier. If for example you are going to make food he may call to let you know that he is allergic to onions. I am sure you won’t have too much struggle removing onions from your list as you go shopping for the things you will use to make the meal. If he again informs you that he prefers his drinks low sugar, I am sure you won’t mind going sugar free for the duration of his stay with you so that you may enjoy sharing drinks with him. This is the way it is with God’s demands. Like He told Moses concerning the children of Israel; ‘sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes….and on the third day I will come...’ The sanctification and the clean-up were the requirements they will fulfill for Him to come. This is the same thing God is saying in the passage above. It is not a burden. They are just things He is allergic to, things He cannot stand. Things you will have to provide, to create a comfortable environment for Him to come and stay. ‘Thou art of purer eyes than to behold iniquity.’
So the following conditions are outlined:
- Come out from among them
- Be ye separate
- Touch no unclean thing
Isn’t it heartwarming that were we could de-segment the promises into seven, we could only de-segment the conditions into three, though they are basically one. Seven against three! And any one of those seven promises is big enough to make one the cynosure of all eyes. God is so gracious.
Therefore chapter 7 verse 1 says, if one has such great promises hanging over his life, is it nor sensible that he should prepare himself for them?
- Come out from among them
Many believers argue about what the real interactions with the world should always be. Are we supposed not to ever interact with the world since we live in it? The argument could go on forever, but there’s no shred of doubt that you will have to extricate yourself from the common life to be able to walk with and host the Lord. You are called out. That is one call every believer receives first. You must come out from the world; the whole system of doing things by the general unregenerated people, the way they conduct their business and their value system. There is always an eccentricity around that one who will host God in an unusual manner. You will be called righto, pastor, fanatic, extremist and a few other things meant to be derogatory. It is one of the prices to be paid. Psalm 1; Blessed is the man who does not walk…stand…or sit.
You cannot walk in the counsel of a person who has not necessarily signed up for what you have. You can’t lift their advice for career progression verbatim and use it to run your life. Their counsel on dating and relationship is not for you. Your family life will not be designed around popular opinion. Opinions are one a penny these days of social media, but you cannot walk in the counsel of the ungodly.
You cannot stand in their way. You cannot be that inactive and submissive in their way that you now drop down to go against your consecration. It is true you cannot be belligerent about your convictions and bullish about your faith, but many times you will have to say, ‘I do not stand where you guys stand on this matter.’ I made an acquaintance who recently as a young judge newly appointed to a state high court called a meeting of his team and announced boldly and publicly; ‘I do not take bribe. And don’t collect on my behalf, if you do, I will report you.’
And of course your sitting will also be affected. There are hang outs you will deliberately refuse, to protect what you have. You won’t attend some parties, some events, some invitations you will turn down. You will unfollow some crushes on social media. You will not sit in a place that scorns your faith and pretend to be cool and politically correct. This thing will affect your sitting. Your inner circle. It will influence your choice of relationship and association.
- Be ye separate
This is more challenge than many people usually appreciate. It is tantamount to secluding you and putting you in the eye of the storm. This is how Jesus put it; ‘You are a lamp lit, and set on top of a hill’. You will be known, marked, discussed, pointed at, and seen of all who pass your path. There is no low key follower of Christ. No under-the-radar Christian. You are either up there beaming for everyone to see or you are maybe not one. You must be separate. Your stand on matters would always be known or at least could always be inferred based on your previous record of standings on similar matters. Your integrity must be that redoubtable. Many people talk about a lot of things being sin or not, but God looks from above. He looks at it from the things that are compatible with who He is. If you are going to host God, it would no longer be matter of ‘what is wrong with that programme nah’; it will be a matter of being separate from the rest of the world. Love not the world. It is not love not sin. There comes a time when the matter moves from being just a matter of sin to being a matter of worldliness. The mantra of the one to whom God has extended the invitation to host Him is; ‘Others may, I may not.’
- Touch no unclean thing
Imagine the whole camp of Israel-some have estimated them to be about 4 million people-washing their clothes actively. If you looked from space, that will be odd. A whole 4 million people washing their clothes at the same time scrubbing everywhere clean. Why? God was coming. If you study Leviticus, you will see seemingly very strange ceremonial laws God prescribed for the children of Israel. There were such things as covering your feaces after you have dug in the ground to ease yourself. There were also prescriptions on how to wash, some things you wash in running water as against washing in the basin. God is meticulous about cleanliness, inside and outside. So He says that one of the criteria to host Him is that you will touch no unclean thing. I suspect that the day God was to come to the Israelites, if one appeared with a dirty clothe, they would have chased him away. It is not just that you won’t indulge in unclean things, you won’t even touch them. If it divides opinion, the best option is to leave it alone. If it leaves you feeling unclean the first time you touched it, better don’t touch it again. Your righteousness must exceed those of the Pharisees.
We should purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit. Let your body be pure and clean before God, and let your spirit be pure and undefiled, allowing no dirt and impurities. Let the reverence for God be the guiding light for your holiness, and you will walk into all the promises God has given here.
Scripture References: 2nd Corr. 6 vs 14-7 vs 1; Ex. 19 vs 10-11; Hab. 1 vs 13; Psalm 1; Math. 5 vs 14-16, 20; 1 John 2 vs 15-17;