ADVANCING STEP BY STEP IN OUR CONSECRATION
We may have consecrated ourselves to the Lord after we were regenerated, but the problem is whether or not we have continued in our consecration. The unfaithfulness to our consecration is the reason why many of us have not grown much and advanced on the Lord’s way. We may compare this to someone who walks all the time but does not walk on the right way. We may come to the meetings, fellowship with the saints, and do many things in the Christian life, but we may not be on the proper way. To go on is a matter of consecration. Whenever the Lord points out something to us, we need to say, “Lord, I let You have it.” If we do this, we advance by one step, but if we do not let the Lord have the victory, we are not on the way, regardless of how many things we do. To go on the proper Christian way is to take step after step in our consecration.
We have to go on by consecration day by day. A day without consecration is a wasted day. If we have a struggle with the Lord and we win the victory, making the Lord the defeated One, then regardless of how much we do for the Lord we will only waste our time. The measure of our life and going on is our consecration.
If we once again deal with our consecration, we will have a revival. Our outreach to bring people to the Lord and our consecration go together. If we have no real experience of consecration, we have no power to bring people to the Lord. Our power to bring people to the Lord depends on our consecration. If we struggle with the Lord and win, causing the Lord to be defeated, we are weak, and we lose the power to bring people to the Lord. However, if we always take the ground of consecration and go on step by step, we have the power to bring people to the Lord.
THE NEED FOR THE CONTINUAL BURNT OFFERING
As we have said, the crisis of consecration is the key to our other experiences, and it is a life-long, not once-for-all, experience. In the type of the people of Israel, they had to offer the burnt offering day by day, morning and evening (Lev. 6:9, 12-13). The altar was called the altar of burnt offering. The burnt offering was the continual offering, and the fire for the burnt offering was not supposed to cease; it had to stay burning day and night. This type shows us that we have to have a life of the burnt offering, a life with fire burning on the altar all day long. It is entirely right that as Christians we should consecrate ourselves every morning and again in the evening after the day’s duties. We may think that this is too much, that we already have offered ourselves to the Lord for many years, but we still need to offer ourselves for each morning and each evening. In addition, although it is not legal, it is right that we should offer ourselves specifically for the Lord’s Day and for the service and worship on that day.
THE WAY TO HELP OTHERS TO BE CONSECRATED
By Being a Consecrated Person
In order to help others by bringing them to the Lord as new converts or by helping the younger ones to go on, we need the real experience of consecration. Then when we help someone, we should first determine whether or not he is regenerated. If he is not, we need to find a way to help him to experience regeneration. If he is a regenerated person, however, the most important thing is to help him one way or another to consecrate himself. A person may pray to the Lord, seek His mercy, and obtain His mercy, but if he is not consecrated, these are not the real experiences of life. The genuine experience of Christ depends entirely on consecration.
In order to help someone to be consecrated, we must first be a consecrated person. If we are not a consecrated person, we cannot help others to be. We must also have a consecrated living. If we live in our consecration, it will be easy to help others to consecrate themselves, because there will be an atmosphere and a power of life with us. When we contact people and fellowship with them, we will have an influence on them. This must not be something in word only; this must be something we practice.
(Practical Lessons on the Experience of Life, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)