II. THE MOTIVE OF CONSECRATION—GOD’S LOVE
[The motive of consecration refers to one’s heart in consecration. In order to have a good consecration, we not only need to realize its basis; we also need to have a motive. If the things which God purchased were inanimate objects, such as a chair or a garment, He could proceed directly to use them as He pleases. But what God has redeemed today are living persons, each with a mind, an affection, and a will. Although God wants to have us, we may not be happy to let Him have us. Although God has the legal right and basis to possess us, we may not have the heart to let Him do so. Therefore, when God desires us to consecrate ourselves to Him, He must move our heart. He must give us the motive of love that we might be willing to consecrate ourselves to Him.
Second Corinthians 5:14-15 says, “For the love of Christ constrains us (constrains in the original has the meaning of the rushing of waters)…and He died for all, that they that live should no longer live unto themselves, but unto him who for their sakes died and rose again.’’ In other words, these verses tell us that the dying love of Christ is like the rushing of great waters toward us, impelling us to consecrate ourselves to God and to live for Him beyond our own control.]
In Revelation chapter two, Jesus said that the church in Ephesus had left her first love. She needed to repent. Are we crazily in love with Jesus? Do we love Him first and best? O Lord Jesus. If we also have left our first love, we need to turn to the One who loves us first. How we need to repent and love only Him
[When we touch the love of God and see that He truly is lovely, we will then consecrate ourselves to Him.] Without that touch of His love upon us, consecration is a bitter thing; in fact, it is hardly a possibility. The security of our consecration depends upon its basis; but the vitality and sweetness of our consecration depends on its motive power, that is, the love of God.
III. THE MEANING OF CONSECRATION—TO BE A SACRIFICE
[What then is consecration? What is the meaning of consecration? Romans 12:1 says, “I beg you therefore, brothers, through the compassions of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice.’’ This verse shows us that the meaning of consecration is to be a “sacrifice.’’ What is a “sacrifice’’? The Scripture shows us that whenever a thing is set apart from its original position and usage and is laid on God’s altar, specifically for Him, this thing is then a sacrifice.] A cow was used for plowing; now, after being sacrificed, it is burnt to be a sweet savor to God. It becomes God’s food to satisfy Him (Lev. 3:5, 11).
[Since the meaning of consecration is to offer ourselves to God as a living sacrifice for God’s satisfaction, we should ask ourselves this question: Since our consecration, how much of our actual living and actual experiences have proved that we have indeed laid ourselves on the altar to be a sacrifice for God? Are we indeed willing to be God’s food that He might be satisfied? True consecration is never compelled by God; it is of our voluntary will. God takes nothing by force; everything is offered up by men willingly. Likewise, our consecration today must be made out of our voluntary will; it is we who willingly lie on the altar and dare not move off. Others may move about freely, but we dare not act in a casual way. Others may calculate and choose between the sweet and the bitter, but when we encounter a difficulty, we dare not consider escape. Others can reason and argue with God; we dare not say even one sentence. Others can evade God’s will and avoid being bound and limited; we would rather be restricted by His will and willing to be imprisoned in His hand. All this, because we have already offered ourselves to God and have been laid on the altar. We are already a consecrated people. We should be able to say continually to God, “O God, I have no choice; I have already consecrated myself to You; I am in Your hand.’’] Then, we may continually experience life and grow in life.
(Lesson Book, Level 4: Life—Knowing and Experiencing Life, Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)