Leviticus 6:8-8:36; Jeremiah 7:21-8:3, 9:23-24; Malachi 3:4-4:6;
Luke 9:57-62; 2 Timothy 2:1-13; Hebrews 7:5-10; 1 Peter 2:1-11
I was struggling to be a good husband and father when my God invited me into a time of consecration in the spring of 2001. He presented an overview of what He wanted me to do, but no sooner had I accepted than He pulled me into a time of quiet isolation. That’s the reason for the lull that settled simultaneously on my civilian job, my PhD studies, and my Army Reserve duties. He wanted me to pay attention to things I had neglected, such as unconfessed sin and unresolved issues that had driven wedges between my wife and me. Only when those issues were identified and set on a corrective course could I begin learning what He wanted to teach – and that required even more isolation.
For the next four years, I had very little time to devote to anything but my God, my family, and my job. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, I was called back to active duty, working twelve-hour shifts in the Army Operations Center. When I wasn’t at the Pentagon, I was at home sleeping, praying, and studying the Bible. That schedule made time with family more precious than ever. What also became precious was interaction with my Creator. I had known since childhood that I would serve Him all my life, but I didn’t know until the fullness of time what He required of me. That’s why I had to move through this period of isolated consecration.
We associate consecration with people and things set apart for God’s use. It’s not something a person decides on a whim. Consecrated people are the ones who answer when called, and who follow through with what is required to prepare them for service. We see the pattern of consecration in the Torah, especially regarding the ordination of Aaron and his sons as Israel’s priests. They had been in the process for years – long before they realized the Almighty had called them to establish the priestly structure for His Covenant Nation. Their consecration process culminated in a week of seclusion in the Tabernacle, during which the Almighty would be filling their hands with everything they needed for their priestly service.
I am not a Levitical priest, but Messiah Yeshua’s apostles testify that I am part of the royal priesthood and holy nation God has redeemed to Himself for His own possession. He established Israel to be His holy nation of priests, living among the nations to proclaim His ways and help them find the path of His redemption. That mission has never changed. It is a priestly calling that transcends national boundaries, ethnic origins, and doctrinal differences. The unifying factor among this scattered and diverse kingdom of priests is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Who teaches His ways to all who answer His call.
Answering His call is the first step. The next step is dropping everything else so we can hear Him clearly and be unencumbered to do as He says. Not many people are willing to do that, which is why Yeshua explains the consecration process in harsher terms:
As they were traveling on the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.”
But Yeshua said to him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” He said to another, “Follow Me.”
But that one said, “First let me go and bury my father.”
But Yeshua said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
Then another also said, “I will follow You, Master, but first let me say goodbye to those in my home.”
But Yeshua said to him, “No one who has put his hand to the plow and looked back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Luke 9:57-62 TLV
Our Redeemer doesn’t want to compete for our attention and affection. He invites us to come away with Him to be consecrated for His service. He does this because He wants all people to understand their value in His eyes, and they can’t know that until someone helps them understand. It requires maturity, wisdom, humility, discernment, compassion, and much more to carry out that all-important mission.
Seeing people with the Creator’s eyes means seeing them as people, not as competitors, enemies, exploitable assets, or objects of conversion. Great learning and life experience help prepare a person for such a role, but only isolation with the Creator at the door of His sanctuary brings the transformation required to step into that role.
Albert J. McCarn
BYNA Executive Director