This morning I was awake at 3am thinking about the meaning of my name, consecrated to God. I've been kind of mulling it over in my head for a few days now, figuring God was trying to pinpoint something, but not really sure what it was. But this morning, as I tried to fall back asleep, the Lord wasn't letting go, He wanted me to hear Him. He wanted me to understand what it truly means to be consecrated to Him.
Right now I'm sitting in the prayer room, flipping through my Bible and doing some research on the concept of consecration, already knowing what the Lord is challenging my heart with, but probably trying to find a way out, on a less narrow path. If I was still in college, being faced with a Dudek homework assignment, I'd dive in and write a 10 page paper on my findings, but today I'm resorting to my blog, because really, what the Lord is speaking to my heart is not an in depth matter that requires a ton of research, it really just requires a simple yes. But today I have a flesh problem, and "yes" isn't coming easy. I know I'm not the only one, that's why I feel pretty comfortable being straight up about my heart struggle today.
What led up to these ponderings about consecration? Nothing major, just a battle I was faced with in the dark of night. You see, I have this old friend. He's a boy and I like him, I always have. The problem is, he's not right for me. As a matter of fact, he's wrong in all the ways you can think of, including, he doesn't truly love the Lord. I haven't seen this friend in a long time, years actually, but he lives close and he doesn't know I'm around right now. I've made sure of that. But yesterday I started wondering how my old friend was doing and decided that I wanted to see him. A harmless desire, and admittedly from a completely pure heart, just wanting to know how this guy is doing and where his walk with the Lord might be right now. So I decided to make an effort to contact him. What I didn't know was that the second I clicked the friend request button on Facebook, that the enemy was just waiting to attack me. You know that verse in 1 Peter about the roaring lion? Yeah, it's true. My heart was about to be devoured, and I was clueless.
My innocent attempt at trying to reconnect with my old friend over a cup of coffee, soon became a raging war in my mind. I was shocked, I thought my heart was in a great place, I was surprised, I didn't think the old feelings were even there anymore, and I was plagued with thoughts all night long. If you're a girl who has ever had a crush on a boy, you know what I'm talking about. The downward spiral of all the girly thoughts, wondering if maybe he's changed, wondering if perhaps something could come of this after all. Wondering… and wondering… And for me, wondering is never good. In this case it was terrible, leading me to a place that I knew the Lord wouldn't really appreciate. He'd been doing His job trying to protect my heart from this boy for years, and here in one thoughtless click of a button, I had opened the floodgates of emotions that had never been fully given to the Lord. I'd hung onto them because I thought, maybe….someday…perhaps…
So at 3am the Lord was saying no, and my heart was unhappy because I wanted to say yes. If I'd said no in the first place, then maybe I could have had a full nights sleep, but God likes to wake you up when you're ignoring Him. So at 3am the Lord asked me what my name meant, and I sheepishly admitted that it has something to do with being consecrated to God. And so I sat up and let the Lord talk to me, and remind me that He knows best, and then He asked me one simple question, "So what happened to consecration?"
I thought about it, and I cringed a bit, as I realized that whenever I said I was "consecrated to God" I was taking the easy way in my mind. Kind of like when America says it's a Christian nation. Not all of us are, just some of us. So when I say, I'm consecrated to God, it has not been all of me, just some of me, the parts of me that I feel comfortable giving over to God. But there are other little parts that I wanted to ignore. Like the parts about never being able to drink coffee with this boy again for the rest of my life, unless I wanted to fall into a pit of destruction. Which I didn't want, but for some reason I wanted to play right on the edge of that lovely pit.
So I thought some more about consecration and I realized, my life matters too much to make a simple declaration. It needs to be more than that. When I got on Facebook last night, I should have consecrated that time to the Lord. Whenever I turn the TV on, I should consecrate that time to the Lord. Whenever I'm out to coffee with a friend, I need to also consecrate that time. I don't get to pick and choose these times of consecration. If I've given my life fully over to Him, it has to be all of it, and not just the parts I'm comfortable with. I know it's not easy, and some might say I'm just being legalistic, but I'm not. I love the Lord, and I've felt only a touch of His deep, deep love for me. Why shouldn't I give Him every moment of my life, fully consecrated to Him, set apart for Him alone?
Last night I discovered (yet again) that whenever you give your emotions to anyone (or anything) other than the Lord, things will get messy. Some of you might be thinking that this is a silly post, and that I have a silly problem, but the reality is, when we call stuff like this silly, we aren't taking it seriously enough before the Lord. He wants all of our hearts, including the silly parts, the parts prone to girly desires. He is the only one who can truly fulfill those desires. And my guess is, even if you're married you can relate to times when your heart has taken a silly turn, and not been fully consecrated to the Lord.
So I came to the prayer room today a little more humbled and a little more grown up, with a little more understanding of the care, love and grace the Lord offers all of His children. I'm 28, but I've avoided my emotions for so long, that it really doesn't surprise me that these silly ones came out last night. Yes girls, they do exist. Give them to the Lord. I did that, and through it, I felt a deeper emotion than I have ever felt before. I felt the Lord's love wash over me as I personally felt an immense grief in my own heart for having run the other way last night. I've never felt grief like that before. I've felt guilt, and sadness and shame, but until today I do not believe I have ever felt such a true, deep sorrow and grief for hurting my Lord. It came from a place of love. Deep love, unlike any I have ever known. If you've never felt it, I'd recommend quitting your job for a year just to go sit in a prayer room everyday and be face to face with the Holy One. It's actually worth it.