Key #1: It’s a Choice and Desire
Romans 12:1 says, “I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.” (AMP)
The Apostle Paul calls us to make a “decisive dedication” of ourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and consecrated to God. He calls upon us to do so because of God’s great mercy and love toward us.
The first step in having a consecrated heart is in making the choice to live for God in this way. The best part is that God’s mercy toward us, His love poured out to us, enables us to love Him in return (1 John 4:19).
Hunger for God will fuel our choice and desire to walk this out.
Key #2: Relationship with Christ
Getting to know Jesus is the most essential endeavor of our lives. We cannot grow in friendship with God if we do not pursue our personal relationship with Him. This requires more than simply going to church once a week or from being raised in a Christian home.
Note: We have to have a relationship with God ourselves, which isn’t based on simply believing in God or having family who do. Do you yourself know the Gospel? Have you received Christ? If not, learn more here.
We grow our relationship with God through quality time spent with Him in His Word, which brings us to the next key.
Key #3: The Word of God
Jesus, the Living Word, gave us His written Word to help us in renewing our minds. When we are seeking to follow His will above our own, we must know His Word, which will help us to know the difference between God’s will versus our own.
As we study and meditate on the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit helps to renew our minds in the Word of God. We are transformed by this renewal of our minds (Romans 12:2). We will then desire to obey, honor and glorify God in every aspect of our lives: how we think, speak, love, work, serve and more. We will begin to love what He loves, such as helping those in need; likewise, we will hate what He hates, such as engaging in gossip or slander.
We also need to pray the Word. We can pray on our own, but praying Scripture helps us pray far more thoroughly. The New Testament contains many prayers, such as those prayed by the apostles; likewise, the Psalms contain many of the prayers found in the Old Testament.
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Key #4: Devotion-Inspired Obedience
As we grow in God and knowing His Word, our devotion to Him will fuel our obedience. Desiring to obey Jesus out of love for Him is the most powerful form of obedience. We obey because we are devoted to God, not because we are fearful of punishment if we don’t.
Fear-based obedience will only take us so far before we burn out or want to give up, but when God’s love impacts our hearts, we will yearn to follow His commands to love Him and love our neighbors as ourselves.
“Jesus answered, If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him.” – John 14:23 (AMP)
Key #5: Accountability with Humility
Our openness to being accountable to our spiritual leaders and close family in Christ directly reflects whether we live with a consecrated heart.
When we love God, we will desire to be free from all that hinders love. We will want God to set us free from any struggle, sin, or bondage to the things of the world. This goes hand and hand with having humility and being accountable to our brothers and sisters. We know they can see things we may miss, and that God wants us to help each other grow and be encouraged.
We welcome the fire of His refining, even in the face of correction. When the correction seems off, we seek God’s heart for even an ounce of truth He may be revealing to set us free. Although we may be nervous about His refining fire, we ask Him to purify us anyway because we want hearts after His.
Those with consecrated hearts love God and His Word, desiring to obey Him. They love what He loves and hate what He hates. We want hearts that break for what breaks His, that are moved by the things that move His heart rather than the things of the world, the flesh and the enemy.