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: Intimacy with Jesus
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 is an intimate knowing that cannot come through going to church once or twice a week or from being raised in a Christian home. It comes from alone time we set aside to spend with Jesus.
We get to know Jesus by talking to Him and allowing Him to talk to us. Fellowship and conversation with God grows our relationship with Him. He loves to speak to our hearts through impressions, words, and visions in our hearts as well as dreams and in other ways. It’s also very helpful to journal your prayers as well as what God says in response. This ensures you won’t forget what He speaks to your heart later on!
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 Word, the Holy Spirit helps to renew our minds. Along with beholding Jesus in intimacy, we are transformed by this renewal of our minds (Romans 12:2). We then begin to desire to be like Jesus in our loving, serving, and living more and more.
We also need to pray the Word. When we pray Scripture-based prayers, we can pray in alignment with God and know He will answer. The apostolic prayers, those prayed by the apostles in the New Testament, are a great starting place.
For example, Paul prayed in Ephesians 1:17 that the believers would receive the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the intimate knowledge of Jesus. This is a great prayer to pray as we seek to grow in connection to the Lord.
Key #4: Affection-based Obedience
As we grow in God and knowing His heart, our love for 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 lovers of 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.
Above All Else
Those with consecrated hearts weep when He weeps, and rejoice when He rejoices. We want hearts that break for what breaks His, that are moved by the things that move His heart. All in all, we want to be friends of God and to live as His pure and spotless Bride, making His heart known in all the earth.