Consecration is an important spiritual act, but even if you've heard the term before, you might not understand what it means if you've never been told it before. Take time to understand what the term means and think about how to apply the practice to your life.
Method 1 of 2: Understanding Consecration
Step 1. Define "consecration
"Generally speaking, the term "consecration" refers to the act of dedicating yourself to a specific purpose or intention. "Consecrating" essentially means dedicating yourself fully to something of the greatest importance.
- Put simply, however, "consecration" refers to the act of setting oneself aside and dedicating oneself to a deity, which almost always refers to the God of Christianity.
- The term can also be used to refer to ordination in a sacred office. For most believers, however, it only refers to a basic, personal act of dedication.
- A "consecrated" object is made holy or sacred. In this sense, the act of consecration can also be defined as making holy.
Step 2. Consider your spiritual roots
As a religious practice, consecration dates back to the Old Testament. There are discussions of consecration in both halves of the Bible, in fact, and the practice is frequently mentioned by the Christian community today.
- One of the earliest biblical references to the act of consecration can be found in Joshua 3:5. After wandering in the desert for 40 years, the people of Israel were commanded to consecrate themselves before entering the Promised Land. When this command was given and followed, they also ensured that God would do great things and fulfill the promises made to them.
- The act of consecration is also mentioned in the New Testament. In 2 Corinthians 6:17, God instructs his followers "not to touch unclean things" and promises to receive them in response. Similarly, in Romans 12:1-2, Paul describes the need to see the body as a living sacrifice to God, set apart to worship God and no longer to the ways of the world.
Step 3. Understand God's role in consecration
God calls mankind to be consecrated to Him. The ability to consecrate themselves is made possible only by God and the call comes directly from God.
- All holiness comes from God and any holiness demonstrated by a human being is transferred to that person of God. Only God has the power to turn a human into something holy, so in a way, God is consecrating you - making you holy - when you choose to consecrate yourself.
- As Creator, God wants each person to live in the image and likeness of God. Thus, God wants to dedicate each person to a sacred or consecrated life.
Method 2 of 2: Dedicating Yourself to God
Step 1. Dedicate your heart to God
To consecrate oneself is to respond to God's spiritual call to consecration. This means making a conscious and willing decision to dedicate your soul, mind, heart and body to God.
This decision must be made with will, intelligence and affection. Only you can make the decision to consecrate yourself to God. Nobody can force you to do this
Step 2. Reflect on your motives
As the consecration is something that must be done voluntarily, it is necessary to ask if it is really dedicated or if it is giving in to external pressures.
- Only God knows your heart, so don't worry if you "appear" to have the right reasons.
- See your commitment to Christ as a priority and not as a second option or passive experience.
- Feel gratitude and love for God in your heart. If your heart is ready to be consecrated, you will love God in response to the Lord's love for you.
Step 3. Repent
Repentance is one of the first things you should do when deciding to consecrate yourself to God. The act of repenting involves acknowledging your sins and the need for the salvation offered to you by Christ.
Repentance is a personal and reasonably objective experience. When you feel the desire to repent, all you need to do is pray for forgiveness and ask God to help you fight temptation in the future
Step 4. Get baptized
Water baptism is a direct sign of inward consecration. When you are baptized, you receive a new spiritual life, dedicated to a life lived to serve Christ.
- Take time to regularly renew your baptismal promises, especially if you were baptized as a baby, before the decision was completely yours.
- Renewing your baptismal promises can be done in a variety of ways. Some denominations, such as Roman Catholicism, have Confirmation of the Sacrament, which confirms their own intention to remain consecrated to God.
- Without a separate sacrament, it is still possible to renew your baptismal promises by reciting a creed of faith or regularly making a vow to God about your desire and intention to remain consecrated.
Step 5. Separate yourself from the evil of the world
The physical body will always be attracted to the evils of the world, but consecrating oneself means prioritizing the spiritual life over the physical.
- There are many good things in the physical world. For example, on a basic level, food is good because it provides the human body with the nutrition it needs to survive. There's nothing wrong with enjoying what you eat, either.
- In a world of sin, however, even good things can be taken and used for bad purposes. Using food as an example, you can ruin your body by eating too much, especially if you eat bad foods.
- Rejecting the evil of the world does not mean that you must reject the good things of the world. It just means that you must reject the bad side of worldly things. It also means that you must accept that worldly things are significantly less important than spiritual things.
- On a practical level, this means rejecting the things the world promotes when your faith tells you to be bad. It also means following God's will for your life, even when it seems to be in conflict with something neutral that the world makes a priority-financial security, romantic love, and so on. These “neutral” things can be good when used to serve God, but they should not be prioritized over serving God.
Step 6. Get closer to God
Rejecting the evil ways of the world is not enough to truly transform it. The human spirit always needs to "drink" from the same source. If you don't drink from a worldly source, you must drink from a divine source.
- As the body hungers for the ways of the world, the spirit hungers for the ways of God. The more you train yourself to surrender to your spirit's desire, the easier it will be to continually turn to God.
- There are practical things you can do to draw closer to God. Regular prayer is one of the most important. Weekly church worship and Scripture study are two other common and highly effective practices. Any activity that allows you to keep God the focus of your life and encourages you to draw closer to Him can be used as a tool for that purpose.
Step 7. Stay committed
Consecration is not a single, one-time decision. It's a way of life. When you make the decision to consecrate yourself, you must be prepared to continue seeking God for the rest of your life.
- Although you can only approach God after consecrating yourself, your consecration will never be "complete". You will never get the perfect fix.
- God doesn't demand complete perfection, however. It just asks you to make a commitment to constantly seek it out. You may stumble as you follow the path, but you must choose to keep walking, even when you stumble.
- Understand what it means to consecrate yourself to Mary. Catholics sometimes speak of consecrating themselves to Mary, but it is important to make a distinction between this type of consecration and consecration to God.
- Mary must be the prototype of the perfect consecration. Although not a deity, the Heart of Mary and the Heart of Jesus are united with each other.
- Consecration to Mary is nothing more than a dedication to the faith and the means required for true consecration. The ultimate goal is still God, not Mary, and the consecration to Mary is done with the desire to try to understand the way to Christ.