Consecrate to Consentrate

Early last week the word “surrender” kept popping up in my spirit. With everything going on in the world, my routine, my thoughts and even my attitude, had all taken a shift. I found myself becoming distracted and even bothered in areas that I usually wouldn’t.

I knew it was going to require a time of consecration to concentrate on the areas that had been heavy on my heart. I immediately thought about fasting. Last week during a conversation amongst our Student E-Group, I had mentioned this and gave a few scenarios that the Lord had been revealing to me throughout the week. Finding out a few days later that as a body of Christ and a Church family, our Pastors would call forth a fast, I just knew it was the Lord preparing me to do just what he said, “surrender!”

How many of you all are familiar with the Military, JROTC or some form of Military background? I grew up as a Military child, some would even call it being a Military Brat, which means growing up as a child with a parent in the Military. 

Throughout my Dad’s Army career, he served some time being a Drill Sergeant. Drill Sergeants are not known to be pleasant. If you know anything about Drill Sergeants or Basic Training, their job is to be so hard core that at the end of the day, you literally can’t stomach the sight of them, let alone take another order or command. Drill Sergeants have been called the backbone, the roughest, toughest, and meanest in the eyes of their Soldiers or Trainees. I guess that’s why Basic Training can also be referred to as Bootcamp.

A day’s work for my Dad could possibly consist of an 18-hour day, drilling, instructing and transforming Trainees into Soldiers. While serving a two (2) year commitment that seemed like four (4), he had little time off and had very little time with our family. It was rough for him, but can you imagine how much more training and discipline it required of the Soldiers? 

I recall several times when I was put on punishment or when my Dad planned an intense workout for me, in preparation for my track meet; I was forced to shadow him.

Attending work with my Dad typically required me to get up at the crack of dawn between 2:30 a.m. – 3:30 a.m. Rain, sleet or snow, it consisted of early morning drills, foot marches, field training exercises, running long distance, three minute breaks to eat chow (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and constant yelling. If I can be honest, I hated it.

I remember my Dad making the statement, “If anyone can make it through a drill cycle, they can make it practically through anything!”

His sole purpose in requiring me to be present was to place me back in the right direction, in terms of correction or alignment. It also equipped me with the endurance I needed to run my race. I’d often wondered if it was even legal for me to be there (Laughing out loud).

I definitely did not appreciate it then but now that I am older, I can view it as tough love. The scripture says in whom the Lord loves, he also chastens. 

My child, don’t reject the Lord ’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.

Proverbs 3:11‭-‬12 NLT

Funny insert: I remember after a long day, I was so ready to go home. I wanted to shower and crash. I was even too tired to eat dinner. As my Dad and I were leaving, I heard one of his fellow Drill Sergeant’s yell from a distance “Everyone outside, maggots!” I thought it was the craziest thing I heard or seen. There were so many random outbursts from time-to-time just to shake things up or get the Soldier’s attention. 

 I can recall an often used phrase “At Ease or Attention” Soldier! It would be in such a demanding and concrete voice. As I reflect on that phrase “attention” I hear God so clearly, saying He wants your time and undivided attention during this season. 

“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.

Revelation 3:13 NLT

Quite frequently we use phrases and seldomly know the full meaning and background of it. As I researched what “undivided attention” would be defined as, it was noted as concentration towards what someone is saying or doing. I found another description as giving someone or something your sole focus, even bringing everything to a complete halt to listen. 

Have you ever heard of the term selective hearing? Typically, you hear this term in a negative context or a notion of ignoring certain things or someone. As Children of God, right now during this time of consecration we need to have holy selective hearing. Tune out all distractions and seek God in His truths. Prioritize your hearing, ignore the negative chatter and deliberately dig deep in what God will have you to react or reject. 

Reacting is reflecting and meditating on our feelings and emotions, casting all cares unto the Lord in prayer, confessing God’s Word over your circumstances, and standing in agreement for our Nation.

 Rejecting is binding any negative thoughts, plots or attacks of the enemy. Satan may try to deposit in your mind thoughts of weakness, doubt, fear, frustration, anxiety, and so much more. This is not the time to subject or become weak to the tricks of the enemy. Remind the devil that you are a child of God, covered by the Blood of Jesus and that no weapon formed against you shall prosper!

This past Sunday service, Pastor Chandler mentioned how “we get to fast!” It really was a WOW moment, and so powerful if you think about it! What a privilege and honor it is to come before a King, who sits on a throne? How awesome is it to come before someone’s presence who is referenced as Lord of Lords? You have an unlimited VIP pass to be friends and kick it with the most famous, most important person in the Universe. That’s a big deal, right? (Laugh out loud).

Let’s be honest, life can feel like Basic Training and its trials, tests and current events (such as COVID-19) can also feel like spiritual bootcamp.  But remember, as you put your hope and trust in the Lord, it is our faith in God which will give you the confidence to march on. 

We put our hope in the Lord . He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord , for our hope is in you alone.

Psalms 33:20‭-‬22 NLT

When you are in a time of consecration or (sanctification), you are deliberately making a choice to set yourself apart for God’s use and to hear His voice. Take time to savor in His presence. 

Consecration will take discipline and we all know being disciplined is not always the easiest. Although your flesh wants one thing, the Holy Spirit will give you the will power and desire for another. God sees your effort and He rewards obedience. 

Consecration and sanctification can also be defined as worship. Voluntarily bring worship, praise, exhortation and a heart of gratefulness before the Lord. 

Sing a new song to the Lord! Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!

Psalms 96:1 NLT

In doing so, you’re saying, “Here I am God.” I place my life in your hands. I lay my situation before you. I lift up our Nation and declare unity. Do what you want through me Father. Speak to me, heavenly Father as I desire to reach others around me through your Holy Spirit, Lord.

The Bible says that your lives are not your own. It’s only appropriate to seek the Creator and Maker, choosing to be a good steward over your life. 

I know, Lord , that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course.

Jeremiah 10:23 NLT

Consecration is choosing to put a distance between your ways and the Lord’s way. 

Make a decision to turn aside your fleshly desires, the culture’s way of thinking, bad habits and anything that might need to come to submission and the upright alignment of God’s will for your life. 

Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!

1 Peter 3:17 NLT

As you seek the Lord and walk in the Word of God, praying and fasting, you will be more equipped to stand unbothered in the test of times. Press reset and let the joy of the Lord be your strength!  

Epic Student Ministries

Cherita Johnson- Ministry Team

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