Isn't that interesting?
When we think of consecration, we imagine giving of ourselves or resources to God. But, actually, it is receiving something from God.
In Leviticus 8, there is the account of Aaron and his sons being consecrated for the priesthood. The paragraph from verses 25-29 illustrates this consecration picture.
Moses kills an offering, and places parts of the animal in Aaron's empty hands. He then takes those parts from Aaron's hands and burns them on the altar as a burnt offering. Completely consumed.
The paragraph ends...they were consecrations for a sweet savor, an offering made by fire unto the Lord.
There is nothing that we offer to the Lord that He has not first given to us. We approach Him empty. He fills. We give back as an offering.
...present your bodies a living sacrifice-holy, acceptable unto God; this is your reasonable act of worship. (Romans 12:1)
At every cross roads in my life lately I've had the mental picture of empty hands. I've mentioned that before. It's empty of my agenda. Empty of my resources. Empty so that God can fill me.
I'm at a crux again. Between churches. Between service opportunities. Between. Empty hands.
I have a choice before me. To try an ooch and scooch and fill my hands myself. Or, expectantly wait for God to fill them. With what He has in mind for me and mine.
Another tandem thought to the consecration idea: the burnt offering is completely consumed. It is completely for the pleasure of God. God fills, and we freely offer back our best. 100%. Without reservation. Without strings attached. Knowing that God's plan for the use of our offering may look entirely different than what we picture.
Emptied that Thou shouldest fill me, a clean vessel in Thy hand,
With no power but as Thou gives, graciously with each command.
Flowing through us, Thou canst use us, every day and every hour.
-Mary E. Maxwell
This consecration process is a continual flowing of empty, filled, giving back, empty, filled, giving back.
So, my words for this year are both empty and filled. They seem opposite, but the one allows for the other. And that is what I am looking for.
Emptied, filled, giving back. Consecrated.