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Pursuing a Consecrated Lifestyle

Pursuing a Consecrated Lifestyle     July 28, 2010

As we choose to go deeper into the heart of God we must be committed to pursue holiness and righteousness, with no compromise, at all costs.  It is a lifestyle of consecration, set apart unto our Lord, God.

In order to fully walk out this consecrated lifestyle, I believe we must make the choice to do so.  We have all been given a free will.   Either we choose for God or we choose for ourselves and we know our flesh will always choose for itself.   We must make a decision and then stay focused and committed to that decision.  It is really an act of our will.

In John 15:1-5 Jesus tells us that “we must be connected to the Vine and that apart from Him we can do nothing.”  We cannot walk in righteousness without compromise, nor can we draw closer to Him in the knowledge of God without choosing to abide in Him.

It is in the abiding that we are “pruned and transformed” into the image of Christ. As we are transformed into the image of Christ, we are filled with His light and it is His light in us that we are able to bear much fruit.  It is not of our own doing, but of Christ in us the “Hope of Glory.”

However there is another element that we need to pursue in this consecrated lifestyle.  “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness, right standing with God), for they shall be filled (completely satisfied).”AMP    In pursuing this consecrated life, I have found that we must first have an unquenchable hunger and thirst for righteousness or right standing with God.  Without this unquenchable hunger and thirst we will give into our flesh.

This hunger and thirst is a desire to live rightly, without blame, before a holy God who calls us to be holy because HE is holy!   This hunger and thirst is to know God because He is a God of righteousness.  In Hebrew the words “to know” is Yadah, which means to know through experience and intimate relationship, much like the “knowing” of a woman and a man.

Therefore, this hunger and thirst is the driving force or passion that allows the Holy Spirit to keep us pure and focused in our pursuit of holiness, helping us to abide in Yeshua as we walk out this consecrated lifestyle.  As we hunger and thirst we are promised we will be filled (overflowing, completely satisfied) according to Matthew 5:6.

The Holy Spirit draws us and gives us the desire, this passion, the hunger and thirst.   However, I have found that before we can actually make the decision to follow wholeheartedly after God, in this pursuit of holiness or consecrated lifestyle we must “consider the cost.”   Look at Luke 14:26-30.  We must consider what is required of us to live in such a way.  This scripture has become such a reality to me, as I have desired to follow wholeheartedly after my Lord, pursuing this consecrated lifestyle.  Counting the cost is not questioning if you or I will follow after Him, but rather it is to what extent you or I will follow after Him.

Yeshua says, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes and his own life also, cannot be My disciples.”  It is not that they hated their families but they left everything to follow Yeshua.  They counted the cost and they paid the price. It cost them everything and to them it was worth it!

My question is how many of us today are willing to pay the price to be a true disciple of Yeshua.  That is to count the cost and determine it is worth it and follow wholeheartedly after Him.  We want to see Revival, but it requires each of us to position ourselves so we can know the heart of God.  Daniel says “he who knows there God will do great exploits.”

Positioning our self through abiding in Yeshua and staying connected to Him will give the Holy Spirit permission to shine His light in us in order to cleanse us of all filthiness.  2 Corinthians 7:1 says “Therefore, having these promises, beloved let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

During the past year the Holy Spirit has been tugging at my heart, reminding me of years past, about 25 years ago, when I was diligently seeking more spiritual disciplines in my life. It was during that time that I said out loud, “ God, I want to be a woman after Your hear, just as David was a man after Your heart.”  I wanted to pursue the deeper things of God.  I felt the Lord was asking me to “come away and be separate.”  He was calling me to come with Him to the mountaintop.

As time went on and the “stuff” of life happened, I found I was no longer perusing this consecrated lifestyle with unquenchable hunger and thirst.  In other words the passion was waning.  Oh, I was pressing in toward the high call of Yeshua in my life, but it was not enough, because the “pressing” got difficult.  There were too many pressures coming towards me from every direction.

Again the Lord is calling me to separate myself unto Him. He is calling me to go even deeper in Him and to come up higher with Him in order to run with Him on the mountain top as in the Song of Solomon.   I have asked the Lord to “Set me like a seal upon Your heart, like a seal upon your arm for love is as strong as death…” Song of Solomon 8:6.   This call requires me to “count the cost” as the price to pay is high.  It will cost me everything.  On Sunday, August 1, I will be 58.  I have heard this call very clearly and I have counted the cost and I have determined that pursuing a consecrated lifestyle to follow wholeheartedly after Yeshua IS worth it.  I also believe He is calling you.  It doesn’t matter your age, it only matters will you say YES!

We are living in the end-times and the pressure is going to get heavier and heavier.   If we are not abiding in Yeshua and hungering and thirsting after righteousness we are not going to be able to stand.  We WILL fall prey to our flesh, for the enemy roams around looking for whom he can devour.  God wants you to overcome and to stay standing.

When we choose to abide in Yeshua we are also choosing to practice the presence of God.  In fact, I now believe abiding in Yeshua is practicing the presence of God.  I had not had that revelation before.  When the pressures get tougher and we choose to practice abiding in HIM, learning to stay in His presence, we will overcome.  We will “stand.”

We have been given all the grace we need to overcome, but it is when we are in His presence, connected to the “Vine” our passion and our hunger and thirst grows. Here we can get to a place were we eyes for only Him.  Eyes that are focused only on Him and not on our situations or circumstances.

It is only when we have this unquenchable hunger and thirst for righteousness that we are completely satisfied. We must have eyes for only Him and we must be determined to rid our lives of anything and anyone that distracts us from the pursuit.  If we are serious about being carriers of “Revival” and shining His light into everyplace we go, we have no other option.

I have seen that there are three main obstacles that keep the people of God from embracing this pursuit.  These obstacles have no boundaries and are found everywhere.

1                    Unbelief – People don’t honor God when they walk in unbelief.  Hebrews 11:6 “without faith it is impossible to please God. For he who comes to God MUST BELIEVE that He is (GOD) and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”

2                    Sexual immorality – Adultery, homosexuality, fornication, pornography, curses to the 10th generation.  Very serious with God.

3                    Idolatry –Not just the obvious.  Go deeper than what you think.  Holy Spirit whispered to me saying it is ANYTHING or ANYONE that we put before God, our thoughts, intents of our heart, ambitions, motives, families, children, friends, ministry, etc.

If we are serious about being carriers of Revival, and doing great exploits in order to see the great harvest come in, we have no option but to choose to abide in Him and run with passion after Yeshua with an unquenchable hunger and thirst for righteousness.

While living in Bethlehem, I had a dream.  In my dream a friend and I were going downstairs from where I stayed to the restaurant. (I did live above a restaurant)  What was unusual what that the restaurant was full and we had to wait in line at the door.  While waiting I noticed there was a small ironing board and an iron right next to me and when I moved they moved with me.  I took them upstairs to my apartment, but when I got back downstairs to the restaurant I noticed the iron and ironing board were back with me. Again when I moved they moved with me. As much as I tried to rid myself of them, they would not go away. Then I woke up.

Yeshua is soon coming back. He is coming as King, as Judge and as Bridegroom. He is coming to take His spotless Bride who is without wrinkle.  As His bride, I ask, are you making yourself ready?

Let us therefore  “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”  Let us purpose to abide in Yeshua, pursuing a life of holiness and righteousness.  I challenge you to keep or start today, practicing the presence of God so you will live and move and have your being in Him.  The truth is we can live a set-apart consecrated lifestyle and it will bring Glory to our God.  He is calling you!  Will you say yes!

Love and much Shalom

Jo Anna Watson

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