God’s Appearing Causes Total Consecration (1)
Gen. 12:7 And Jehovah appeared to Abram and said, To your seed I will give this land. And there he built an altar to Jehovah who had appeared to him. (8) And he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent…and there he built an altar to Jehovah and called upon the name of Jehovah.
Rom. 14:8 For whether we live, we live to the Lord, and whether we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore whether we live or we die, we are the Lord’s.
(Part 1 of 2)
In this verse [Gen. 12:7] we see that the altar is based on God’s appearance. Where there is no divine appearance, there is no altar. No one can offer himself to God unless he has first met God. Unless God has appeared to a man, he cannot offer his all to God. Consecration is not the result of man’s exhortation or persuasion but of God’s revelation. No one can voluntarily offer up all he has on the altar if God has not first appeared to him. By nature, no one can offer himself to God. Even when a man does want to offer himself to God, he finds that he really has nothing to offer. Some have said, “I want to give my heart to the Lord, but my heart will not agree.” Man cannot come over to God’s side. However, when man meets God, consecration takes place spontaneously in his life. If you catch sight of God just once and touch God just once, you are no longer your own. God is Someone who cannot be touched lightly! Once a man touches God, he can no longer live for himself.
We need to realize that the power to offer oneself to God comes through His appearance; it comes from His revelation. Those who talk about consecration are not necessarily consecrated themselves. Not everyone who preaches
consecration or understands the doctrine of consecration is a consecrated person. Only those who have seen God are consecrated persons. God appeared to Abraham, and the immediate issue was that Abraham built an altar to God. The Lord Jesus appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus, and Paul immediately asked, “What shall I do, Lord?” (Acts 22:10). A turning point in our spiritual life does not come through our decision to do something for God; it does not come as a result of our resolving to do this or that for God. It comes when we see Him. When we meet God, a radical change takes place in our life. We can no longer do what we did in the past. When we meet God Himself, we have the power to deny ourselves. The matter of denying one’s self ceases to be optional when we have met God. His appearance makes a person unable to go on by himself; it forces him to not live by himself anymore. God’s appearance brings with it inexhaustible power. Such an appearance will alter the whole course of a person’s life. For a Christian, the power to live for God is based on his vision of God. Oh! It is not our decision to serve the Lord that enables us to serve Him. It is not our will to build an altar that produces an altar. An altar is built when God comes to a man.