Perpetuation Of Consecration And The Will
“If any man willeth to do His will.” John 7:17. R. V.
“Consecration is the placing our all at Jesus’ feet, placing our all on the altar for time and eternity. It is the laying of our will down beside the Master’s will, once for all and no longer having our way, but His way in all things. Consecration, then is a complete act, an act performed once for all, embracing what we know and what we do not know, and need never be repeated unless something is taken off the altar. Having now made the consecration and thus agreed to always, under every circumstance, will the will of God, the consecrated life is just begun. In living this life we cannot now go away and leave that consecration upon the altar and have no more to do with it. The consecrated life will not live itself without our aid, neither will the Master live it for us independent of us. While consecration is a completed act performed once for all, it is also the beginning of a life which is to be maintained in ever increasing fullness. While in consecration we laid our will down beside our Master’s will, this did not destroy our will, neither did it take our lives away from being directed by our wills; it simply gave the Master charge of the will to direct the life through it, we having agreed to constantly will the will of God. Thus we see that the consecrated life calls for the constant exercise of the will in the keeping of our part of the agreement. No matter how thoroughly consecrated a person may be he still lives out that which he wills. The hand, the foot, the tongue move according as they are directed by the will of the person. So with all the acts of the life. Sanctified persons are able to do the will of God when’ they will that will, but it will not be done unless they exercise their own will in each case. Sanctification does not make machines out of us, but still leaves us as responsible, volitional beings. Too many seem to forget this and act like they thought now that they are sanctified the life will live itself; and how disappointing has been their experience and their example. We fear many are making this mistake and, like the prisoners of old who had dead bodies bound to them and were compelled to carry them around with them, these are carrying about with them a dead experience.
How then is the consecrated life to be lived? Having begun the life at the same time the consecration was completed, the “old man” is now crucified and the Holy Spirit has taken possession of the life. But as time moves on, each day and each hour there are new questions to decide and acts to be performed. The Holy’ Spirit, knowing the will of God, concerning each of these things, reveals that will to us, but He will not perform the act or decide the question for us — that is, He will not do the part that is to be done by our will. Never will the act be performed until we will its performance. Though we are sanctified the Holy Spirit will not force us contrary to our will. But at the time of our consecration we agreed to will the will of God in all things, and now that the Holy Spirit has revealed this (new requirement) thing to be the will of God, if we stay consecrated we at once (accept it), will its accomplishment. Having thus acted in accordance with our consecration, the Spirit, who dwells in us, sees to it that we are able to perform this will of God which we have willed. Thus, while in one case we willed the accomplishment of this in the moment of our consecration, in that we then laid our will beside the Master’s will and agreed to always will His will, yet when the time came to accomplish this one act and it was made known to us, it called for a special act of our will relative to this special act and at this special time. Hence the consecrated life calls not simply for a complete act of consecration once for all but for a living out of that consecration now made by a daily and hourly exercise of the will in willing the will of God as the Spirit makes known that will to us, even as we agreed.
Friends, now that we are consecrated, let us continually do what we agreed to do when we made the consecration. This is the secret of successfully living the sanctified life.” — Ellyson
The Unknown Element
Milton Lorenzo Haney in the “Story of My Life,” gives the description of the consecration of Rev. Quigley, as told Bishop Thompson, which fully compasses the “unknown” element in consecrating for Perfect Love:
“Well, Bishop, when I came to Christ to be made perfect in love, under the searching light of the Holy Spirit, I took all there was of my being and its Possessions that I could see or think of and put them all in one bundle, and gave that bundle to Christ. Then I took all I could not see or know, involving all the Possibilities of the future, and put them in another bundle; and I gave that bundle to Christ. From that time on I have had a clear consciousness that I am all and forever the Lord’s, Whenever He is pleased to open that second bundle and show me any part of its contents I respond, Yes, Lord, that you know was in the contract!”
“In the first gush of your sanctified joy you said, ‘O Lord, I will do anything! go anywhere, Lord! to Africa, China, or Japan! anywhere with Jesus.’ And you meant it. The Holy Ghost put that in your heart. The Lord takes you at your word, and when the time comes for you to do things you promised to do it is not just play. You will find out, like the most of us find out, that in carrying out the principle of your heart you will have to suffer; and that very suffering simply demonstrates and proves to angels and devils that you are true. God knew you were true to begin with, but God wants you to know you are true.”
You go to the store to buy a spool of cotton. You put it in your pocket or your little satchel and carry it home. Now, you sit down and stitch, stitch, stitch. You take the spool of cotton and unfold and unroll the thread, and use it up into garments until the cotton is all gone. You get the clean heart and the baptism with the Holy Ghost, and you have got the spool of cotton. “Lord, I will obey. Here I am; anything you say I will do.” You are happy and it is all right. The Lord says “Very well.” By and by the Lord begins to unroll you, and He begins to utilize all that spool of cotton, and He begins to have you do this and do that, until the thread of obedience that was in your heart has been stitched into a thousand garments” (Watson). But we must will the unwinding!
“A lady who had entered into this life hid with Christ, was confronted by a great prospective trial. Every emotion she had within her rose up in rebellion against it; and had she considered her emotions to be king, she would have been in utter despair. But she had learned this secret of the will, and knowing that, at the bottom, she herself did really choose the will of God for her portion, she did not pay the slightest attention to her emotions, but persisted in meeting every thought concerning the trial with the words, repeated over and over, “Thy will be done! Thy will be done!” asserting in the face of all her rebelling feelings, that she did submit her will to God’s will, that she chose to submit it, and that His will should be and was her delight! The result was that in an incredibly short space of time every thought was brought into captivity, and she began to find even her every emotions rejoicing in the will of God.” — H. W. Smith