Introducing the Call to Consecration What does it mean to live the surrendered life?

In 2015, the Barna Group conducted a survey called The State of Discipleship. A majority of the church leaders interviewed said that they believe that the goal of discipleship should be transformation. When those same leaders were asked how they were doing at discipling, only 1% said that their churches were “doing very well” at discipling. Surprisingly, or maybe not, “Christian adults, church leaders, exemplars and educators” interviewed for the survey all agreed that the “most significant barrier to spiritual growth” is the general “busyness” of life.

Our question at Mission Central, based on the results presented in this survey and other data, is: If churches are struggling to achieve the goal of transformation because of the busyness of life, then what is the key to effective discipleship?

Our answer is – start with surrender!

At our Missions Fest Vancouver 2019 conference, the theme was Mission: Discipling. We made the case that all Christians are called to be disciples of Jesus who make disciples. At our next conference, in January 2020, we’ll be gathering the churches of the city to explore the theme Altar Vision, a look at what it means to live the surrendered life.

The apostle Paul uses expressions like “living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1,2) and “poured out” (Philippians 2:17) to describe the all-or-nothing nature of life lived for Jesus. This is what we’re calling the surrendered life, a life all Christians are called to live.

So how do you do this? You don’t just wake up one day and discover that you’re living the surrendered life. We all need to allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, to sanctify us, or make us more like Christ. Sanctification is a life-long process, but from time to time the Holy Spirit asks us to consciously enter into the process with him. We often call this consecration: a dedication of ourselves, in this case, to know, hear, and obey Jesus – to surrender.

Knowing God

If our experience of discipleship hasn’t been transformative or is stalling out, a good place to start is to examine our view of God. Scripture describes God as the awe-inspiring King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He has created all things and holds all things together. God is entirely holy (not a word we use too often anymore) but experiencing the holiness of God is essential to surrender. Consider how the prophet Isaiah responded to being in the presence of God. He says, “Woe to me! I am ruined!” (Is 6:6). In a recent sermon, Albert Wu of Tapestry Richmond said, “Unless you are undone by the holiness of God, you’ll never be able to be melted and changed by the grace of God.”

Hearing God

One of the signs of a disciple is that they hear the voice of their master. Do you hear Jesus? Henry and Richard Blackaby in their classic Hearing God’s Voice say that when God speaks, he reveals three things: “his character, his purposes, and his ways”. Taking the time to grow in your ability to know and hear Jesus is essential to living into the fullness of God’s call on your life.

Obeying God

We often don’t think of loving and obeying as complementary concepts, but Jesus did. In John 14: 15, Jesus says, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” Then in John 14:21, he says, “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.” Which is it? It’s both.

Jesus is worthy of all our love and adoration. Loving him is our highest calling as Christians and our greatest joy. In return, we experience the love of Jesus like a spring of water that bubbles up in us, flowing outwards, touching our families, church communities, neighbourhoods, and jobs. This water is life. It brings healing and reconciliation and wholeness. Where love for Jesus increases, obedience increases. Where obedience to Jesus increases, love increases.

Call to Action

Unfortunately, many of us have “stones” in our lives blocking the flow of life-giving water. That’s why we’re inviting you to start a process of consecration in December. Then we’re going to gather together in a public act of consecration at Missions Fest Vancouver in January.

It is no surprise that we all follow Jesus imperfectly, but we’re asking God to reveal to each of us any areas of our lives that needs to be adjusted and recommitted to Jesus, so that he can rule and reign in us. We believe that where the spring looks like a trickle, there could be a flood!

To Do

  • Prayerfully consider what Jesus is saying to you about surrender.
  • Receive our weekly devotionals on ‘Surrender’ starting on November 25, 2019. See missioncentral.ca for details.
  • Keep your eyes open for God’s work in this area. Check out 604.movement or Jesus on Mission, an SIM/Mission Central event; or 24-7 Prayer Canada.
  • If you are a pastor join us on November 14, 2020, for a ministry time with Darrell Johnson

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About the author

Profile photo for John Hall

John Hall became the Executive Director at Mission Central (formerly Missions Fest Vancouver) in 2014. In 1997 he, his wife and brother in-law started Eco Outdoor Sports in Metro Vancouver. In 2003 the business was sold, and his family entered a seven-year ‘desert experience’. During that time the Lord impressed on John and his family the importance of hearing and obeying Jesus every day, something that he tries to integrate into everything he does. In 2010 God changed the family’s direction and led him to finish his degree at Regent College in preparation for life as a full-time missionary overseas. Although that ministry opportunity didn’t develop as planned a whole new perspective and participation-in Christ’s mission was born at Missions Fest Vancouver. It’s now a daily occurrence for John’s business background and theological training get a workout.

John and his wife Wei live in Richmond, BC. They have two wonderful adult girls. John completed his MA at Regent College in 2010.

Church
Church
The Tapestry Church (Richmond, BC)
Organization
Organization
Mission Central (Burnaby, BC) — Executive Director

Series: Altar Vision

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