Got Dedication?

 

Romans 12:1-2

(1)  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

(2)  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

 

It takes a certain level of dedication to be a “living sacrifice.” Can you envision someone climbing on an altar, lying down and then when the flames come jumping off of the altar? In most cases that is exactly what we do.

We tell the Father that we want to be just like the image of His Son, Yeshua. However, when the fire comes to burn away the things that keep us from becoming like Him, we jump off the altar and pick up our old life (lifestyles, ideas, customs). All of this reflects the intent of the heart. We say we want to be more like Him, but are unwilling to listen to Him to become that way. In essence we are saying “I want to worship YHWH, but I want to do it my way. I’m not willing to listen to how He said to worship Him.” We are repeating to the Father the words of the crooner “I did it my way.”

In this season that we have entered into, the month of Kislev, we have seen many examples through history of the importance of being dedicated. Even through testing and fire, will we remain dedicated to the truth and not an idea of “truthisms”? through Scripture we can see the difference of people who were dedicated to YHWH no matter what, and those who followed only while God lined up with their ideas of how things should be.

I suppose the question is “Are we dedicated to God, (Adonai Tz’vaot, YHWH, the God of Abraham & Isaac & Jacob) or are we dedicated to “my god?”” When we lay our lives on the altar to be consumed by His presence, at what point do we pick it back up? When we say we are dedicated completely, at what point do we look at the word and dismiss what it says because we want to do something else?

Are we dedicated enough to YHWH that when He says He wants us to be clean and undefiled by the things of the world, we take Him seriously? Does God care about how we live our lives? Does He care about how we worship (undefiled)? It is my opinion that we live a life of worship, not just something we do occasionally. The act of putting something on the altar in Scripture was a mode of worship. It was an outward act of an inward desire to be in the presence of YHWH.

What we have learned about the altar teaches us much. We can’t get into too much here but to say that once something gets placed on the altar, it went up in smoke into the presence of the Father. If there was no fire, smoke could not ascend. All that this scenario would produce would be a lifeless animal on an altar of stone. But, if the fire was added the animal would be consumed by the flames and the smoke would ascend.

It is important to note that even in the altar mode of worship it is life that the Father desires, not death. We are told in Scripture that the life is in the blood. It was the life of the worshipper that was desired. So, there had to be a way for a worshipper to draw near to YHWH, even if by proxy. It truly does show the need for Messiah Yeshua to be a mediator for us to come to the Father. Yeshua brought His own blood (a.k.a. LIFE) into the Holy of Holies so that we could come into the presence of a most holy God.

Why all this talk about an altar? Hanukkah is around the corner. A careful reading of the story tells us that the temple was defiled. The altar was also defiled by the sacrifice of a pig on the altar to another god. When the temple and altar was reclaimed it was to be either cleansed or torn down and rebuilt. Then there was the process of being consecrated (dedicated) anew. If you read in the Torah you will find that the timeframe to dedicate the altar, as well as the priesthood, was eight days.

The people were faced with choices in this time. Would they become defiled or would they stand for what was right, even when their mode of worship had become defiled? In the time that came, pure worship was restored and the people dedicated a new altar.

Does any of the Hanukkah story have relevance to us as believers today? YES! It goes beyond a history lesson. The word “Hanukkah” means “dedication.” It is a reminder to all of us to be wholly dedicated to YHWH and to be undefiled in our hearts, and our ways. Many believers today don’t know that Hanukkah was mentioned in the Brit Hadasha (New Testament). If you read John chapter ten verse 22 says “And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.” The feast of dedication IS Hanukkah.

In this time and season that we are in, may we examine our hearts and the intent of it. May we be fully dedicated to YHWH so that we will lay down our own ideas and let those things that are not of Him be consumed as wood, hay and stubble. Finally, may we come at the end of the process a pure, glorious  and spotless bride who is adorned like a precious stone for the bridegroom.

Come quickly Yeshua, Amen.

Until next time, Shalom

Dr. David E. Jones