Consecration in Worship
Psalm 24:3-4 “Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in the Holy place? The ones who have clean hands and a pure heart, who has not set his mind on what is false, and who has not sworn deceitfully.”
Frances Havergal began memorizing the Bible at the age of four, and eventually memorized the Psalms, Isaiah and most of the New Testament. She had a beautiful solo singing voice, was a concert pianist, and mastered several languages including Greek and Hebrew. She was a totally committed Christian who had a heart for leading others to Christ.
In February of 1874, Frances visited for five days in the home of some friends. Sensing that her friends had drifted far from a vibrant relationship with Christ, she prayed that her presence there would have a positive impact on the family. Before her vacation was over, all 10 of the people in that house had renewed their commitment to the Lord. This experience led Frances to pen these words,
“Take my life and let it be Consecrated Lord to Thee”
The word “consecrated” means “to have declared sacred, set apart or dedicated to the service of God”. Consecrating oneself prior to worship assumes the Holy, invaluable importance of worship, and the necessity of approaching God with “clean hands and a pure heart”.
Psalm 24:3-4 asks, “Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in the Holy place? The ones who have clean hands and a pure heart, who has not set his mind on what is false, and who has not sworn deceitfully.” In other words, the Psalmist prepared for worship with:
– proper activities (clean hands)
– proper attitudes (pure heart)
– proper approach (set mind…)
– proper personal accuracy (honesty, integrity)
Susanna Wesley, mother of Charles and John Wesley, would pray for her 10 living children 2 hours a day, but the first words out of her mouth were,
”Enable me, O God, to collect and compose my thoughts before an immediate approach to Thee in prayer. May I be careful to have my mind in order when I take upon myself the honor to speak to the sovereign Lord of the universe.”
We need to be intentional about how we approach worship. We will discuss this further in the next blog, but remember the words of theologian Alexander MacLaren, “ Fruitful and acceptable worship begins before it begins.”