When we move into a new house, my family and I pray through it room-by-room. We dedicate each room to the Lord, ask that we would be conscious of His presence, and invite Him to guard and provide for us. We want to remember that this is ultimately God’s house, not ours.
The Word of God and prayer consecrate. The word “consecrate” means “to declare something to be holy” or “to set apart something as sacred” or “to commit something to divine purposes.” Everything God created is good even though sin can corrupt, or we can mishandle His good gifts (vv. 4–5). The Word of God and prayer are thus our best tools for receiving God’s blessings in the ways He intended. They help us make holy or dedicate to godly purposes things that we might otherwise misuse or abuse.
The context for this principle is false teaching that said otherwise (vv. 1–3). Paul argued that false teaching ultimately comes from the demonic realm (see also Eph. 6:12). The false teachers he had in mind promoted forms of legalism on topics such as marriage and food. Since they were “hypocritical liars,” they didn’t even live consistently with their own teachings. They were probably gnostics—people who believed that the material world is evil.
What’s wrong with that? God created the material world and repeatedly pronounced it “good” (Genesis 1). Marriage and food are thus gifts to be “received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth” (v. 3). In other words, rejection is as bad as indulgence. Consecration via the Word of God and prayer ensures that we enjoy God’s gifts for His glory, not ours, and that we always value the Giver above the gifts.
>> How can you consecrate your life to God? Some of us pray before meals—perhaps too routinely. Today, try to freshen up this practice and receive the gift of food with heartfelt gratitude and even an attitude of worship.
“When I called, you answered me...May all the kings of the earth praise you, LORD, for the glory of the LORD is great. Though the LORD is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly; though lofty, he sees them from afar” (Ps. 138:3–6).