“Consecrate yourselves today to the Lord” (Exod. 32:29).
“And who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the Lord?” (1 Chron. 29:5).
Said David Brainerd, the missionary to the North American Indians: “Here I am, Lord, send me, send me to the ends of the earth; send me to the rough savagepagans of the wilderness; send me from all that is called comfort in earth, or earthly comfort, send me even to death itself, if it be in Thy service, and to promote Thy kingdom.”
This consecration seems all the more sacred when we realize under what circumstances it was written. This young missionary had labored for several years among the Indians, sleeping on bits of straw, suffering extreme loneliness, eating foods almost unpalatable. His labors had been rewarded by a revival, and he had been blessed with the love and friendship of a godly daughter of Jonathan Edwards, so that he now thought a settled abode possible. But at this point, he received a doctor’s verdict that the disease against which he had been battling for years would soon end his life. Mounting his horse, he once again faced the roving, uncertain life of the wilderness to spend his few remaining days for the souls he longed to save.
He continues: “At the same time, I had as quick and lively a sense of the value of worldly comforts, as I ever had: but only saw them infinitely overmatched by the worth of Christ’s kingdom, and the propagation of His blessed Gospel. A quiet settlement, a certain place of abode, the tender friendships of life, appeared as valuable to me, considered absolutely in themselves as ever before; but considered comparatively, they appeared nothing. Compared with the value and preciousness of an enlargement of Christ’s kingdom, they vanished as stars before the rising sun. Sure I am, that although the comfortable accommodations of life appeared valuable and clear to me, yet I did surrender and resign myself, soul and body, to the service of God, and to the promotion of Christ’s kingdom; though it should be in the loss of them all. I could not do any other, because I could not will or choose any other. I was constrained, and yet chose, to say, ‘Farewell, friends, and earthly comforts, the dearest of them all, the very dearest, if the Lord calls for it. Adieu, adieu; I will spend my life, to my latest moments, in the caves and dens of the earth, if the kingdom of Christ may thereby be advanced.’”