Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Sanctification’

This is the will of God, your sanctification.

For years as I matured in Christ, slowly yet relentlessly, I asked Him what was His will of me?

What I was really asking was “why am I here in New Jersey in the 21st century?” What big things did God have planned? And how would I know when they happened what my role was? Would an angel speak to me? An ancient prophecy? A inner voice?

This is, unless I’m a lonely idiot (which I might very well be), thoughts that have passed through many a young man or a young woman’s mind. Even those not so young.

I was reading scripture today (an attempt out of a series of stuttering attempts to read scripture daily) and I came across 1 Thessalonians 4:3. Paul has just finished telling the church at Thessolonica how well they are doing at following God and obeying Him.

Then he goes into a command so small and so familiar I usually skim by it. It belongs in the “fruit of the spirit vs fruit of the flesh” verses scattered throughout Paul’s writings. Abstain from this, don’t do that, don’t be associated by this sin.

Interestingly enough, my eye caught this little qualifier (I believe that’s what it is called) where Paul equates God’s will to our sanctification.

[note: there is not just ‘one’ will that God reveals eliminating from His being, but several. This is another topic though; another talk for another time.]

Did you catch that? God’s will is our sanctification! Not that we accomplish this task or minister to that particular group or to fully understand and teach the truth of Sovereign responsibility paired with human responsibility. It is that we grow more and more into the image of Christ (Col 3:10; Rom 8:29; 1 Cor 15:29).

How freeing is this? And how important of a destiny? God says not that we ‘might’ be more like Christ hopefully but He says we ‘will’ be like Christ.

Paul then connects this to the wrath of God. He writes how those who bear the image of Christ will be taken up with Him into the clouds. And why is Jesus in the clouds? He has come to visit wrath on the earth. Like in the days of Noah, when scoffers scoffed and mockers mocked, they said there is no wrath to come.

This same thread is woven in Colossians as well. Throughout all of scripture, you see God say “be holy, for I am holy.”
This call for repentance is such a trope in today’s world. These words bring up the man in the sandwich board saying “the end is near!”

Repent!

What does sanctification mean to you guys? How have you incorporated it into your lives?

Read Full Post »

I read a book recently called “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield.  Something that he wrote stuck with me.  In order to do art, we must make war (his was more eloquently put).  We cannot merely sit at a computer and start typing out gold.  We cannot stand at a canvas and flesh out masterpieces willy-nilly. 

We need to make war.  We fight for every syntax, every color meld, every musical combination.  There is a huge resistance.

I will not steal Pressfield’s thunder but this resonated with me and struck my inner core.  So imagine my surprise when I heard the same maxim being applied to the Christian walk.

Hear me.  Not only salvation is under siege but also the walk, the journey, the quest for our Imago Christi, our Christ Image.

We read a book by Jerry Bridges in a study called “The Pursuit of Holiness” and this is where it was laid out most vividly for me.  I grew up hearing the Devil prowled and devoured.  I knew that there was an enemy.  I knew that he strives to accuse the brethren. 

But I did not live it.

I did not act it.

I acted as if I was on the side lines.  I was at home on the couch stuffing my face with cheese doodles and watching “Friends” or “Lost.”  I did not hold a sword in my hand, I held a remote.

I hear this is an epidemic in America.  I’m not sold on that but then I have only been to another country once for two weeks and stayed secluded in a compound.  What do I know?

While reading Bridges talk about justification and sanctification and what we need to be doing, I began to realize I needed to put to practice what Bridges and Pressfield were teaching. 

We cannot be unintentional with an intentional enemy.

This is important and the crux of our walk.  Our enemy is out for blood.  Our flesh tastes good and he will not give us so easily.  But we are not locked in an endless battle or fighting for a conquered kingdom.

We fight for King Jesus.  We strive to build into His kingdom.  We are fighting tooth and nail to grow in the likeness of His image.  We create, we preach, we share, we encourage, we push forward so that we might, as one Body, as one Bride, as one Church, go out into the world and preach the Gospel.  Make disciples.  Seek first the kingdom.

Life is hard.  There is blood, skin, bones involved.  Feelings are hurt, hearts are torn.  Friends leave and betray, leaders break your legs, followers push you from a cliff.  But keep pushing forward.  Fight the good fight.  Contend for the faith.  Do all of those actions the writers of scripture command.

Push forward.

Peace,

Bill

Read Full Post »