Over the past few years the Holy Spirit has been working within me an understanding of something that I have not fully understood. I have not fully understood the cost involved, and as He has taken me along this journey He has placed a message in my heart for the bride of Christ. It is a message that is central to the “Perfect Will of God” for each and every believer that has made Jesus the Lord of their life. And for that reason He has continually, in every respect and in every place, way and opportunity, placed that message on my heart. He has given me scriptures to feed upon, meditate upon and breathe into the body of Christ… Sanctified and Sanctification.
The Word has made it perfectly clear that the moment we asked Jesus to come into our heart, the moment we confessed our sin, asked for His forgiveness and repented, He gave us His Holy Spirit. But what was not clear to me early on has now become abundantly clear. Although we were fully Sanctified (made holy, pure and set apart/separated for God) at that moment, it is just the beginning of a process that each of us must walk out. It is a process that embodies God’s Perfect Will and a process that must totally and completely involve us. And therein lies the message that He has been setting before me in every verse I read, every message I preach and every lesson I teach. Our walk with Jesus here on earth is all about understanding, realizing and living out what God has placed within each of us.
Do we all really understand and fully comprehend what Paul so clearly stated, what God has already completed in and for us?
1 Cor 3:16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?
Do we take that for granted or too lightly? Are we prepared and committed to face what it will cost us?
Rom 8:29-30 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
If we are going to walk in God’s Perfect Will, it is going to cost us. It is going to cost us our focus here on earth. It is going to cost us giving up our point of view on life and replacing it with God’s point of view. We are going to have to ask ourselves if we are prepared for God to do in us all that He has separated us for? It took me some time to understand the true meaning of sanctification from God’s perspective, from His point of view; and I am still learning. Why now after all these years? Perhaps I did not pursue that understanding because I did not understand the cost or was not willing to pay it.
I am going to focus on this more in the future because if there was ever a time when the bride of Christ needs to be more like Him it is now. And this morning I leave you with some keys to sanctification that, in addition to Rom 8:29-30, hold a light for our path ahead in the process of sanctification, the process of walking out our salvation (Phil 2:12). Let’s just consider them the way and the how that He used to show me… the place to begin.
The Way – Rom 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
What the Holy Spirit desires for us to do is renew our thinking, change our focus from the natural to the spiritual. And the only place that can happen is by changing our mind through the Word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit. As for the How. That has taken me much longer to understand. How do we change our focus in the midst of the chaos, the pressure and the challenges of this world that surround us? How do we set forth in our life the purity and holiness that Jesus has already set within us so the world will see Jesus in us and be drawn to Him by the Holy Spirit?
The How – Matt 6:33-34 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
And therein lies the key for me. I need to remember to take this process of sanctification ONE DAY AT A TIME. Yesterday is gone and I can’t change it. Tomorrow isn’t here yet and I don’t know what it will bring. Today is here and the Holy Spirit has something for me that I will never receive if my mind is on yesterday or tomorrow. Yes, He has something for me today. Something that is an integral part, a step, in the process of renewing my mind and conforming me into the image of Jesus. Each and every day He is replacing the “natural” in me with the “spiritual” in me.
The question is… am I prepared to pay the price and set myself apart and allow Him to minister to me the Word that will change my focus… the Word that will change me… the Word that will change the world around me?