Thoughts on Sanctification
|"This is my journey through recovery, showing how my Creator is using the the 12-Step Christian recovery model to give me relief from the behaviors that bring me pain." --Sid|
Jesus said, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" (Matthew 7:7-11 ).
Well now, that seems pretty easy. I'll just ask God to remove my shortcomings, and He’ll do it. That’s perfect! I’m in charge. That's what I want. I'll be my own god and God will be at my beck and call. But, now let's contrast that notion with what He said later in the same chapter:
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matthew 7:21-23 ).
Oh, does He mean that I actually have to do something? I thought God was supposed to do everything for me, without my participation. What's up with that? Isn't salvation a free gift? Won't God work in me to will and to do His could pleasure (Philippians 2:13 )? Sure He will, but not without my cooperation. Remember what Paul said a few verses earlier: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5 ). And, "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12 ).
I can ask until kingdom come, without success. It is only when I listen to God's still small voice (1 Kings 19:12 ), trusting that He will enable me to do what He asks, and then choose to obey, that my life is changed. By opening the door of my heart in this way, Jesus is made welcome to come into my heart, remove my shortcomings, and renew my character.
Listen to how Jesus says it: "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." (Revelation 3:19-21 )
"Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings." (Step 7)
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