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, "Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who 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 everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws." (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: "I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference. Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne." (Revelation 3:19-21 )
"Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings." (Step 7)
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