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|
It's pretty easy to say that I'm ready for God to remove all my defects of character. Likewise, it is also easy to ask Him to take away those sins that so easily beset me. And, I'd like to think that all I have to do is ask God to put the proverbial bit in my mouth and lead me around like a horse, according to His good pleasure. But I remember what God said about that: "Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle..." (Psalms 32:9 ). And then I remember Romans 6...
"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof." (Romans 6:1-3,11-12 )
I see now that this involves me more than my lazy SELF would like. In fact, this means death to my SELF. And, just like Jesus voluntarily laid down His life to pay the penalty for my sins, so must I choose to die to my old behaviors that have led to my defects in character. It seems that it is when I die to SELF that God works to remove my defects of character.
In a practical sense, it works for me like this... A temptation comes... It could be any kind of temptation that tries to lead me into sin. I recognize my powerlessness (Step 1). I believe in Christ as my only hope of victory (Step 2). Then I choose to surrender my will and life to my Savior (Step 3), and ask Him what I should do (Acts 9:6 ). This is how I die to SELF. Rather than SELF stubbornly battling with satan for the victory, I must use my will to surrender SELF to God. This is when He gives me the victory! This is how, I believe, God transforms my character -- a little at a time. More about the will...
You may wonder if this will work for you. I challenge you to try it. Taste and see that the Lord is good, then He will do exceedingly more for you (and through you) than you have ever imagined (Ephesians 3:20 ).
"Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character." (Step 6)
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