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|
"One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, 'Would you like to get well?'" (John 5:5-6 ) Likewise, God asks us today, "Would you like your defects of character to be healed?" Of course we do, right?
But wait... Are we really ready to co-operate with God in this healing process? Do we have any idea just how far-reaching this decision could be? Are we willing to accept the lifestyle changes, the attitude changes, and the trials (healing crisis) that will come to us during this healing process? Is it worth the trouble?
As a participant in this process since 1994, I can answer with a resounding YES! It is oftentimes a painful process. The rather overused phrase "No Pain, No Gain" applies here too. James put it this way, "Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." (James 1:2-4 ). And Paul said it like this: "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love." (Romans 5:3-5 )
It is my understanding that the only thing we will take to Heaven is our character. It is good to recognize our character flaws and to confess them, but those things will avail us little unless we choose to co-operate with God in the "progressive work of a lifetime", the sanctification of our character. As we do that, God works in us "to will and to do of his good pleasure" -- we become more like Jesus! (Philippians 2:13 )
Lord, whatever it takes, please make me whole and healthy, and show me how to cooperate with you in this process.
"Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character." (Step 6)
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