The Back Story - Feel free to skip to meat and potatoes below.
My first year in University I did Thrive School, an intensive ministry program that changed my life and my walk with God. The second year of University I did that same intensive program, with more responsibility at work, same vigor for ministry and even more credits in my school load. In that same year some how got myself into a senior level theology class because it fit my schedule. I was warned that I could drop it or I would need to work extra hard to keep up let alone get an A. Me being the crazy person that I am, accepted the challenge.
A couple weeks into this class filled with many large theological terms and concepts, and one that I was quite familiar with came up. Sanctification. It's my observation that some people hear this word and automatically group it in with justification, judgement, vindication and these words that can sometimes be affiliated with turn and burn theology. I had seen many pastors scoff a bit at these big words because they weren't helpful to people meetings Jesus. They were only tripping people up.
I nerded out about this class. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about it and still have my books 5 years later from that class. This was one of my favorite concepts i learned.
Meat and Potatoes
Sanctified? Sanctifa-what? What does that even mean? Most don't know. It means to be made Holy or Set apart. A concept I was slightly obsessed with. I am a Type A, very driven independent person. Continually, wanting to be a better person, better Christ follower and ALL that it encompasses. I want to be strong in every area of life(well-balanced) and especially want to be Holy and set apart. A theme I had noticed is that much of the Bible is showing us or telling us how to be Holy and set apart. I knew, this was important, causing me to dive deep into studying and researching.
But I ran into a snag in the whole concept. My understanding of it(granted premature) was flawed. Sanctification Sanctification. Sanctification. Say that 20 dollar word five times fast. I will not define it but rather share the concept.
Sanctification is the process of drawing closer to God and getting to know him better, in that process God will make us more like him which by nature makes us more holy and set apart.
BOOM. Dang. I don't know about you but that impressed me, encouraged me, blew my mind a bit, made me grateful and glad. What a beautiful design by God? As I enjoy Him, He does the hard work for me. BUT, At the same time it also made me frustrated? My independent driven self felt like there was nothing I could do. I couldn't work and strive my way to it. Yes I can create space, have intentionality, and practice disciplines. However, Sanctification is such an amazing gift. We get to literally just enjoy Gods presence and He will do the hard work of convicting us, teaching us and strengthening us to be able to do what He calls us to do!
Praise Him that this is how He created things. He is not so desperate for us to be better as He is keen to have us close. As we get honestly and wholly surrendered to God everything else can sort of fall in place.
I know for me Sanctification is crazy and awesome and I love it! I hope that the word was like "woah that is a big word" and now is more like "woah this is awesome!"
Prayer: God thank you so much for how perfectly you designed this that I am able to be close to you. Thank you for making it so evident how much you love me and want me. Please teach me and speak to me about the space or disciplines I can create to be closer with you. I love you and want to be more like you. I surrender my whole heart to you, thank you for making me in your good and perfect image, make me more like you. Amen.