Sanctification

I received a phone call last night from a friend.  She mentioned several times…”There has to be something more.  What is wrong with me, I feel like something is missing.”  She is born of the Spirit of God and so she is a part of the body of Christ.  She has been baptized in the Spirit, and she has spoken in other tongues as the Spirit gave utterance.  Yet she still feels like something is missing.  What is it?  What is wrong.  Could it be her lifestyle?  What about her past?

This morning somewhere between sleep and awake I heard some things about sanctification. Sanctification means to be set apart for God, for His use, for holy use.  It involves dedication and purification, it also involves renewal of the soul.  [Romans 12: 1-2]

To the natural eye the church of Jesus Christ appears to be splintered and broken.  It appears at this time that little is being done to fulfill Jesus desire that  the lost would be won, the found be taught, the sick healed etc.  Jesus returned to His Father in Heaven after promising “another comforter” would come and after giving the disciples His command to go.  [Matthew 28: 18]  He also promised that He would come back to earth again.  The church is waiting for that event.

We have come down the centuries a long way since that day.  At this time the Body of Christ goes to a building that they call “church”, while most of the congregation does not even know that they are the church.  This they do most Sundays, some Wednesdays or possibly for a special event, that is when they feel like it, unless something better comes along.

Some of the churches give a salvation call every Sunday.  The people sin during the week and don’t “feel” right with God, and though they try so hard to be good they can’t seem to stay that way; so they go to the altar to “get saved”.   There is a sense a lack, but they don’t know what it is.

It is written:  For I know that in me (that is in my flesh) nothing good dwells, for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.  For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.”  [Romans 7: 18]  The answer is found:  “Reckon yourself dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  [Romans 6:11]  Reckon means to consider it done.  [Say out loud: “I am dead to sin and alive to God!” You believe your own words more than anyone’s.]  If you are sanctified, set apart to God, you should be able to walk in truth.

Let’s talk about sanctification. a person who has never given themselves over to the Spirit of God in order that they may be molded into the image and likeness of Jesus, will not be able to walk the sanctified life.

Don’t get me wrong, it is great that they have believed and received Jesus as their Savior, but Jesus does not come into someone’s life to only be a resident, to be added to the stable of lesser gods that occupy the temple of the Holy Spirit, your body and soul.  Jesus is God, He is Holy,  Jesus is Lord and for the price He paid for your freedom from the adversary, He deserves the right to your whole life.

The church of Jesus Christ is praying and waiting for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit as recorded in Joel 2:28 and other references as well.  This world-wide outpouring will bring a great harvest of souls into the Kingdom of God.  There are many prophetic incidences that will coincide with this outpouring. See Isaiah 60:11-3 for one example.  It is said that during this time the Body of Christ will finish the work of the Lord on earth.

The Lord desires to make His will known to His people so that they may trust and obey.  However, there must be in a believer a heart to seek after Him and His will.  In other words, one must have a hungry heart.  For you see, a complacent or lukewarm saint will not ask, seek or knock to know God’s will and His way.  A deceived man does not know that he is deceived and many in the church are deceived, asleep or in bondage.

The church has batted theological words and ideas around for generations; there have been great arguments, division and separation that has plagued and fractured the Body of Christ.  I do not believe that this was the Will of our Father, though I am aware that some believe it is.

I believe that Jesus had something else in mind when He spoke the following to His disciples right before He left planet earth:  “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”   Matthew 28:18

The authority over all things belongs to Jesus, He allocated it to His disciples because it was and is His desire for “all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.”   [I Timothy 2:4]  Can people hear the gospel of the Kingdom unless someone tells them?  The disciples of Jesus spread throughout the known world, carrying the good news that the Kingdom of God had come to earth, that Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) had made a way for everyone to come to God.

Jesus told the disciples, “Authority is mine because I paid for it, I am giving you power of attorney, and here is what I want you to do.”:  “Make disciples of all nations. [ethnos]  Has the church done what Jesus commanded?  I believe that the church (generally speaking) has made followers of men, followers of denominations, followers who depend on the system not on Jesus, and the system is dependent upon them and their money.

Of course, there are exceptions, but I am speaking generally.  I do not believe that the condition of the church at this time Is God’s intent, but when you leave the fox  in the hen-house and you don’t chase him out, what result would you expect? The adversary of God infiltrated the church early on, and he always brings destruction to the plan of God.

The church has built whole denominations around men and their doctrines.  I believe it has been God’s intent to restore lost truth to the Body of Christ.  I Thank God that salvation by faith and not by works was restored to the Body of Christ through Martin Luther!  I believe that today Luther would not recognize the church that took his name.

The command given to the disciples was to baptize and teach the nations the “things” that Jesus commanded the disciples.  What would these things be?

When Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment in the law He said:  “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all they heart, and with all they soul, and with all they mind.  And, the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor  as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”  Luke 10:27

Jesus speaks these words:  “A new commandment I give unto you.  That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples.  If ye have love one to another.” [John 13:34-35]  The Body of Christ was given the command to love one another. Is that what we see?  Do we not see the opposite of that?  Can you love God whom you cannot see and hate your brother whom you can see?  [I John 4:20]

How can you honor God with your lips when your heart is far from Him?   [Matthew 15:8]  James records: “Can good and evil come from the same source, sweet water and bitter?”  [James 3: 10-11]  Joshua said to Israel when they were getting ready to enter the promised land:  “Choose today whom you will serve.  If the Lord is God serve Him.”  [Joshua 24:15]  Let your words and actions agree.  How can you go to church on Sunday looking like a saint and live like a devil Monday through Saturday?  Is Lord Jesus worth living for, is He worth dying for?  Die to yourself and live for Jesus.

Do you value what Jesus did for you or do you take God’s grace for granted?

When you feel guilty, when you feel condemned, and you rationalize that you are okay because you are born-again are you trusting in the Lord?  Do you think that God is pleased with hypocrisy.  Living with one foot in the Kingdom of God and one in the kingdom of this world will bring confusion and every evil work.

Are you living life like Frank Sinatra:  “I Did It My Way.”  Be aware there is a fox in the hen house and destruction is on the way!  “Let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” [I Corinthians 10:12]

Grace came with a heavy price; Jesus paid it out of love.  However, you must not presume upon His grace.  Misplaced trust will be like a crocheted dishpan, it won’t hold water.  There is a day when all will be judged according to the life lived on earth, are you ready for that?  [II Corinthians 5:10]

Many people do good deeds, but what is the motive?  Moses killed an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew; he thought he was doing a good thing, something that would be appreciated by the Hebrews, instead Pharaoh sought to kill him and he had to run.  God sent Moses to the backside of the desert for forty years until he was emptied of himself.

The first day that Moses appeared before the Pharaoh, by the power of God he did the signs God told him to do.  The magicians of Pharaoh’s court did the same.  Pharaoh did not believe Moses signs.  God took Pharaoh through many plagues, but only when his heart was touched did he believe it was God and let Israel leave Egypt.

The world replicates the good deeds of the law by helping the poor and needy.  Do they do this because they genuinely love the Lord or the people they help, or are their good deeds done to keep the law or to placate a guilty conscience?  The day will come when the heart of the world will be touched and then they will believe that Jesus lives.  They will turn to Him or they will turn away from Him.  Will it be just in time or will it be too late?

Jesus command to His children is love, love for God and love for your neighbor.  Paul said love fulfills the law. [Romans 13:8] There is a little book that I possess called, “The Greatest Thing”, in it the author plainly states that if you love God’s way, the law is fulfilled.  Why does the church not love like that, why does the church not fulfill this command of the Lord, why do we see a church full of “do-gooders” instead of disciples of the Lord Jesus obedient to the will of the Father as He was?

This question brings me to Sanctification.  I suggest to you who feel like there must be more to being a Christian than what you are experiencing, there is more.  I believe that the answer is found in what the church calls sanctification.

In my experience the answer is found in surrender, the place where the process of sanctification begins.  I came to a point in my life where I was so miserable I could not stand myself or anyone else. I thought I knew so much about God and His ways.  I had studied the Word of God and was studying the Word of God…for hours, yet I was prideful, critical and full of anger, all of these hallmarks of the Pharisee spirit.  [Luke  18:10-13]  The only ones I loved were those who loved me back.

I recall finally getting to a place of brokenness, where I lay face down on the floor crying out to God, “I give up, I can’t do this anymore, I surrender. ”  I surrendered my life to Him that day.  I turned it over to Him and got down from the throne of my life.  I wish I could tell you that everything changed that day, it didn’t.  I fully expected it would, but it didn’t.  I know now that day began a process called:  “Sanctification”.

Please note the word PROCESS.  This is an on-going, daily submission of myself to God, acknowledging His Lordship over me, yielding to Him all that I know of myself at that moment in time.  When that is done then I resist the adversary and the works of the kingdom of darkness with the Word of God.

I believe that the Spirit of God operates in sanctification like this:   When I surrender whatever it is He has been dealing with me about, There is set in place a legally binding decision in the courts of Heaven; from that point on Holy Spirit has the legal right to line up my life with my words and actions. Of course, the enemy of my soul will work to see to it that my words and actions are not in agreement with my decision because that is what he does, but I have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one.

This principle of a one time decision and then a daily yielding, submitting to God, resisting the adversary; of committing once to establish legal precedence in the courts of Heaven, and then reaffirming it daily, applies to every work of grace, from salvation to forgiveness, to deliverance, to healing, to protection, to provision.

It was a momentous day in my life when I gave God, the Holy Spirit, permission to work me over and make me into the image of Jesus the Messiah.  This work of His is ongoing, it will not be finished in me until the day my feet walk the streets of gold.  But, oh the joy of loving and being loved, of walking in the righteousness of Jesus and in His peace.

God’s command to love one another is daily being lived out in the lives of many in the Body of Christ and it brings incredible pleasure.  I did not care much for people when I was younger, but now because I am yielded to the Lord and I have the mind of Christ, I sense His love and joy for and over them  {Zephaniah 3:17]

Oh friend, there is so much I would like to say to you, but I trust there will be more time and more blogs.  I just want you to know that when you get off the throne of your life and invite Jesus to be your King, no matter what you experience here is this world, it is all and only Glory to and for Him and blessing for you.

I was 15 when I met Jesus, I am now 76.  Music has been a huge part of my life.  It has been therapy for me over the years.  This song below was one of the first I played on the piano.  I love it!

“Living for Jesus a life that is true, striving to please Him in all that I do, yielding allegiance glad-hearted and free this is the pathway of blessing for me. Oh Jesus Lord and Savior I give myself to thee, that thou in thy atonement didst give thyself for me, I owe no other Master, my heart shall be thy throne, my life I give hence-forth to live. O Christ for Thee alone.”     Words and music by Thomas O. Chisholm and C. Harold Lowden, The Heidelburg Press, Copyright 1917

I am “all-in”,are you?

In His love…Joy

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