I’ve been thinking about the term “Sanctification” recently. It’s term used by certain denominations within the Christian church which means, in essence, totally sold-out or surrendered to the Lordship of Christ in your life. It’s turning over the reins of all aspects of your life to God. It happens both in a moment in time and over a span of time. It is an instantaneous occurance and a process. It can be interchanged with the words or phrases “consecrated” and “baptized in the Holy Spirit”, depending on the denomination. I’m sure there’s other terms for it as well.
But I’ve come to understand it in a new way recently.
I used to believe that when I surrendered fully to God in my life, I was fully sanctified. I wanted to be his vessel to use as He wished. I still do. But it seemed like it depended on my degree of surrender. It seemed like it depended on me. It seemed like it depended on my effort.
We sing “I Surrender All” in our church services. In fact, we sang it yesterday. Surrender or yielding to God’s will and God’s ways certainly must happen. But what I don’t understand is how there can be differing degrees of surrender. Maybe some of you can chime in with your thoughts.
What I’ve been “yielding” to recently or “surrendering” to is God’s overwhelming love for me (and you). It is an amazing love that has nothing to do with you and me, because, I don’t know about you, but I can be quite un-loveable at times. It is a love that depends solely on the Lover. It is so irrational, so incomprehensible, and so amazing. Once I really understood and meditated on that kind of love… once I got that deep down inside me… and I mean DEEP down… it transformed me. And now it’s working its way out.
As I stated yesterday, I’ve re-discovered grace. I’ve found that I don’t have to “be a better Christian” to have God love me any more than He already does. I don’t have to do anything to have Him accept me more than He already does. I can rest. There is tremendous freedom in that.
The funny thing is: It doesn’t “free” me to live my life any “looser”. I don’t feel like I can get away with anything and then ask for God’s forgiveness. On the contrary, it is a freedom that compels me to live my life totally for Him. It makes me “sold-out” by default. There’s no effort involved. I just “am.” As you can tell, I almost can’t explain it.
One or more denominations refer to sanctification as a “second work of grace”. Well then, by definition, it is a gift. There is nothing I can do to earn it. It is a gift that God gives. The only thing I think I’m surrendered to is God’s unconditional acceptance of me and unbelieveable love for me.
If that makes me “sanctified”, then I need to go into Staples and hit the button that says, “That was easy!”