Sanctification? What’s that? (part 2)

Prompted by my son’s thoughtful question, and turning to God’s Word as the ultimate authority for my life, I began to explore God’s will, that is “sanctification”.  Where did the word sanctify first appear in the scriptures? And what was the context? The first occurrence of the word sanctify is found in the Old Testament, in the book of Exodus after the children of Israel had been freed from their slavery in Egypt. You know the story. The children of Israel had been oppressed and enslaved for 400 long years. The hope of ever being the nation that God has promised their forefather Abraham had become a distant memory clouded by their harsh oppression. The people cried out and after 400 years, in the fullness of His timing, the Lord moved. He raised up a deliverer. As the story goes, the Lord delivered His people through Moses, who had as a baby escaped Pharaoh’s earlier death decree for first born male in every Hebrew home. The Lord brought mighty acts of judgment against Israel’s oppressors through Moses. The last of the ten judgments, or plagues came – the death of the first born. The Lord had not forgotten His people. He had seen the Pharaoh’s harshness and cruelty, even his earlier order to kill the first born Jewish male. In His judgment, the Lord provided salvation for His people and their first born. This time they need not fear, their first born would find salvation. The blood of a lamb on the doorpost would cause the angel of death to passover  the house; the first born male of the...
Sanctification? What’s that?

Sanctification? What’s that?

This was the question my youngest son asked me just recently. Such a soul-shaping and overarching theme in my own life, I realized I had not communicated its important meaning and imperative well to my children, especially my youngest son. I remember when I first encountered this idea… the idea of being sanctified, of being set apart. I was reading the scriptures: “This is the will of God, your sanctification…” – I Thess 4:3 Well, how wonderful! A clear concrete declaration of God’s will for me! Not some mystical hide and seek exercise. His will was made plain to me in this verse. My sanctification! After the initial excitement of such a profound discovery, the questions came… But what does this mean? And then, of course, came the follow up question – How? Rats! The wrestling and quest for understanding had only just been ignited… I have to confess I did not readily embrace what I began to learn as I search the scriptures. Set apart?!? I had spent much of my life working hard on fitting in, following the crowd, … And the idea of being sanctified, or in the process of sanctification, didn’t that sound arrogant, superior, and perhaps even self-righteous? I wasn’t sure what this meant. This wasn’t going to be easy and certainly not something natural to me and my understanding. Perhaps you too have had similar thoughts and feelings about this word, this command, this declaration of the will of God. So I now hope to explore this word and principle this coming year and share the posts here… On my blog: SANCTIFIED Woman....
Sanctification Calls for Questions

Sanctification Calls for Questions

(Part of Sanctified Sections post series and Streets of Sanctification label) During this season of my life, many of my sanctification moments involve my immediate family – my husband and children. My sanctification and theirs is being lived out day to day, week to week, and year to year! The good, the bad and the ugly – if you will. One morning this past week, I was jolted to full alertness by my two favorite sons arguing in the kitchen over which food resources should be consumed and by whom. (Scarcity of food resources in a house with young, growing men is a constant real and present danger!) “You took the last two tortillas!” accused the authoritative, firstborn, fourteen-year-old son. “You should have eaten the whole wheat bread!” With a tone of injustice and exasperation, the oldest son brings his plight to his mother, who is not the sharpest (or most sanctified) judge and juror before 9:00am. But none-the-less, sanctification never sleeps, (at least not past 9:00am!) and I am once again summoned to direct the traffic for these two budding, often bull-dozing, boys. The first to present their case seems just, until another comes along and examines him. (Prov 18:17) The youngest son, Caleb, often feeling to be the victim of such barrages of the high expectations from his older brother, rather dumb founded demands, “Daniel, leave me alone! I didn’t do anything wrong! You always get on to me!” When clarity and hidden-heart agendas need to be revealed, there is a model Jesus provided. One he used over and over again. One I seek to feebly follow...
Sanctified Sections

Sanctified Sections

Years ago, I was introduced to a book that would irrevocably alter my warped, worldly thinking and set me on a new path to appropriate my identity according to God’s Word. That book was The Common Made Holy by Neil Anderson and the Freedom in Christ Ministry. A book that opened my eyes and heart to the idea of sanctification on a very practical level. A book that I recently picked up, reminded me of an important principle found in Anderson’s book. The importance of relationships in our sanctification process. The Lord uses relationships with others to sanctify US! Ohhh! So that’s why relationships can be so difficult – they touch areas that we would prefer remain untouched! YES! Some relationships more than others seem to touch such areas. And some relationship-seasons (husband-wife, parent-child, friend-friend, employer-employee, etc…), are more challenging than others at different times. While we have a tendency to (more comfortably) focus on the OTHER person’s need for sanctification during a difficulty, we must be careful to follow the command to work out our OWN salvation, or sanctification, with fear and trembling. The principle and application of “the log and the speck” has transformative power – personal transformation and relational transformation. Sounds difficult but desirable, yes? Yet many of us settle for the paralysis created by neatly placing blame and guilt on the other party, ignoring our own participation and contribution to an often relationally polarizing process. So let’s first look at the WHY question. Why do many of us have a tendency to solely settle for seeing others as the incessant thorn in our side and...