100-Day Identity Makeover: Day 14
You Are Sanctified (John 17:19)
Impossible? Unattainable? Unrealistic? What words come to mind when you think of the process of being conformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ? If the burden for sanctification rests on man, the words above are accurate, but, because sanctification is an act of God, not only is it possible, it is His will for your life!
Jesus prayed that His disciples would be sanctified by the truth (See John 17:17). “Your word is truth,” He declared to the Father in prayer concerning them.
How does God’s Word work as an instrument in sanctifying the believer?
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
This scripture cues us on the careful instrumentation of God’s eternal Word. Included in Hebrews 4 is the understanding that nothing is hidden from God’s sight, so as in a patient’s body splayed open before the attentive surgeon, God uses His Word like a scalpel to open up the hidden places to expose and remove the diseased tissue.
For instance, if you hold a family member in contempt because you truly feel that he wronged you, God’s Word will illuminate that attitude because it is not pleasing to Him nor beneficial to you. In your obedience to always keep the Word of God before you (See Psalm 119:97), He will use His truth to show you that contempt for another’s actions has resulted because you do not place your full trust in God. Had your expectation been in the Father and not in the relative, the disagreement would have been minimal and the bitterness of heart avoided. In that “splayed open” state, you decide to come into agreement with the truth of God and to begin to think differently about your expectation of others. As you heal from the “surgery,” you realize that you need to extend grace to the people in your life, because you, too, are in need of God’s grace.
Sanctification involves a process called renewing of the mind. Romans 12:1-2 clarifies that the process produces a distinguished outlook on life- one that is in contrast to the typical worldly view of life. In essence, a total transformation occurs as the believer takes in the word of truth and begins to understand the circumstances of life through the heart of God. His thoughts change; therefore, his words change. A transformed person speaks and acts differently. All this is possible because the mind has undergone a powerful renewing.
God sets you apart and makes you holy.
Did you know that a sanctified person is identifiable? Remember, the transformed person believes and acts in a way that is unlike normal beliefs and actions. In fact, Jesus described the lifestyle of the sanctified; His teaching about it is known as the Sermon on the Mount (See Matthew 5:1- 7:27). You, child of God, are sanctified by the word of truth, and because of its “living and active” work in your life, you are like a house built on the rock. The storms of life come, but you remain steadfast in hope, in your witness for Christ, in relationships, in truth, in humility, in love, in service to God, in prayer and fasting, in faith and in extending grace.
Walk It Out Hear God’s Word and put it into practice (Luke 8:21).
Schedule (put it on your calendar if necessary) a time each day for reading the Bible, and expect the Father in heaven to teach you as you study. Pray about what you learn.