Thursday, February 28, 2008

He's Home....and I need to grow in sanctification!

He's home. My Shane is home! After a long, hard week without him, he is a breath of fresh air to me! He walked through that door, and I just fell into his arms. I love being married to a Godly man.

While he was gone, I did not do so well. I struggled-hard-in so many areas. I didn't even know I missed him so much (apart from missing help with the kids!), until I saw him. It melted my heart! I may be accused of being co-dependent...that's fine with me. I admit that I need my other half.

I hate struggling. I hate failing. I hate being depressed. I hate giving into sin. I hate feeling defeated and giving into my emotions. I want to grow in sanctification. Romans 6:11 says, "You must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus." To give up and feel defeated is the same as denying the truth of the scripture.

I'm not talking about perfectionism, the view that 'sinless perfection is possible in this life.' But, I'm talking about reckoning myself dead to sin. Realizing that sin, even the sin of allowing emotions to control me, no longer has a hold on me. Sin is no longer my master. I know "God is at work in (me), both to will and to work for His good pleasure." (Phil. 2:13)

Sanctification is primarily a work of God in our lives, but we play a part, too. We must depend on God to sanctify us, but we are to actively take a role in which "we strive to obey God and take steps that will increase our sanctification." (Grudem) We are to "strive...for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord!" (Heb. 12:14) We are also called to "abstain from immorality" and obey the will of God (1 Thess. 4:3) We are to hope to be like Christ. "We are to continually build up patterns and habits of holiness.." (Grudem) This, as we all know, comes only through Bible reading, meditation, prayer, worship, witnessing, Christian fellowship, and self-control. It's about trusting God and being obedient to His word.

I desire to be conformed to the image of Christ in every area of my life. Boy, am I so far from that! And, I get so easily defeated. I've just been going through a really dry period of life in my personal walk. I have been learning, but I've felt so weak to the attacks of the enemy. I've struggled with depression and let it get the best of me. I've been praying alot about this, and I feel like the Lord just keeps wanting to teach me about sanctification and how it works. I can say it's nothing I do, but it is. I must be on my guard, staying in His word, building up habits of holiness...and yet it's only by His grace. "Sometimes the popular phrase, 'Let Go and Let God', is given as a summary of how to live the Christian life. But this is a tragic distortion of the doctrine of sanctification, for it only speaks of one half of the part we must play, and, by itself, will lead Christians to become lazy and to neglect the active role that scripture commands them to play in their own sanctification." (Grudem)

Motives for obeying God...(1) a desire to please Him (John 14:15) ; (2) to need to keep a clear conscience before Him (Rom. 13:5); (3) the desire to be a vessel for noble use/have increased effectiveness in the work of the kingdom (2 Tim. 2:20-21); (4) the desire to see other come to Christ by observing our lives (1 Peter 3:15-16); (5) the desire to receive present blessings from God on our lives and ministries (1 Peter 3:9-12); (6) the desire to avoid God's displeasure on our lives (2 Cor. 7:1); (7) the desire to seek greater heavenly reward (Matt. 6:19-21); (8) the desire for a deeper walk with God (Matt. 5:8); (9) the desire for peace and joy (Phil. 4:9/Heb. 12:1-2); (10) the desire to do what God commands simply because his commands are right and we delight in doing what's right (Phil. 4:8) (from Grudem's Bible Doctrine)

"The more we grow in likeness to Christ, the more we will personally experience the 'joy' and 'peace' that are part of the fruit of the Spirit, and the more we will draw near to the kind of life that we will have in heaven...This is the source of true joy...As we grow in holiness, we grow in conformity to the image of Christ, and more and more of the beauty of his character is seen in our own lives." (Grudem)

I look forward to Christ's return or the end of my life on earth, when my sanctification will be complete. "At his coming, we will be made alive with a resurrection body and then we shall fully 'bear the image of the Man of Heaven.' " (Grudem) For now, I desire to grow more in His likeness...maybe that's why it was so rough when Shane was gone. God had a lot to show me!

"So you must also consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. Do not yield your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but yield yourselves go God as men who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments of righteousness. For sin will no longer have dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace." Romans 6:11-14


Rose Starr said...

Girl...I hear you! I think I could have posted the same thoughts :) Desi is going to be gone a week in April and I'm gonna need a whole lot of prayin' to get ready for his absence.

I'm reading a fantastic book right now that I'm thinking you might really enjoy. I am totally loving it. It's called Passionate Housewives Desperate for God
ISBN: 1934554154

I got it from

Good to get your email...I'll reply soon.

Kari said...

I have been wanting to get that book, actually! I was wondering if it was good. Remind me when Desi is gone, and I'll be praying for you! For real.