In life, there is always opportunity for sanctification. The opportunities come is many forms and are varied in the vessels that bring them to our doorstep. But what of sanctification and is it really necessary? Can't we get along w/o it?
I guess the first verse that comes to my mind when I here the word sanctification is 1 Thes. 4:3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification:... It's God's will for our lives that we be sanctified- on a continual path to Christ-likeness. Was Jesus' road here on earth paved smooth and in a comfortable seat? Then why would we expect our road to be smooth and should we even want it to be that way?
So what are some areas that God has been allowing sanctification in my own heart this past little while?
The leaders that we are to submit too are not always exactly like we would want them to be. In fact, they are often more like Nero than we think they should be, but they are not Nero, and even if they were, God has called us to pray for them and submit where they are not asking us to sin. We want justice when it comes to someone else, but we want mercy ourselves. Go out of America and then return and you will see that we have it pretty good here. Go away from the church and come back and you will see that we have it pretty good here. Think about a society with no laws and you will appreciate the inconvenience of law enforcement officers.
When friends do things that don't seem to be in line with continued sanctification we want them to get it the first time and move on. Do we? We don't even want to have to tell them they are going the wrong direction, and yet this is part of their sanctification process and ours. We must tell them where they are erring and pray that they accept the admonition. They may accept it and they may not- this doesn't negate our responsibility to go to them and this does then not give us the green light to be cynical that they will respond the same way when we approach them the next time. This also doesn't take away our responsibility to do the right thing when people don't reciprocate. This is hard to do- all of these things.
When we are trying to do the right things- the good thing- and people completely do the wrong thing in return. This is also hard. When we are doing what we believe God has called us to do and others mock, or slander us for our efforts, it's very easy to say "Ok- if you're going to act like that I'm not going to do my part anymore". That's not sanctification. Jesus- our Chief Example- was doing the perfectly right thing and they hung Him on a cross. He knew what was coming and He didn't say, "If you're going to treat me this badly and not appreciate what I am doing for you, then I am not going to do it". Thank-you Jesus for not having that attitude or we would be in a very bad place w/o any way to escape. Our responsibility is to always do what we believe God is calling us to do, no matter how hard it may seem and no matter how completely wrong others are. Our responsibility it to God and He will hold us accountable for our actions, not theirs.
These are just a few examples of things I have been continually challenged with just recently and I am pretty sure that these areas are going to come back again in the future. We must always look to Jesus' example of the way we are to live.