Sometimes we can think of sanctification as self-improvement.
I’m going to be the best me I can be! That will certainly please God.
Let’s call it “Project Me.”
Project Me goals for today, Monday, June 27, 2016:
- Be nice. (Practice pleasant patient smile in front of mirror.)
- Be fit. (Buy cute outfit and jog around block without sweating or letting tongue hang out.)
- Be productive. (Do something important, like changing the world or something. I’ll get back to that.)
- Be friendly. (Set up coffee dates with friends, then keep them without looking stressed or hurried.)
- Be wise. (Say profound things. Memorize quotes. Respond to children in King James English.)
Maybe that’s a little far-fetched, but barely.
Before Jesus died, he prayed for his disciples. He prayed that his Father would sanctify them, not by a list of goals, or a self-improvement strategy, but by his truth.
We talked about truth in the last post, reminding ourselves that it’s a real, tangible thing, but that we often wiggle and scoot around it with great skill.
Jesus wasn’t doing much wiggling or scooting when he prayed in Jn. 17:17, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” He didn’t add a lot of disclaimers or soothing comments. He seemed pretty sure that God’s Word could do a surefire job of sanctifying us. If he was sure, shouldn’t we be sure?
Forgetful soul, goals are great. So are workouts and wisdom and coffee dates. But if you want to be made holy, if you want God to sanctify you, go to the truth of his Word. Read and obey. It doesn’t seem like it will change us like checklists do or grow us like goals will, but it will do so much more.
You’ll meet him there, seeing his example, touching his love, reading his commands, feeling his conviction, and accessing his power. He’ll show you beauty in things the world scoffs at and love in unexpected places. As you follow him, you’ll become more and more like him.
Sanctify us in your truth, Lord; your word is truth.