May 14, 2012

Set apart by God

Today’s devotional reading is a good follow-up to yesterday’s conviction about humbling myself. This is a command because it is fitting for who I am and to whom I belong. In Jesus’ prayer, He reminds me that my life is not my own.
And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. (John 17:19)
Sanctification means “to be set apart” for God. That is, when I walk into a room, or go outside my door, or even sit down at my desk to write, my life is for God, not myself. 

A sanctified person wants God to be noticed, Jesus Christ to be exalted, and the Holy Spirit to be in control. A sanctified person is not concerned about personal prominence, personal glory, or being in charge of anything. This can happen to Christians because Jesus first did it Himself. He lives in me, so by being yielded to Him (setting myself apart from my own desires), I also live a sanctified life that gives glory to God.

The parallel between humility and sanctification is strong. Also, both qualities go two ways. That is, God sets us apart as His people, but we must also choose to live that way. God does it, but I’m to cooperate.

Not only that, while I am sanctified, I am also being sanctified. This is both a reality and a process, something like enlisting in the army. Those who sign up are at once soldiers, but it takes training and experience before they are able to act like soldiers.

Lord, it seems that I have been in training for a long time. I know that I belong to You, yet so often I act like I belong to myself. Make me aware today of the choices and opportunities of being able to live a sanctified life. From what Jesus said, this means I will also be living in truth, living according to who I really am — and I can only live like this because of You and Your grace to me.

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