“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. Brethren, pray for us” (1Thess 5:23-25)
Once you become born again the process of sanctification starts immediately. Sanctification means to become holy as God is holy. Justification from sin is instant. It is the result of the death of Christ on the Cross. But sanctification is a life long process, slow and painful. God could have sanctified you in a moment but He chose to make it a life long journey with Him, that you may appreciate His long suffering and love for us.
You need to go back to the Cross again and again. You need to study the Word of God and allow its sword to pierce your sinful heart. Christ will use the Word to cut round the hardness of your heart, just like a circumcision surgery. Each sin must be exposed, confessed, renounced and repented of. You shall weep many tears as God humbles you daily. In the light of God’s Word you shall see yourself as you really are: a wicked, greedy, lustful, jealous, foolish and stubborn sinner. This revelation is extremely painful. But like a woman in labor, this pain is necessary ‘to push’ away the sin.
God the Father who sent His Son to save you, is the same who wants you sanctified. As the God of Peace, He is faithful to finish His work in you. He will do it! The only people who have peace and joy are the ones who are cooperating with the deep work of the Holy Spirit and desire to be sanctified.
Each believer has to battle with his own demons. For example, one of my past strongholds of flesh was lying. I was so deceived… I really thought that lying is useful. I was so good at it that nobody knew I was lying. Even me, I forgot that I was lying and I paraded myself as a honest woman. I thought that truth is too harsh and a little lying is a form of hope and kindness. For example, as a medical doctor, if one of my patients was dying with an incurable disease, I will tell him that he will live long if he takes his drugs. That was not not a speech of faith for I was a confirmed atheist, an unbeliever. It was a lie helping him to ‘die in peace’. I could tell his family the truth but not the patient himself. I did not trust what truth could do…so I lied, giving false hopes. Terrible…
But after I became born again, I started feeling very guilty. The Holy Spirit started His work in me! Now, to lie was not as easy… Each time I had to lie, just seconds before the lie in my heart came on my lips, I will feel a restrain, not to speak like that. But it took me some time to learn how to ‘apply the breaks’ of the Holy Spirit and to have self control. This guilt bordered me. I wanted to have peace with God and my own conscience. But the only way to have peace was only thru deep repentance of this sin of lying.
I started praying for mercy. I saw myself as a devil. I wept and wept and begged God for forgiveness. I asked the Holy Spirit to fill me and to empower me to change. I still remember the place where, on my knees, I made a vow to God that from that moment on, I will never lie! I promised God that I will speak the truth even if I have to die! From that moment I had peace! The Holy Spirit took control of my tongue! Glory to God! I had to learn to speak slowly and to listen to my words. I never spoke on an impulse again. Truth became my best friend who set me free from sin and shame.
This testimony of deliverance from the demon of lies happened in 1987, one year after I became saved. I can boldly say that now I am not a liar! God forbid! I speak the truth in love for the sake and honor of my Savior, Jesus Christ who loved me enough to die for my sins and to make me His child! My children (natural and spiritual) can testify to thIs…
My dear children, I pray for you this morning… That God will make you willing to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and to become like Jesus, holy, blameless and undefiled! That you become holy as God is holy! That you make truth your best friend! That God’s power will manifest in you by changing you from glory to glory! God will give you peace from your battles with a wounded conscience! You shall know the truth and the truth in Christ shall set you free! This shall be done to the glory of God, to the shame of the devil and for the encouragement of the people who know you! I promise you that God will do it! Come back with great testimonies so that we can rejoice together! Jesus is Lord!