“…True sanctification is all about growing in humility, dependence, and gratitude.”
Barbara R. Duguid
We are born into this world in a state of dependence and if we live long enough, our last days will be reliant upon loved ones or caregivers. As Christians, we are to live humbly dependent upon God. We need God’s grace for our salvation as well as our sanctification; to live lives that are holy and pleasing to God.
Sanctification is “the act of making holy. It’s the act of God’s grace by which the affections of men are purified or alienated from sin and the world, and exalted to a supreme love to God.” Oswald Chambers writes: “Sanctification will cost an intense narrowing of all our interests on earth and an immense broadening of our interest in God.” Just like salvation, sanctification requires God’s grace.
We need Jesus to make us holy. John 15:5 spells out our dependence upon Jesus to live the Christian life. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” In order to live an obedient life, one that pleases God, we must humbly lean upon Jesus. We can’t do anything without Him!
The process of sanctification is all about deepening our intimacy with God. Jesus could have made us perfect at the time of salvation, but He chose not to. God allows us to sin so we fall on our knees in humble dependence upon Him. How often would we seek God if we didn’t have trials or sin, which make us cry out to Jesus for help?
I have a tendency to wander and try to find satisfaction through idols. But my struggle with sin brings me back to Jesus, seeking His help to live a holy life. Need creates intimacy. My need for Jesus and His sufficiency deepens my gratitude for all He does on my behalf. God doesn’t like it when I sin, but He uses it to make my relationship with Him closer.
I cannot live a perfect, sinless life, in and of myself. Only one person, Jesus, was able to do that. My need for Jesus to break off strongholds and to set me free from sinful behaviors, can be redeemed for my benefit. God has used sin in my life to humble me, to cause me to stop being judgmental, and to make me more compassionate toward those who struggle with sin. Most of all, God uses my sin to show how desperately I need Him. As I watch Him come to my aid, it causes me to love Him more, which motivates me to sin less.
God can use sickness, offense, financial collapse, and addictions for our spiritual growth as we throw ourselves upon Him for help. If life wasn’t hard, it’d be easy to become self-sufficient, living lives far away from God. Sanctification is a means to grow closer to God. My need for Jesus, deepens my relationship with Him.
“Those who sin much are forgiven much, and they grow to love their Savior more than if they had never sinned or needed His goodness in their place.”
1. Describe how God has used your struggle with sin for your good and His glory?
2. How has the process of sanctification caused your intimacy with God to deepen?