Hmm... God does have a way of bringing things to my attention that are timely... The following was posted to the no_compromise community.
This is today's daily devotional from Oswald Chambers' "My Utmost for His Highest" devotional.
The Cost of Sanctification
May the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely . . . —1 Thessalonians 5:23
When we pray, asking God to sanctify us, are we prepared to measure up to what that really means? We take the word sanctification much too lightly. Are we prepared to pay the cost of sanctification? The cost will be a deep restriction of all our earthly concerns, and an extensive cultivation of all our godly concerns. Sanctification means to be intensely focused on God’s point of view. It means to secure and to keep all the strength of our body, soul, and spirit for God’s purpose alone. Are we really prepared for God to perform in us everything for which He separated us? And after He has done His work, are we then prepared to separate ourselves to God just as Jesus did? "For their sakes I sanctify Myself . . ." ( John 17:19 ). The reason some of us have not entered into the experience of sanctification is that we have not realized the meaning of sanctification from God’s perspective. Sanctification means being made one with Jesus so that the nature that controlled Him will control us. Are we really prepared for what that will cost? It will cost absolutely everything in us which is not of God.
Are we prepared to be caught up into the full meaning of Paul’s prayer in this verse? Are we prepared to say, "Lord, make me, a sinner saved by grace, as holy as You can"? Jesus prayed that we might be one with Him, just as He is one with the Father (see John 17:21-23 ). The resounding evidence of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life is the unmistakable family likeness to Jesus Christ, and the freedom from everything which is not like Him. Are we prepared to set ourselves apart for the Holy Spirit’s work in us?
I refer back to my entry of Sunday night... This is not the first time I have been confronted with the issue of sanctification. In fact, it is not the second... I have been reading Merle Strege's book, I Saw the Church, an overview of the history and theology of the Church of God Reformation Movement. Sanctification was once a central doctrine of our faith. It is considered by some people to be a divisive issue. Why? Maybe the divisive issues matter most... Maybe this is why they are so divisive. It seems there are answers to be found if only we will look to the Lord! He is not a god of confusion but of sound mind!
If we are called to a life of holiness, it is also a life of abundance! If we are called to a life of suffering, it is not required to be a life of misery. Pain and happiness can coexist. A quote floated around my church earlier this year--I have not posted my notes from a number of services but will post them later and backdate them. "There will be great moments of sorrow this year and great moments of joy ... and moments of ordinary time in between." I don't know where it came from. Maybe someone made it up. In any case, it's profound. What is holiness but what I do with my moments? "In everything you do, do it all for the glory of God."