Mar 07

Thirsty Thursday – March 7, 2013

For Those Who Thirst for God’s Word

God is not done with you. He’s not. When you accepted Christ that was not the end, but the beginning of something more. While all your sins were forgiven and God’s grace rained down on you in that very moment you accepted Christ, a process began in you on that day. That’s right; a process.

That process is called sanctification, or the process by which we are made holy or more like Christ. When we accepted Christ into our lives we weren’t made immediately perfect, but God sent His Spirit to dwell in us and to intervene on our behalf. Now, this might be overly simplistic, but have you ever seen the popular A&E series “Intervention”? It’s a series about drug and alcohol addicts who’s families have brought in an “interventionist” to get them off of drugs and live a clean life. What usually occurs in the show is it’ll show the addict buying or using drugs, cussing out those that love them when they try to help and it all ends with a big group intervention with the interventionist directing the meeting. As adopted children into God’s family, the Spirit is like His interventionist. We have all this junk in our lives, this sin, that our flesh is addicted to. It’s our go to feel-good-in-the-moment thing that we just can’t shake. However, this sin has devastating consequences across all dimensions ranging from physical and emotional pain, relationship issues and most devastating of all: separation from God.

[pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”30%”]”being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6[/pullquote] So, the Spirit comes into your life and he begins to work on you, revealing those areas of your life that are needing to be cast out. That lust, greed, pride, vanity, depression, insecurity and anything else it can uncover and begins to get it out of your life, because it knows the longer that sin stays with you, and the longer you turn to it, the more it will hurt you and those around you. And so begins the sometimes painful process of sanctification. And, yes, it is sometimes painful. Sin that we have hid from others is revealed, and we are embarrassed. We may lose jobs or friends or status as the Spirit continues this good work in us. Just like on the TV series, there may be bouts of anger and fighting with the Spirit as your flesh begins to fight back and try to hold on to as much of that sin as it can. But you can’t let it. You have to get it out. And God loves you too much to let you hold on to your sin, so His Spirit will keep trying.

And the Spirit will not ask you to slowly walk away from your sin. No. It’s cold turkey. Like a drug rehab center, repentance is the act of turning completely away. Making a one-eighty. Like an addict, you may even suffer withdrawals. Maybe not physical withdrawals, but you may have that deep longing to return to the sin that held you in bondage for years and years, but in those moments you have to remind yourself that God is more precious than anything else. That the Spirit is leading you, guiding you, to something better. You have to fight. Tooth and nail. Pick up your sword the Bible, put on the armor of God and fight, and allow the Spirit to continue that good work in you!

Christianity is not for sissies. I’m reminded of the adage “No pain, no gain”. While Christians are often portrayed as weak, those of us who follow Christ know all the better that we are more. We have been given a spirit of power. Our God is strong and can overcome anything. Never think that your sin is too great for Him to conquer.

If you’re reading this and you’ve never experienced the freedom in Christ, I encourage you to seek Him through prayer and reading the Bible. Acknowledge your sin and ask Jesus into your heart.

My prayer for everyone is like one that Paul sent to believers in Philippi, that “…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”