Monday, October 30, 2017

Sanctified not Sanctimonious

Social Media is this generation's technology tool that many struggle with how best to use. To provide context, in my generation, it was the TV. Social media has brought down leaders, rebuked citizens, notified us of prominent deaths prior to regular news outlets, shared the gospel, and highlighted areas that warranted our attention. But one of the things it has also done is made us all more self-focused to the point that reality is blurred. We see most people boasting - about their families, their accomplishments and their good deeds online. Sometimes I feel like a voyeur because so much of what is posted is not for public consumption. A lot of it feels like bragging, even humble bragging which is just a
way to rationalize our good deeds.

As Christians, we are called to be sanctified; set apart for the Master's use. Set apart by our actions and our choices. Generally speaking, to be sanctified means to use something as it was intended by its designer; proper functioning. In the Biblical sense sanctified means to make holy, because our Master is holy. It is God through his Holy Spirit that sets us apart, not us. This initially happens when we make a choice to believe in Him and what He has done for us. Through the rest of our life on earth, sanctification is an ongoing process; it is a recognition of allowing God to change us from the inside out though we will never achieve perfection. It is acting differently because we think differently. It is thinking differently because of the ingestion of God's Word. It is allowing the written Word to become alive in us. It then becomes our actions that are a result of our belief in God.

Because we believe, we exhibit faith and live differently, impacting every facet of our lives We don't choose to be sanctified in some areas and in others not, instead we humbly allow God to work in every area of our life, over this lifetime.

Recognizing that sanctification is an ongoing process, we humbly submit to God.  Humility is a necessary component of being set apart by God because it is God who sanctifies us.  Sanctification is through God's enablement in us by the Holy Spirit.  In simplest terms - sanctification is the power to say yes to God. When we say yes to God we are saying no to a whole lot of other things that aren't pleasing to God (Galatians 5:16-26).

Many times we wonder what does this look like? So let me give a couple of examples though they are many examples throughout Scripture: Peter, Daniel, Joseph, Esther, Lydia:
As a young believer in your teens, you decide to keep yourself morally pure because you see the negative impact all around you of not doing so, and with God's help, you will avoid making decisions that send you down an impure path. As a college graduate in your 20's you recognize that anything you put your hand to do you will do it as pleasing to God, so though unsure of your career direction, you would "bloom where you are planted' until the next opportunity presented itself. As a young mother, you recognize how God's love has changed your life and you and your husband want the same thing for your children. With God's word as your foundation, you are instilled with a supernatural assurance as you raise your children, though you may not always get everything right.

You get the idea, there's a continual theme of seeking God spending time in the solid Word He has given us and using it as a foundation for every facet of your life that impacts you and those around you. Your example may have made another young person think before hooking up with her boyfriend; your boss may be impressed by your attitude at work and offered additional opportunities; other parents may pick your brain about why you do what you do. Without looking for it, you have had an impact and you made a difference. Through this process, the changes that started internally spread externally like spokes on a wheel. This change is not just for us, but so that others can see and be pointed back to God. 

Therefore we never need to become sanctimonious - making a show of being morally superior to other people, about how God is changing and transforming us. We don't need to brag about our good deeds if God is working in us to do those things; the glory belongs to Him, not to us. We are called to let our lights shine so that men will see our good works and glorify God (Matthew 5:16), not us. That's it and that's enough for all of us. The Bible is so smart, that it also says it like this:  "Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another." (Galatians 5:26) How many have said they felt this way after seeing something posted on social media?

So do good, live well, say yes to God and no to sin, but don't post it on FB!  While social media plays an effective role, the next time you're tempted to post, tweet, pin or snap - stop and ask yourself, "who is this pointing back to?"

And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations. Ezekiel 36:26,27

That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) Romans 8: 8-10

Since it is God working in you, you don't need to brag; let His actions in your life speak for themselves. The only help He needs is your cooperation, willingness, and obedience. Let sanctification do what it is supposed to do without you becoming sanctimonious.


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  1. Nylse, you wrote, "We don't choose to be sanctified in some areas and in others not".

    So very true! Sanctification is something that is not often talked about. But just as important. Thank you for sharing about this.

    Rachel (God-sized dreams link up) ;)

  2. In the wake of perusing this, only one things to state. Out of this world.


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