God is Not Afraid of Process
By Paula Marolewski
Sanctification. A long word for a
Once, a friend I was discipling asked me, “What does it
mean to be sanctified?” I took a deep breath, and said, “Well
. . . !”
You can talk about positional sanctification, that the moment
you accept Christ as your Savior, you are sanctified: set apart
in the family of God. You can go on to experiential sanctification,
that is, growing as a Christian to become more and more like Christ
in our daily lives. You can finish up with future sanctification,
that wondrous moment when “We shall be like Him, for we shall
see Him as He is” (I John 3:2, NAS).
I did talk about those things. But when it came to the question
of turning orthodoxy into orthopraxy (right teaching into right
practice), it seemed to boil down to one thing: God is not afraid
The problem for us as Christians is that sanctification is a frightening
word. It conjures images of golden lampstands and the ark of the
covenant, set apart as “Holy to the Lord” in the tabernacle
and in the Temple. We know that the root of the word is “holy,” and
that as saints (also derived from the same root in the Greek),
we are to be holy, too.
But holiness seems ungraspable. As out of reach as the cherubim
who flew before the throne of the Most High, crying, “Holy,
Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty! The whole earth is full of His
glory!” (Isaiah 6:3, NAS). We cringe before a holy God, staring
in despair at our feeble hold on His Word, at the sins that riddle
our lives, at the weakness that drags us down even when we try
to do right. We read the simple words, “Be holy, because
I am holy” (I Peter 1:16, NAS), and we feel defeated before
we have even begun.
The good news is that God is not afraid of process. We stare at
the standard of holiness and feel the weight of all our sins. God
looks at our sins, and encourages us to work on them – one
at a time. We look at the end result, and the journey seems impossible.
God looks at the journey, and reminds us that it begins with one
small step. We look at the prize and are defeated by our weakness.
God looks at our weakness and reminds us that He will supply all
God is not afraid of process. He is not afraid to take you as
you are, and work with you day by day. He knows you will fail.
He knows you will fall. What he wants is for you to know that He
will always be there to pick you up when you do.
God is a loving Father. He does not ask that we tackle every area
of sin and weakness in our lives at once. He gives us one battle
at a time, and the strength to conquer.
God is faithful. He is mindful of our frail humanity. He created
us. He loves us. When he called us to sanctification, to be holy
to him, he did so not to discourage us or to give us an impossible
command. He called us to be like him so that we could experience
his joy to the fullest, his grace to the utmost, his love for
all the ages of eternity.
Where do we begin, then? On our knees, with His Word open in front
of us. And with the reminder that God is not afraid of process.
© 2001 Paula Marolewski
Article Source: http://www.sinkyourroots.com
About the Author:
Paula J. Marolewski provides challenging and interactive adult Bible
studies for individuals, Bible studies, small groups, and adult Sunday School
classes at Sink Your Roots. Studies
include such topics as Debunking
the Myths about Knowing God's Will. The site also offers free weekly Seedlings - “Little
thoughts that grow big results.”