So I've been thinking a lot lately about a lot of things. The word "conviction" has been floating through my head. In all honesty, it's a very scary word. It means change is coming. It probably means it might be uncomfortable. On the upside, it's a necessary step toward sanctification, and that's a good thing.
Ah sanctification. I confess that I had never heard this word until I jumped denominations into my current church, which is a Christian Missionary and Alliance Church. Sanctification, as far as I understand it, is our growing into Christ-likeness. It is the process by which we are refined, where iron sharpens iron, and where we are set apart from others for the purpose of serving God. It is our journey toward holiness. It's not just a CMA idea; it's in the Bible.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17
For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
And to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
I recently gave a talk at MOPS where I mentioned this topic. I became a Christian in high school, and for so many years, I thought my way was wrong. Where was my magic genie Jesus? Why was being Christian so hard? What was I doing wrong?
I had surrendered to Christ, in that I accepted his free gift of salvation. I let him be my Savior.
Now I was ready for him to be Lord of my life.
For me, these are two different steps. They are two different acts of surrender.
Once I began to surrender, he began the process of sanctifying me for HIS glory, and not my own. As I have grown into Christ-likeness (which hasn't always felt good or been easy), I have seen the difference in me. Those who are close to me have seen the difference in me. I ABSOLUTELY do not claim to hold any secrets, nor to sit around and sing Kumbaya, nor to be perfect. I am far, far from perfect. But I know that God is growing me into who I am meant to be, and that is what matters. I have flirted with moments of peace and contentment. I have seen what happens when I am obedient to what God wants from me. And I want more of it.