John 17:17-19 (NKJV) Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
For just a moment, envision the happy tourist vacationing on a white sandy beach, coconut in hand, drinking from a bendy straw with a tiny umbrella. A gentle breeze blowing through the palms and a lovely cabana make this paradise. Since it is winter, this may be a welcome sight if such a respite is your happy place. Enjoying the sound of the waves breaking on the shore and birds calling from above, this is probably a picture of tranquility for many. A place longed for far away from the hustle and bustle of life. Depending on your current situation, living condition or temporary (yes, temporary) circumstances this may seem like nothing more than a daydream. Not to interrupt the staycation, can we focus on the coconut for just a moment? Yes, the coconut.
Coconut milk is a divine delicacy in the Caribbean. There is an abundance of palms producing the fruit. It is known for its health benefits. Coconut milk is touted as a healthy alternative. However, to get to the milk in the coconut takes a great deal of work. The hard exterior of the shell must be cracked. The flesh must be extracted and then crushed to release the droplets of milk. A coconut only yields about one-half cup of milk. It seems like a great deal of effort to produce a small quantity. Yet, if purchased in the store, it is not fresh and loses some of its benefits due to the processing. The purest form comes from the original process. There is something in you today that God is desperate to release. A divine purpose hidden in the content of your creation that no one else can produce. Your purpose is underneath the hard exterior of experience and hidden in the folds of your flesh. Not many will endure the process of extraction to obtain the hidden benefits of God but that doesn’t have to be you or me.
Who doesn’t want the benefits of God? I wonder if rather than forgetting His Benefits – it is human nature to forego the process by which it becomes our potential. God has placed a purpose within us that is meant to prosper our soul which benefits our entire life. However, due to the process, it is set aside for something else. A fabulous vacation is possible. It means planning, budgeting and saving for the trip. It is a discipline with eyes focused on the future not distracted by all the substitutions and counterfeits of convenience and opportunity. God has something in store for you that is far greater than you current situation. He promises that in Christ is to live from glory to glory and victory to victory. The process of acquisition is called sanctification.
For the last week, this word “sanctify” has been weighing heavy on my heart. Bibles lay open with commentaries strewn across my desk. God is speaking to us. I want to hear what He has to say. He is whispering, “To be sanctified is tapping into a deeper level of trust to access greater level of blessings.” Like the straw jammed into the heart of the coconut so the milk can flow from it, God is inviting us to a deeper place in His Presence where new potential is revealed and accessible. It takes faith to allow God to remove the hard exterior of our heart and allow it to be vulnerable again. It is not natural to let Him crush our flesh and squeeze the anointing out of us. Yet it is in the brokenness of saying, “Not my will, but Thy Will be done” that the purest and ripest form of harvest is achieved and blessing obtained.
Sanctification is not some big scary place. It is simply the relationship with God entered into by faith in Jesus Christ. However, the process is eternal and unyielding. To have all of God requires all of us. The only thing that comes between God and myself is sin. Sanctification is the straining of sin from my life to let His Glory take its place.
Joshua 3:5 (NKJV) And Joshua said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”
Sanctification is a choice. To be sanctified can be described as to divorce yourself from the unclean to give yourself wholly to God. Such vulnerability is bold faith and needs even bolder confidence in Jesus to be accomplished. The predecessor of God’s Glory is sanctification. To set aside lesser things for that which is accessible only in the Kingdom. I cannot have tomorrow’s wonders stuck in yesterday’s faith. I must dig deeper and walk out farther to meet God in His Place rather than always expecting Him to come to me. He will. The Lord loves us and meets us in our mess. However, if my heart and mind are set on the Kingdom then by faith I must be set apart in Christ and leave this world behind.
In Joshua 7:13, it tells us that Israel could not stand before their enemies because they were not sanctified. Are you tired of fighting losing battles? Do you feel like the attack of the enemy is relentless? You must not give up but press in to the Lord. His Love for you is unprecedented. He leaves the 99 just to secure you. However, victory belongs to Him. It is not achieved outside of Christ. I wonder today if maybe rather than chasing God it is time to rest in Him and begin to sanctify our life to Christ once again. Plucking out the little sin, hidden transgressions or even overt disobedience and allowing Jesus to wash us in His Word again. Frustration ends where faith takes over. Contentment comes with confidence in Christ. His Blessings belong to you – His Benefits are unrestricted. No one can take God’s Plan, Promise or Potential designated for your life – you just have to choose it.
I love the beach. It is my favorite place of rest. Your idea of peaceful places may be different. God has good things in store for you but more importantly there is something inside of you divinely inspired to overtake you in His Blessings. Sanctification lets it out. As our soul prospers, so will we. Sometimes it is up to us to stop and take account of our life. How we spend our time? Where we go? What we do? Is it leading us to the desired destination or are we just circling the wilderness? Let Jesus show you the way. He will reveal the very thing keeping you from living in abundance and victory. God wants to pour His Glory out in your life. Jesus will make room for it!
Psalm 51:7-12 (NKJV) Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones You have broken may rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.