At one time, each member of God's family had a heart focus toward sin. They were rebellious and selfish. They pursued sin. Sin was their identity.
But each member of God's family chose to change. They focused their hearts on the Father of all. They chose to give him their allegiance. They chose to live in relationship with him. And they chose to walk with him and to walk toward him.
And the Father chose to walk with them. The passage says he completely cleansed, he made them holy, he made them right with him.
We all know we do not walk in total perfection. But as God's family, we focus our hearts on walking with him. And we are focused on walking better -- with him and in the world.
"Sanctification" is a theological term expressing the step by step walk toward restoration of Christ's image in our lives. Scripture also says that we are already sanctified.
• God's Perspective
God keeps two things in mind as he relates with us. He does keep in mind where we are. He knows where we fail; he knows where we are weak; he knows our greatest tendencies to sin.
He also keeps in mind who we are. All these traits that I have been writing about are who we are. Our identities were forged when we aligned with Christ. In Christ, all these things are true.
God also keeps the end result in view. Because we have given Jesus our allegiance, where we will end up is not in doubt. So, God gives 100% focused attention on how do we move past our failures. How do we move into Christ's image. He plans out all our steps in our restoration.
The word in the original language can also be stated as: "made holy." (Some English translations do use those words.) We have looked at this concept in a couple other places. "Holy" does not mean perfect, rather it means dedicated, separated for a special purpose.
It is here that we can see best that we are already sanctified. God chooses that all people -- past, present and future -- should be dedicated to him, separated for a special purpose.
It is here that we can see best that we are already sanctified. God chooses that all people -- past, present and future -- should be dedicated to him, separated for relationship with him. When we give him allegiance, we agree to this dedication. We agree to the process and identity God gives us. And God dedicates us and separates us. God names us and gives us our identity. And he works to bring our identity to fruition.
• Living My Life
We need to accept our identities. God has proclaimed who we are. We have to believe him.
We need to accept, participate, and cooperate with the process. This means engaging in relationship. (Communication. Prayer. Meditation. Listening. Obedience.)
I am beginning to wonder if we should pursue his standards, not because failure means breaking the rules, rather because failure means a disruption of fellowship. We cut ourselves off from our primary spiritual fuel. We divert God from focusing his heart towards us. The love, life and grace of God gets throttled down.
We are designed to live in relationship with God. We live to the fullest when the relationship throttle is fully open.
It is an act of spiritual war, when the enemy attempts to convince us that living in relationship with God robs us of life. It is the opposite. Whatever hinders the relationship robs us of life.