Once we’ve given our lives over to Christ through His redemptive blood and we are His, we spend the vast majority of our spiritual journey going through the process of SANCTIFICATION. We just spent 10 weeks walking through what it means to Surrender to the Promises of God. This surrender is part of the process of sanctification.
In our lives, we will experience many opportunities in which our relationship with Christ is put through the fire. Death, sickness, finances, friendships, marriages, children, family, moving, and more. To add to that, we live in a broken world, full of sin and depraved human hearts that ache for the Lord’s oxygen in their lives. Through these hard times as well as the good, sanctification takes place. We come to know, understand, experience, and depend upon the Father like never before.
Pregnancy, labor, and birth, which are the focus of Surrender, are prime opportunities to draw close to Christ and become more wholly and more deeply sanctified. We grow through these experiences.
The verb form “sanctify” means “to set apart” or “to make holy.” The Holy Spirit is the agent in sanctification. Just a few scriptural examples of this truth are: Rom. 15:16; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:2; and 1 Cor. 6: 11. To be set apart doesn’t mean we puff ourselves up with pride in our newfound favor with God. It is not of ourselves or anything we could have done to get there. To be set apart means we spend time redefining what our lives mean as Christians, to be His.
When Jesus ascended from Earth after His resurrection, He told the disciples He would send the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, to dwell in us and to guide, teach, direct, and lead us in the truth. In John 17:16-17, Jesus prays before He leaves His disciples: “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” In order to keep them in the Word and the Truth, He sent the Holy Spirit.
Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to guide the apostles into all truth. He said, “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come” (Jn. 16:13).
Did you see that? Did you catch it when you read it just now? The Holy Spirit’s main focus, His main job, His entire purpose is to come and guide you into all truth, to speak God’s authority in your life.
THIS is how we SURRENDER to the Promises of God. We lean on, hold tight, and remember the incredible relationship we have been given with the Holy Spirit.
But (and this is a big but) sanctification is not something the Spirit does to you. It isn’t the action of justification that happens once before the redeemed blood of Jesus. Sanctification is the constant, daily, weekly, monthly GROWING of the Christian in Christ with the help of the Holy Spirit. Sanctification is not imposed by the Holy Spirit apart from your obedient will.
That is why we just spent 10 weeks and we will continue to spend many more weeks on these 10 Promises of God. These are the focus of Surrender Birth. We don’t get to automatically enjoy those promises without actively pursuing knowing how they play a part in our lives. These are not acts to earn favor in Christ, they are the aspects of growing in Christ that take daily, weekly, and monthly effort to engage with Him and His word through the Holy Spirit.
When we feel weak, we must look to Him for His strength. When we feel anxious, we must come to Him and confess and seek His Peace. When we are tired of waiting and feeling impatient with His timing, we have to trust Him and His will and remember just how much He loves us.
I know many of us don’t like to think about it, but we are at war with the evil one. In all his power, he would love to distract you from Jesus. He would love for you to feel broken, failed, unprepared, lacking, and just plain not able. Not only is the war personal against you, but it is against God’s Kingdom in all the world. As we read about the Holy Spirit aiding us in sanctification, we realize He is arming us with an arsenal against the evil one.
John Piper puts it this way: “Sanctification is obeying the Commander-in-Chief. Sanctification is a wartime word. A sanctified person has unswerving commitment to his cause. A sanctified person has uncompromising loyalty to the Commander and to his comrades in arms. So whenever you think of sanctification, think of wartime missions and wartime character.” (1)
Moms, there are so many emotions and experiences that come with being pregnant and planning to have your sweet baby. In many ways, it is a battle of wills, our flesh and our spirit. Let us all spend this time GROWING in Him, being set apart, being sanctified in Him, through the power of the Holy Spirit, that we might KNOW HIM more. And as we know Him more, we become more obedient, knowing His goodness and glory, which results in greater blessing.
Download and share #PromisesInSurrender