The Sanctifying Race

This past Sunday morning as I was getting ready for church, I was listening to a Christian podcast and they were talking about the fight for holiness and that this is our biggest fight as Christians on this earth.

I’m not going to lie, I was saying Amen because I know this to be true, but on the other side of my mouth I was saying “it’s too hard Lord, I have some other ideas for some fights though.”

The biggest fight isn’t political, cultural, or even being the theology police. Lord, you are telling me the biggest fight is my holiness and taking up my cross.

Then at church, I’m hit with a sermon about getting out of your comfort zone. It was a hard hitting sermon on Matthew 25 the final judgment, and the goats and the sheep. After leaving church, I knew it was a great sermon but very convicting.

The night before I was struggling with negative thoughts, I felt all my short comings piling up in my mind like my daily “to do list” that I sometimes feel overwhelmed with that I seem to never accomplish. I seemed to be confronted with all my sins, past and present.

In my spirit, I was feeling like they say, “lower than a snakes belly.” No one would have known it though. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other.

I did not feel like going back to church for evening service, in fact, I felt I didn’t deserve to be there, but knowing this to be a way for the enemy to deceive me, I got up and went. I had a hard time singing the songs, but I did. In the sermon the preacher preached from Philippians 3 and in this passage, Paul was addressing the church about the false gospel. Philippians 3:3 says, ….”We are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.” Yes! That’s right! No confidence in the flesh! My righteousness doesn’t come from the law it comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.”(Philippians 3:9)

As I had my Bible open during the sermon, in the margins I had written before, “I am not perfect, but I PRESS ON! Why? Because Jesus made me His own!(Philippians 3:12) Never give up the pursuit of holiness.”

I don’t press on because of the good I do or the progress I think I’m making. Whatever good I do, I lay it all down at the foot of the cross. I don’t have a tally sheet of wins and losses with my name on it; my score card says, I am bought by the blood of the lamb. Jesus has made me His own! He is working all things together for good in my life. (Romans 8:28)

So the short of it is, once again, God revealed my utter need for Him, and as I walked in faith, despite my feelings, His grace, mercy and love poured over me.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

Beware, the world, the flesh and the devil will never tire in proclaiming another gospel, a false gospel. Hold fast to Jesus alone! Walk in faith. Don’t rely on feelings. His Truth stands and His grace abounds. Sanctification is a life long race. The way we run the race is to keep our eyes on Jesus. We don’t compare our lot with other saints. We work in the sphere God places us in and do all to the glory of God. Giving thanks in all circumstances. Fight for holiness; in the power of the Holy Spirit, we work to mortify sin and walk in obedience and faith. Glory be to God!

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