Sunday, May 17, 2009

Do This More and More

Do this more and more

Its not a perfect analogy but I think it has value. Our human relationships mirror our relationship with God.

The first time I met the woman who would become my wife I was intrigued. I became very creative in developing opportunities to cross paths with her and have conversations with her. I soon began courting her. We only become Christians after we have been courted by God himself. Our relationship with him was his idea first. John 6:44 "No man can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him..."

After several years of courting I finally proposed. I remember very well the time and the place. I bought the ring, I popped the question and thankfully she said yes or I would have a very expensive ring I could never wear. Christ asks us to come to him. He has no obligation to keep asking if we say no.

There followed a time of engagement. We really got to know each other well. During this time there is still opportunity to 'chicken out'. But, as true love grows there is a feeling that I want something deeper, something more. There are so many who begin the journey toward God but they never finish it. Someone or some thing interferes and the relationship breaks down.

A wedding took place on June 15, 2001. We made a promise to love and cherish each other forever. We gave up certain freedoms that we had owned for the sake of the relationship. The longing for something deeper was now experienced. Anyone who is saved will experience a desire for something deeper. This longing for more of Christ is expressed in a total consecration to him. I belong to him and him alone! We refer to it as sanctification, a setting apart or being made holy in his image.

Shannon and I have lived in marriage for many years. There are things to learn. There are mountains to climb. There are battles to be won. Marriage is a wonderful gift of God but it doesn't come without a price to pay. God is never satisfied with a shallow, surface relationship. So, he throws a lot of curves at us. It is the hard things that build strong character in the relationship.

A Christian never completes his sanctification. It is an ongoing process that lasts a lifetime.The sanctified life is like one who goes on a diet. He might try different programs. He might buy certain exercise equipment. He may curb his consumption. But, the bottom line is if he is going to lose weight he must change his lifestyle. To be truly sanctified doesn't mean we try this and we try that, it means we allow Christ to change our lifestyle. It is an anomaly of sorts. You arrive at sanctification but you are also always arriving. It's not just one step at a time, it's diving in, it's immersing oneself in Christ. 1 Thessalonians 4:1 "Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more."

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