This is the concluding part of our series on sanctification. In the first article, we wrote about the need for sanctification and in the second on how to achieve sanctification. In this article, we will focus on what we hope to achieve through this process.
We mentioned in our previous article how any uncleanness – lack of sanctification – will lead to us not experiencing the presence of YHVH in our lives, nor hear His voice.
This can best be illustrated with the concept of oneness in marriage. In marriage, we can experience complete oneness – body, mind, and spirit or partial oneness. For example, we can experience physical oneness, but not bond properly emotionally or spiritually. We may not even be aware of this. We may sense that something is wrong, without being able to fully understand what it entails. This is, however, not what YHVH had in mind for marriage. He created woman from man with a plan for complete oneness: body, mind, and spirit. Any unrighteousness in our marriage will impair our connection with one another, thus our oneness. It is similar in our relationship with YHVH. Any unrighteousness in our lives will impair our relationship with Him. It will cause separation. We can choose to join ourselves with Him and when we do we will be one spirit with Him.
1 Corinthians 6:17
17 But the one who joins himself to YHVH is one spirit with Him.
Oneness in our marriage relationship is a picture of the intimacy we can experience with YHVH, in other words: how well we hear His voice. This should be our aim, and the process of sanctification will play a huge role in achieving this.
We can also use the analogy of a house with many rooms. We choose which rooms we give YHVH access to and that in turn determines the level of intimacy we have with Him.
There are many other results of YHVH’s divine sanctification plan for us. We will discuss a few in this article.
Spiritual growth that leads to maturity
Sanctification will lead to spiritual growth. Growth is not to be confused with experience. We may have an experience more than once, without it having any impact on our lives. We may experience something that convicts us of our sin and we may even repent, to simply return to that same sin. Or, we can have an experience that has such a profound impact, that it causes us to reconsider what we are doing and/or thinking. When this happens and we actually change our thinking and/or actions, we will see growth. Growth is what leads us to maturity. This is active repentance. Repentance is to turn away from evil and when we actively do, we change, grow and mature. So, in becoming more sanctified, we grow and become spiritually more mature.
1 Corinthians 14:20
20 Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature.
This implies that we need to do more than simply “have” experiences. We have to apply some serious thought and prayer to the experience. Whether the experience was positive or negative, we must be able to learn something from it that we can apply in our lives. The author of the Book of Hebrews tells us that we must have our senses, that through which we experience life, trained. This will allow us to know what is from YHVH and what is not.
14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
The lessons that we take from an experience must help us to get closer to YHVH. The closer we come to Him, the more we will want to live His way. If we don’t work on sanctification, we stand a chance to spiritually stagnate. We may then have one experience after the other but get nowhere. Yet, if we take the time to train our senses and learn the lessons, we become more like YHVH. The closer we get to YHVH and His ways, the more insight we will have in His plan. YHVH has already revealed His plan in His Word. Part of His plan for us is to be healed and restored.
Restoration and healing
Y’Shua summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.
During our lives, we may experience many tribulations. Some of these will be severe enough to cause physical, emotional or spiritual wounds. The physical wounds we typically notice and take care of; very few people would simply ignore a gash on the forehead. However, when it comes to emotional or spiritual wounds, we are often not as diligent in spotting them. Some may experience prolonged and/or extreme emotional abuse. These could include abandonment, rejection, molestation or incest. In the case of rejection, this may even happen before birth. An unwanted child will know that he/she is unwanted. In some cases, this knowledge may only be subconscious. The adult may be acting in strange ways, without ever knowing why. In case of extreme abuse, the child may also develop different personalities to deal with the trauma. This defense mechanism that YHVH has given us, is now called Dissociative Identify Disorder (DID). It was formerly called Multiple Personality Disorder or schizophrenia. A person could also live for many years without being aware of the other personalities that have locked up the trauma. He/she may function for many years, and then at a specific point in time begin to experience strange emotions or find other things out of place in their life. We could go several years, sometimes even a lifetime, without recognizing the emotional or spiritual wounds we have experienced and are affected by every day. Many of us know brothers/sisters in the faith who suffer from different types of psychological problems for an extended period of time. This may include sin patterns in their lives they can’t seem to overcome. These may all be symptoms of deeply rooted spiritual or emotional wounds.
This is not YHVH’s plan for us. His plan for us is to be healed and we can be healed. When we work with the Ruach, to understand why we have some of the unwanted fruits in our lives, these types of wounds could come to the surface. Some of these fruits are:
19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of Elohim.
One of the most common ones are outbursts of anger. When we go through the process of sanctification, and we try to get rid of anger from our lives, the Ruach may lead us to a past trauma that inflicted an emotional or spiritual wound. If that happens, the healing process typically helps us to get rid of one or more roots. These roots, like in the case of trees, may be beyond the surface and have spread far and wide in our lives. If we truly seek a sanctified life, we will know that we must deal with these roots. This will put us on a path of emotional and/or spiritual healing that restores us to the way YHVH intended us to be. Often we end up being the result of our spiritual and emotional wounds, not the person YHVH had created us to be. Through sanctification with help from YHVH’s Spirit, who is our Counsellor and Comforter, we can be restored to become who He intended us to be. This, in turn, will allow us to get closer to YHVH and hear His voice. The more we remove these roots of evil, known or subconscious, from our lives, the better the chance of hearing YHVH’s voice.
If we make the effort to remove all these hindrances, we will end up with a better relationship with YHVH. This newfound depth in our relationship with YHVH will also manifest itself in other areas in our lives.
Living in faith
A better relationship with YHVH goes a long way to building our trust in Him. One of the most rewarding outcomes of sanctification is that it allows us to get to the point where we can surrender to YHVH because our trust in Him is restored or increased. This means that we get to the true intent of this part of Y’Shua’s model prayer.
‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
Praying for the will of YHVH to be done in our lives, means we really let Him work through us. Letting our ways, our plans, our ideas and wishes go and letting whatever He decides is best for us happen. This means that we allow YHVH to do it His way and not that we pray for His blessing on our plans. How often do we provide YHVH with two or more of the options we can think of and then letting Him choose. Maybe He had an even better or bigger plan for us.
Living in faith will allow us to leave the options up to Him. YHVH knows what is best for us. He is the Creator of all things. He knows best. But,…. are you willing to take the risk and hand over complete control? Do you really trust YHVH enough to let His will be done? Can you let it all out of your hand? A part of sanctification is that we release the trust we have on our own strength or on the strength of other men.
5 Trust in YHVH with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear YHVH and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones.
8 It is better to take refuge in YHVH Than to trust in man. 9 It is better to take refuge in YHVH Than to trust in princes.
3 Do not trust in princes, In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation. 4 His spirit departs, he returns to the earth; In that very day his thoughts perish. 5 How blessed is he whose help is the Elohim of Jacob, Whose hope is in YHVH his Elohim,
A very sobering verse about trusting in ourselves rather than in YHVH is found in Isaiah:
10 Who is among you that fears YHVH, That obeys the voice of His servant, That walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of YHVH and rely on his Elohim. 11 Behold, all you who kindle a fire, Who encircle yourselves with firebrands, Walk in the light of your fire And among the brands you have set ablaze. This you will have from My hand: You will lie down in torment.
Torment is the result of trusting in ourselves instead of trusting in YHVH.
The only way we can get to the point where we trust YHVH more than other men or ourselves is if our relationship with Him is not contaminated by sin and/or iniquities. If sin, ours or that of our forefathers, remain in our lives, we will never experience the connection with YHVH that He purposed for us to have. These sins and iniquities keep us trapped in the past if we do not deal with them. The iniquities of our forefathers are as markers in the spiritual realm, giving the evil one the legal right to attack or tempt us in that area. This is the reason we need to go through this process of sanctification, repenting on behalf of our ancestors in order for those markers to be removed, for our and our descendants’ benefit.
The kingdom way becomes our default way
Sanctification also allows us to get away from our old ways, the ways of the world, and live the way YHVH had intended for us to live. If we truly love YHVH and choose to do the things He knows is good for us, then we will receive the rewards YHVH has promised.
1 John 2:15–17
15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of Elohim lives forever.
Choosing for the kingdom of YHVH implies obedience to the instructions He has provided for us. YHVH provided us with His Torah as a guidebook for living well. Eating kosher, keeping the weekly Shabbat and annual feasts are not rules to complicate our lives. YHVH provided us with these instructions because He created us and knows what is best. This includes what food is good for us, how much rest we need and the fact that we need to rejoice with Him and fellow believers on a regular basis. Once we choose to sanctify our lives by doing away with the things of this world, we get to see the beauty of all He has for us in His Word.
When we take sanctification serious and make it a part of our lives, we change the patterns in our brains. The old ways need to be substituted with the ways of the One who created us.
8 But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him—
A good example of this renewal is found in our view of marriage. The world sees marriage as an agreement between two people who both benefit from it. It is the same as any other commercial arrangement. If it is no longer beneficial to one of the parties, the contract is simply annulled and both continue as before. This is not the way YHVH sees it. He has made it clear that marriage is an everlasting covenant between a man and woman resulting in their oneness.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
13 “This is another thing you do: you cover the altar of YHVH with tears, with weeping and with groaning, because He no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favour from your hand. 14 “Yet you say, ‘For what reason?’ Because YHVH has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.
6 “But from the beginning of creation, YHVH made them male and female. 7 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, 8 and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 “What therefore YHVH has joined together, let no man separate.”
If we start seeing marriage as a covenant we made before YHVH, and we investigate what YHVH thinks of us breaking vows and covenants ( please see our earlier article –Breaking the Covenant), then our view of marriage will change. We need to make the effort to understand what YHVH’s view is on these important topics. We should not care as much about what the world thinks, or what the world sees as acceptable.
Leaving a legacy
Once we come to the realization that we ought to actively work on our sanctification, we ought to extend this knowledge to others. The best place to start is close to home. The closest you can get is your own household. We need to ensure that we take responsibility for helping our kids along with their own journey of sanctification.
5 For He established a testimony in Jacob And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers That they should teach them to their children, 6 That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, That they may arise and tell them to their children, 7 That they should put their confidence in Elohim And not forget the works of Elohim, But keep His commandments, 8 And not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not prepare its heart And whose spirit was not faithful to El.
6 “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
We need to explain this concept of sanctification to our children and disciple them so that they will also benefit. As the father and spiritual head of the house, the husband remains responsible for the choices made in his house. We see this principle in the choice that Joshua made as the Israelites entered the promised land.
“If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve YHVH, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve YHVH.”
Our children already profit from our sanctification. The fact that generational curses will stop with us, is one of the greatest benefits they will derive from it.
‘YHVH is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations.’
As we have described earlier, we should not only repent of our own sins but also for the iniquities of our forefathers. If we do this, we will free our children from the pain and suffering that comes from these iniquities. It will restore us to YHVH and enable us to receive the blessings He promised.
40 ‘If they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their forefathers, in their unfaithfulness which they committed against Me, and also in their acting with hostility against Me— 41 I also was acting with hostility against them, to bring them into the land of their enemies—or if their uncircumcised heart becomes humbled so that they then make amends for their iniquity, 42then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and I will remember also My covenant with Isaac, and My covenant with Abraham as well, and I will remember the land. 43 ‘For the land will be abandoned by them, and will make up for its sabbaths while it is made desolate without them. They, meanwhile, will be making amends for their iniquity, because they rejected My ordinances and their soul abhorred My statutes. 44 ‘Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, nor will I so abhor them as to destroy them, breaking My covenant with them; for I am YHVH their Elohim. 45 ‘But I will remember for them the covenant with their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their Elohim. I am YHVH.’ ”
Additionally, sanctification enables us to recycle grace. Allow us to explain.
When Y’Shua answered the question regarding the most important commandments He gave the following answer:
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “ ‘You shall love YHVH your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38“This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ 40 “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
This implies that if we love YHVH and keep His commandments, we still have the responsibility to pass on what we receive. You cannot give to others what you do not have yourself. Thus, if we receive a gift from YHVH, we can pass it on. It is through YHVH’s grace that we are able to go through the sanctification process. He enables it. He reveals His grace to us through this process. It is His gift to us. If we are willing to accept the grace of YHVH as a gift, not something we somehow earn, we can also freely give it to others. Giving grace to others is one way in which we can love others as ourselves.
This grace is not only about showing sympathy to others who have gone through similar situations. We also need to actively help them in their healing process. Ultimately, YHVH is the only one Who heals, but we are to be willing instruments in His hands to help those in similar situations. You will better comprehend their pain and concerns if you have gone through it yourself. Some of the best counselors are people who have walked the road of healing themselves. This is how we recycle grace, we offer to others what we have received freely from YHVH and others He sent to help us.
When we become believers, we don’t automatically become sanctified. We start a process of learning, growing and maturing. This is YHVH’s divine sanctification program. YHVH will gradually reveal areas in our lives in need of change if we allow Him. This process of change and development is necessary in order for us to have an intimate relationship with YHVH and to be able to live our lives according to His plan. Our goal should be to become like Y’shua, our ultimate example.
1 Peter 2:21
For you have been called for this purpose, since Messiah also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,
1 John 2:6
the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
Our goal should be perfection!
“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
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