Transforming Power: The Sanctification Gap
By the time you are reading this devotional thought, I will have gone through the Monday night commencement program at Celebrate Recovery, having completed my second Step Study. This ministry makes a big deal about milestones. Over the past nine months (prolonged because of the Covid-19 crisis) nine of us in my class persevered to pursue our individual goals dealing with healthy changes related to life’s hurts, hang-up, and habits. We celebrated our completion of the organized material, but all of us realize that our journey with Christ and his sanctifying work continues well beyond the completion of any program.
What I have realized, once again, is that going through a Step Study is synonymous to discipleship. A Step Study is similar to other discipleship programs because of its focus on the all-sufficiency of Christ’s work on the cross, the power of God’s Word in the Christian’s life, reliance on the Holy Spirit’s daily working in the Christian’s life, and the value of Christian fellowship as a gift from God in our sanctification process.
Step Studies are different than most other discipleship programs because of the direct focus on areas in one’s life that have brought pain and/or resulted in habitual dysfunction; areas that may continue to weaken the disciple’s physical, mental, and spiritual journey with Christ.
As a ministry housed within Ministries of Jesus, Celebrate Recovery and its Step Studies continue to focus on Jesus’ words found in Luke 4:18,19:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because He has anointed me
to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Cool weather and several seasons of celebration are coming over the next months, not the least of which are Christmas and Thanksgiving. Christians around the world will be celebrating the birth of Christ our savior, and Americans will be performing a variety of rituals because of our Thanksgiving traditions. On either side of these major celebrations we have Halloween (Fall Festival) and New Years Eve celebrations. However, as Christians we must not forget that every day God intends for us to be freed from the captivity of sinful habits, grow in insight for godly living, be liberated from the power of our ungodly past, and to grow in maturity of faith and likeness of Christ.
Paul reminded the Christian in Corinth that “…we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another….” (2 Corinthians 3:18) As we come to the end of this month, entering into November, what steps are you taking in your process of sanctification? How are you being changed from one degree of glory to the next? Are you making use of the ministries around you that can help remove the veils that may be hiding God’s glorious plans for you in this season of life?
Father, thank you for sending Jesus as my savior! Thank you for sending your Holy Spirit as my comforter! Thank you for the plan of sanctification you have for me. Please show me how to obey you through these difficult times we are experiencing, and to know the joy of your salvation and your power as you transform me into the image of Christ. Amen