Friday, May 2, 2014

40 Day Challenge - Draw Closer to God & Your Hubby (Day 5: Sanctify Me)

Day 1's challenge was to recognize the power of Jesus Christ and what He accomplished on the cross. There is absolutely nothing more powerful than this to get us through our darkest hours.

Day 2's challenge was to simply stop and consider the wondrous works of God, like Job (Job 37:14). Instead of complaining and letting bitterness seep into our soul, praise God for His greatness, letting Him seep into our very heart, soul, and mind. You were also told to read Job 38-41 and list all the attributes that told of God's greatness. 

Day 3's challenge was recognizing God's sovereignty in your life. By doing so you are truly able to trust Him and let Him work in your life. Now you can accept your trials and tribulations as joy because you will benefit from them, although His plan maybe unknown to you, it will be for His Name and His glory. Because He loves you... because He is unchanging... because He keeps His Word... because He is sovereign... because we constantly standing in the saving grace of Jesus Christ... we can truly rest in Him. You were told to read Job 38-41 again and highlight all the verses that spoke of God's sovereignty. 

Day 4's challenge was to simply use music to concrete the concept of God's sovereignty and His greatness in your mind. The song Sovereign Over Us by Aaron Keyes has so many great lines, but the favorites I wrote down were these:
  • There is strength within the sorrow, there is beauty in our tears 
  • You meet us in our mourning, with a love that casts out fear
  • You are working in our waiting - sanctifying us, when beyond our understanding you're teaching us to trust
  • You are wisdom unimagined, who could understand your ways
  • Reigning high above the heavens, reaching down in endless grace
  • Even in the valley you are faithful, you are working for our good and FOR YOUR GLORY
You were also encouraged to find other songs that help you rest in God's sovereignty. I thought I'd share my playlist that I created on YouTube: God is Sovereign.

Day 5 

That line is one of my favorites. It nails the concept of sanctification. The process of being sanctified is never ending in this life-time. Sanctification means that you are growing and changing in the likeness of Christ. The more understanding and wisdom you gain in Him, the more He works within you. And He is constantly working in you to become more like Him. You will experience trials and tribulations because they draw you closer to Him. They strengthen your faith in Him. They give you reason to glorify Him. The suffering of this life, prepares you for an eternity with Christ. Remember that the one person who deserved to suffer the least, suffered the most, so if we are to be like Him, we must experience trials in order to persevere; putting our trust and hope in Christ alone.

This understanding of hardships gives us a new perspective: because of Christ we can actually embrace our trials! Due to Christ we understand what we gain because of tribulations: a new understanding that this is not our home, stronger faith, unyielding trust, making us more conformed to the image of Christ. Understand that God is forcing us to yield to HIS purpose -His sovereign plan- because it is better than our own, and by submitting to Him, our character, prayer life, and worship improves ten fold.

Therefore embrace the work He is doing in you, because you are not fully sanctified, or set apart, until you meet Him face to face.

And let me ask you this one question: if this life were perfect, would we want Him? Would we ache for an eternity with Him? Would we even care about the hope of eternity with Christ in paradise? I doubt it. We have a hard enough time not letting the things of this earth go and have faith in the promises of eternal bliss with Jesus Christ. Even with trials we forget what it means to have an eternal perspective.

In order to become Christ-like, trials are necessary. We need a fire in order to be refined. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls." (1 Peter 1:3-9, bold and underline mine)

What is the refining fire you are currently experiencing? Your refining fire may be nothing in comparison to what the audience in 1 Peter is going through (heavy persecution) so how much more should this testing of your faith result in praise and glory and honor in Jesus Christ? You should be filled with inexpressible joy because of the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ! Today write about your fire and then thank God for it.

If you like comparisons, I wrote a piece on How Sanctification is Like Kneading Bread a few weeks back, check it out!

* Also, music (if you couldn't already tell) is a huge piece of my life, helping me on a daily basis to redirect my heart and mind on the things of God. Therefore, I also have a "Sanctify Me" playlist. If you have time, I encourage you to create a playlist that helps you thank Him for all the work He is doing in Your life for HIS GLORY. Starting with this song...

If you are just joining us (I'm so excited that you are!) be sure to go back to...
  • Day 1 - The Gospel
  • Day 2 - Stop & Consider the Wondrous Works of God
  • Day 3 - Trust in God's Sovereignty 
  • Day 4 - Using Music to Focus Our Hearts & Minds on God

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