Growing in Christlikeness
Sanctification is the work of Christ in us. In the sequence of a Christian’s journey, it comes after He has made us new. Sanctification is a process that continues to make us new. More specifically, it is the continual process of becoming more like Christ-- a better reflection of Him. Sanctification is not easy. It is a daily battle waging in us. There is a constant battle for our soul, and though the battle for our soul is painful, confusing, and tiring, we have to remember that we have the victory through Christ’s blood.
We are left with the question: what do we do?
Walk in it. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead us. Directly after the well-known verses in Galatians where the fruits of the Spirit are listed, the Scripture says, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25)
Our part in sanctification is daily dying to the flesh and its desires, and walking in the Spirit of Truth. This surrender allows God to work in us-- to mold us into better reflections of Him. Growing up I thought the fruits of the Spirit were something to strive for and to reach by my own doing, but they come from living and walking in the Spirit. The keywords are in the name, “fruits of the Spirit,” they are not of us; they are a work of the Holy Spirit inside of us. While pursuing God, we walk in the Spirit and there is fruit (evidence) of that in us.
“Not that I have already reached the goal or am already perfect, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.”
Are you walking in the Spirit? Making every effort? Are you pressing on toward the goal?