Your Sanctification Is a Free Gift, Too
By: Emily Rose Massey
“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” - Philippians 1:6
I have always been a list maker and fueled by accomplishment. At some point, being successful and driven became the meaning behind every breath I took; I found purpose in my performance and productivity. I loved the high from “the hustle” and having my schedule full to the brim. I spent years upon year upon years crowding the margins of my existence with:
Dance class, gymnastics, cheerleading, running track, Student Council, Marching Band, Pep Band, Concert Band, Art Club, Peers Group, musicals & plays, auditions, performances, church choir practice, tutoring, youth ministry, college and career ministry, worship team rehearsals, Bible studies, prayer meetings, church leadership meetings, drama practices, event planning committees, speaking engagements…
… just to name a few.
This vicious cycle of constant hustle was all I knew for well over 20 years of my life. I still wrestle with the temptation to find my worth in my productivity and seeking my happiness when everything is “perfect.” I am what you may call a recovering “Type A” person.
Then came the day, a little over five years ago, that my husband and I decided it was best for our family for me to leave my job after our first son was born and become a stay-at-home mom.
Even though there was always a daily task-list before me: Laundry, feeding, burping, diaper-changing, vacuuming, mopping, dishes, feeding, burping, diaper-changing, lunch, emails, phone-calls, feeding, burping, diaper-changing, dinner, feeding, burping, diaper-changing… I didn’t feel accomplished at all. It felt like a non-stop whirlwind of tasks that never got crossed off. My days felt like a constant work-in-progress and I felt so defeated and disappointed in myself for not working harder to get it all done.
That is an exhausting way to live and if you are not careful, this mentality will creep into your spiritual life and soon you will be trying to work to earn God’s favor and love. Have you ever experienced these thoughts when it comes to your walk with God?
I didn’t pray enough today. I haven’t read my Bible in over a week! Man, why can’t I get over this sin?! I am such a failure! Am I even saved?
But as Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, we know that we cannot earn our salvation because it is a gift from God:
And just as God is sovereign in salvation, He is also sovereign in our sanctification. He is the one who is in charge of seeing us mature on our walk with Him. The same grace that saved us is the very same grace that keeps us and molds us into the image of Christ, day by day. From the moment of your conversion, you became God’s work-in-progress, and the greatest news of all is that He doesn’t grow weary, stressed or exhausted with you. He will complete the work He began in us!
That is why I love this encouragement from the Apostle Paul in Philippians 2: “…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” - Philippians 1:6.
Your salvation has been gifted to you for the sake of Christ, for His glory, not ours. The gift to have faith in Jesus… He began that work! Your inconsistencies and failures are not going to change. Your disobedience, your lack in trust… none of that is going to change the work nor thwart God’s plan in your life. God starts it, God finishes it. We simply need to lean on His strength and grace and ask for wisdom to walk in obedience.
The Holy Spirit is our Helper and He will help you walk in God’s will. You don’t have to muster up your faith muscles to see that happen. You simply need to trust that God’s plan with your life will be accomplished, not because there is anything good in you, but because of His goodness and faithfulness!
Do you struggle with trying to earn God’s love? When you fail and sin, do you hide from God or try to fix it yourself by “trying to do better?” Beloved, you do not have to run away from God. He sees it all and knows that you are going to undoubtedly mess up. That is why He sent His Son Jesus to earth to live the perfect life for you; to fulfill the law completely for you. His death on the cross paid for your punishment of the curse of the law that you will never be able to uphold. Come boldly to the throne of grace today and receive new mercies that Christ died for you to have. Lean on His strength and grace today and see the work that He started in you continue until His glorious return or when you meet Him face to face. Trust that He is working and yield to it.
Emily Massey began writing short stories and poetry as a little girl, entered the blogging world in her early 20s, and published her first book in 2015. She enjoys being a stay-at-home momma while still being able to pursue her passion as a writer. Believing she has been forgiven much, she loves much, and desires to point others to Christ and His redemptive and transforming power, especially by sharing truth found in God’s written word. If you would like to connect with Emily, you can visit www.wewouldratherhavejesus.com.
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