I spent a lot of time in John 17 the last month… “When Jesus Prays” … WOW, it is beautiful, it started with a thought of “Jesus, at the right hand of God the Father, interceding for us” (Romans 8:34), and John 17 is one place I know where it is recorded when Jesus prayed in an interceding manner, a chapter worth the meditation.
One verse that really stood out for me was verse 17, ‘Sanctify them in the truth [set them apart for Your purposes, make them holy]; Your word is truth. ‘ And this verse alone had me studying it for a few days… Sanctify… Word… Truth… each of these 3 words can keep you busy for atleast a week of intense studying…
A few verses further Jesus says “I sanctify myself so that they may be sanctified”. Gulp… notice that it is in the present tense? For our Lord Jesus it is a “current” process, a work in progress action. The Son of the All Mighty God, in 100% human form, knew very well it was an ongoing process, that we will never arrive at the point of “once upon a time I was sanctified and to this day I am…” It’s a choice to a lifestyle worth living every day.
I was led to Joshua 3:5, ‘And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.’ This was just before Israel crossed the Jordan, after 40 years in the desert, and every thought or habit that could possibly have carried over from Egypt into the promise was “sadly” removed. It took God one night to get Israel out of Egypt, but 40 years, the wiping out of a full generation, to get Egypt out of Israel; once this was done, after the Egypt mentality and memories thereof was removed, the people would be sanctified and ready to enter the promise, with the mass circumcision ahead and with a few battles and wars to face, but they were ready for the promise, and because they were aligned with God’s purpose they were guaranteed. This gives a deeper meaning and understanding of Romans 12:1-2; “present yourself holy and acceptable, being transformed by the renewing…” the Egypt (bondage) habits, memories and thought patterns need to be removed to step into alignment.
But… now there is 3 different “Sanctifications” here; a request for God to sanctify us, Jesus’ sanctification that will sanctify us, but we should sanctify ourselves?
Then the Holy Spirit showed me 1 Peter 1:22-25 😍😍😍 ‘Since by your obedience to the truth you have purified yourselves… for you have been born again [that is, reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, and set apart for His purpose] not of seed which is perishable but [from that which is] imperishable and immortal, that is, through the living and everlasting word of God.
Can you spot it? The similarities, with a responsibility and obligation placed on us, linked by the word OBEDIENCE.
– Purify in this scripture and context, and Sanctify in John 17 derives from the same word in Greek, Hagnos, which means “exciting reverence, venerable, sacred, pure, pure from carnality, chaste, modest, pure from every fault, immaculate, clean”.
– TRUTH in both scriptures are the same word, Aletheia, meaning; what is true in things appertaining to God and the duties of man, moral and religious truth, the true notions of God which are open to human reason without His supernatural intervention.
– WORD is Logos in both scriptures, meaning; the sayings of God, decree, mandate or order of the moral precepts given by God… this is going deeper then with an explanation of reasoning, the mental faculty of thinking, meditating, reasoning, calculating… Jesus is also referred to as the Word by John as in John 1, with the same word, Logos, being used.
These words then gets connected by the word OBEDIENCE (Hupakoe in Greek)… obedience, compliance, submission, obedience rendered to anyone’s counsels, an obedience shown in observing the requirements of Christianity.
Our hearts are purified by our obedience to the Truth and the Word. It is an ongoing process, a daily choice… “Today I choose life” and every day, when I wake up, I proclaim… “Today, I choose life”
I hear the word “Suddenlies” a lot, really a lot… and the above had me thinking for a couple of days… My life is a testimony of such, “And just like that my world came tumbling down, just like that I lost everything… and Suddenly God stepped in and everything is falling into place” HALLELUJAH!!! I am currently on the edge of my seat in anticipation with words from the Holy Spirit of “Wait and see the salvation of the Lord”, with affirmation this week from a friend… “Dawie, God says everything is going according to plan, just remain faithful.”
Putting this all in context; I will most likely throw a spanner in the works with some controversy… but the suddenlies we see and experience is not just at a flick of a finger, it gets manifested in the natural realm as suddenly, but our obedience is aligning, preparing and positioning us for God’s purpose to be filled with what may seem as miracles, but is part of the “Plan”, His Purpose… and there is a form of obligation placed on us; Obedience.
Our choice of a lifestyle steadfast and obedient to the Truth and the Word, purifies and aligns us with His Kingdom, and in His Kingdom there is no lack or shortage, He provides what He has called, He will supplement your every need, it will appear suddenly after a committed and steadfast devotion to Him.
To bring closure to this, Ephesians 5:25-27 tells us; For he died for us, sacrificing himself to make us holy and pure, cleansing us through the showering of the pure water of the Word of God. All that he does in us is designed to make us a mature church for his pleasure, until we become a source of praise to him—glorious and radiant, beautiful and holy, without fault or flaw.
His purpose is to make us a mature body for His pleasure, to become a source of praise to HIM, without spot or blemish.
Over and above this; David prayed in Psalms 51:10-13, Requesting God to create a clean heart with a renewed and steadfast spirit, to restore His joy so that I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will be converted and return to you; and in this manner we will build and grow God’s Kingdom.
Keep going, don’t give up, remain faithful… The JOY OF THE Lord is your strength… it doesn’t say when I am joyful I will have Godly strength; It says that GOD’s Joy in us, the pleasure He gets from our obedient life filled with praise to Him, living a devoted life is well pleasing to Him, and this, by default gives you the strength you need to face every day.
Right after Jesus was baptized and the heavens opened up with God’s voice “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well PLEASED“, and the exact next verse was “And Jesus was led by the Spirit to be tempted.” Jesus’ strength to beat Satan in their first face off came from the pleasure God found in Him, which was because of a devoted and holy life.