I have a few things on my mind, or a couple of things at least. I was reading a friend’s blog and she was talking about the significance of the number 40 in the Bible. The flood lasted 40 days and 40 nights. Jesus was tempted in the wilderness for 40 days. Moses was called by God when he was 40 years old. The children of Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years until the generation of complainers died off. Not one of those complainers entered the promised land. I had a realization about how this applies to my own life. I wandered around aimlessly, self-destructing for 42 years until I finally came to the end of myself and cried out to God to have mercy on my soul and save me. While it isn’t exactly 40 years, I did die on that day out in the wilderness and thanks be to God, He allowed me to enter the promised land!
Which leads me to the next thing. What does sanctification mean to you? One definition says sanctification is to be set apart from sin and made holy. I used to think it meant learning how to be like Jesus, to be holy, to do the right thing, to try to attain perfection. But recently, I’ve come to realize sanctification is really about unlearning things. All my life I learned things. I learned how to love and then I learned how to hate. I learned how to be suspicious. I learned how to get what I want. I learned how to be selfish. I learned so many bad qualities – lying, cheating, stealing, hating, lusting. I learned all these things because I wanted to do life my way. I didn’t need God to tell me how to live. I learned bitterness and cynicism. Do you remember how good life was when you were a small child? I’m talking about life before school, when you were in the cocoon of your family, when the world hadn’t gotten the best of you. When I was a child, I hadn’t learned all those bad things yet. I was still full of optimism and love and joy and hope. I really think sanctification is the Lord’s way of making me unlearn all the behaviors I picked up in the world that changed me into the opposite of what I was as a little child. He is uncomplicating what I complicated. Jesus says in the Gospels that if we don’t come to Him as little children, we won’t inherit the kingdom of heaven. He is making me like a little child again, full of trust and love and joy and hope. Thank God for sanctification!