The apostle Paul indicates a different focus altogether when he writes to the Thessalonians: “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you will surely do it.” (I Thessalonians 5:23)
The question then is are we keeping our focus on the God of peace who is calling us into such a restful, trusting place? Or, are we still so absorbed with some particular line of things that we desperately want get right that the idea of resting in the peace of Christ is a frail wish? If so, it is right here that we would do much better by acknowledging the great value of letting go and letting the God of peace Himself sanctify us completely.
If we are to be truly and fully sanctified, it can… and must… only be done by the God of peace Himself. The power that establishes the life of the saint does not come from human effort at all; it comes from the heart of the God of peace, who beckons with open arms: Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
We sometimes sing the phrase, “I surrender all.” If we truly mean it, and are indeed willing to surrender all, it must include all of the fearful concern in our hearts that it is not God alone who sanctifies us, and the lingering, often petulant, religious notion that we must somehow get it all right in order to draw near to God. When we truly do abandon ourselves of all that frantic effort and surrender to Him who has made us, then God will allow us to see how He alone does the work.
We see that the God of peace has made it possible for us to come fully into His presence… just as we are… in order to be set perfectly in right order with Himself, which is no less than to be sanctified. “Come now, lets settle this, says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18 NLT)
by Ron Daggett