Sanctification


From The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life by Hannah Whitall Smith:

The greatest burden we have to carry in life is self; the most difficult thing we have to manage is self. Our own daily living, our frames and feelings, our especial weaknesses and temptations, our peculiar temperaments, our inward affairs of every kind, — these are the things that perplex and worry us more than anything else, and that brings us most frequently into bondage and darkness. In laying off your burdens, therefore, the first one you must get rid of is yourself. You must hand yourself, with your temptations, your temperament, your frames and feelings, and all your inward and outward experiences, over into the care and keeping of your God, and leave it all there. He made you, and therefore He understands you, and knows how to manage you; and you must trust Him to do it…here you must rest, trusting yourself thus to Him, continually and absolutely.

Next you must lay off every other burden, — your health, your reputation, your Christian work, your houses, your children, your business, your servants; everything, in short, that concerns you, whether inward or outward.

It is generally much less difficult for us to commit the keeping of our future to the Lord, than it is to commit the present. We know we are helpless as regards the future, but we feel as if the present was in our own hands, and must be carried on our own shoulders; and most of us have an unconfessed idea that it is a great deal to ask the Lord to carry ourselves, and that we cannot think of asking Him to carry our burdens too.

…Let your souls lie down upon the couch of His sweet will, as your bodies lie down in their beds at night. Relax every strain, and lay off every burden. Let yourself go in perfect abandonment of ease and comfort, sure that, since He holds you up, you are perfectly safe. Your part is simply to rest. His part is to sustain you; and He cannot fail.

[Please excuse all the dashes and the commas – I’m reading an 1888 edition and apparently back then they were rather liberal with their punctuation marks.]

Still working out what I feel about the doctrine of sanctification (leaning toward it being a long-term, life-long, most likely unattainable, but still worth striving for, goal), but think this is a rather good checklist:

When John Wesley was asked, ‘But what good works are those, the practice of which you affirm to be necessary for sanctification?’ he replied, ‘First, all works of piety such as public prayer, family prayer and praying in our closet, receiving the Supper of the Lord, searching the Scriptures, by hearing, reading, meditating, and using such a measure of fasting or abstinence as our body allows… Secondly, all works of mercy, whether they relate to the bodies or souls of men, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, entertaining the stranger, visiting those that are in prison, or sick, or variously afflicted, such as endeavoring to instruct the ignorant, to awaken the stupid sinner, to quicken the lukewarm, to comfort the feeble-minded, to succor the tempted, or contribute in any manner to the saving of souls from death. This is the way wherein God hath appointed his children to await for complete salvation.’

(John Punshom’s Reasons for Hope)

I’d add that all of the above should be done in love and with a joyful and thankful heart. I also wonder about the man who gives his life for his brother’s or refuses to deny Christ at any cost.

Revelation 7:14 I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb”