On average we are in 12 churches per month. We have had the opportunity to learn from men who are serving God that come from very different backgrounds. We have shared our hearts and we have asked men of God to share advice with us. The counsel and advice I’ve been given these past months has been priceless! The topic of today’s post comes from another seasoned man of God. He told me, “Sanctification is a life-long process, be patient.” Sanctification is the “setting apart” work of God. In one sense, we are “sanctified” positionally because of what Jesus has done in dying for our sins. In another sense, are “sanctification” is an on-going process. We are becoming more and more like Jesus as we submit to Him.
We want to see folks saved, discipled, and trained to serve God. Often times, we can get in such a hurry that we lose patience with brothers and sisters in Christ. We want to see them “progress” much faster than they are. This turns into frustration very quickly. Remember to be patient with people. God is at work, love them and lead them. How can we be patient like this? Here are two things to remember…
- Remember where you come from. I can be patient with others when I remember how God has worked in my life since the day I was saved. I can look back at the progression. At times it may have looked like I was at a “stand still”, but I wasn’t, God was still working on me (and He still is). The night I believed on Jesus, I did not wake up the next day knowing all the Bible, knowing how to navigate this world, and knowing how to let go of sinfulness in my life. Truthfully, I was still a mess and didn’t even realize it. It took years before I even realized things needed to change. It took God’s Word, the Holy Spirit, and a loving, patient church to build me and lead me to serve Jesus! Remembering how long it has taken me (or how long it is taking me) helps me remember that sanctification is a life-long process and I need to be patient wth others as they draw closer to Jesus!
- Remember God is the One who sanctifies. God absolutely uses the local church to build and love His children to conform to His will, but it is God who does the work! God’s Word convicts us and changes us! Jesus prayed in John 17:17, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” Jesus didn’t make this request to His disciples. He didn’t encourage Peter, James, John and the guys to sanctify those who are saved. They couldn’t do it and neither can we. Jesus asked God the Father to do so because this is a work that only God can do!
Being patient with people is not easy, but it is absolutely necessary. God is at work. As you and I serve Jesus in our local churches, remember that sanctification is a life-long process, so be patient with your brothers and sisters in Christ that you are discipling and training.