Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. 1 Thessalonians. 5:23 NLT
Last week, I invited you to make a full appropriation of what Christ did for you on the Cross and allow him to give you an undivided heart. But maybe you say, “Well, I have done that, and it didn’t work.” I understand that and want to say that you are not alone.
So what is going on? First of all, you may be expecting the wrong things. Were you expecting a great emotional surge? Were you expecting to have no more personality problems? Were you expecting to have no more temptations? This experience, whatever you call it, The Exchanged Life, The Deeper Life, Entire Sanctification, or whatever, does not guarantee any of those.
A second thing you need to consider is that genuinely surrendering your self-centeredness may take more than a simple decision to do so. It is not uncommon for persons to struggle with this for weeks or even months. It is not that Jesus cannot do this for you in a moment, but that you may have to allow him to dredge up some things that you are not in fact really ready to surrender, and that may take some time. Don’t give up! Allow him to do his work!
What can you, ought you, to expect as a result of this crisis of faith? You can expect a new victory over temptation, a new desire for prayer and the Word, a new boldness in testimony, a new ability to love the unlovely, a new compassion for the least and the lost, and a new hatred of sin in all its manifestations.
Then, expect to grow in holiness. Jesus is not done with you – now he can really get started! What will this require? Cooperation with the Spirit! What he asks, do. Where he sends, go.
Run, don’t walk, from sin. But if you fall into it, call a spade a spade. Don’t hide it or try to explain it away. Confess it – right now – and be clean. The same is true with faults, faults like being bossy or opinionated. When the Spirit points out that stuff, and he will, don’t argue, surrender it. I used to think he would get to the bottom of all that with me, but he hasn’t yet, and you may find that to be true for you. Don’t fight it, love it. That’s the way to Christlikeness.