This morning, I woke with the word “sanctification” in my head. Very nearly on my lips. Actually, I may even have said it to myself. I sat in my usual chair to read, and thought about it for a couple of seconds. And then asked Jesus.
What about sanctification, Lord?
The answer was merely the word repeated again.
What does that mean, Father? What do you want me to know about sanctification, or being sanctified?
And that was it. No more words. I prayed about it for a few minutes longer, and then it was time to finish packing for Yuma, and play with Sumo a little before I left.
But when I got to work, I was still thinking about it. I’ve never really been one to hear from God the way you hear about others doing it, so it was interesting that the time I did, I didn’t really understand what he was saying to me. For Pete’s sake, I wasn’t really even sure what the word meant.
So I looked it up.
according to dictionary.com, the top 3 definitions of “sanctify” are:
|1.||to make holy; set apart as sacred; consecrate.|
|2.||to purify or free from sin: Sanctify your hearts.|
|3.||to impart religious sanction to; render legitimate or binding: to sanctify a vow.|
Looking at those definitions, the first thought that occurred to me was, “Sanctify? How in heck am I supposed to sanctify anything? Make holy? It’s hard to even make anything clean.”
And the truth is, I can’t make anything Holy. I can’t purify. I can bless, but if it isn’t in the name of Jesus, my blessing would be without meaning or power. And I certainly can’t free anyone or anything from sin, not even myself. There’s only one way to do that, after all.
The third definition talks about rendering religious significance to, and also mentions making legitimate or binding. I don’t believe I can make anything have a particular religious significance, either. How could I make anything merely significant, religious or otherwise?
I think the answer lies in what is significant to me. It doesn’t make sense to me to invest too much of any kind of significance on an object–an object is simply that. I can’t sanctify an object. I could make it into a golden calf of sorts, but that only makes me a pagan idiot. And the object, whatever it is, is still just matter. Or cells. Whatever.
What can be sanctified, then? What can be rendered legitimate or binding?
I think it gets even more complicated. You can have something be legally binding, but devoid of any real kind of significance. Contracts, for instance. You can be bound to something via a piece of paper, but the paper itself is meaningless without something of you on it that makes it real and identifies it with you.
We don’t make a contract with God, certainly, but when we accept him into our hearts and lives, when we begin to be fathered by Him, we are sanctified. We are made legitimate. Our names are written in His book, and His blood makes the whole thing binding…
Then we’re made Holy.
Maybe that’s what this morning was about. I needed to reflect on what it is to be made Holy. I needed to think about what “Sanctification” meant to me.
What does it mean to you?