Monday, August 17, 2009

Becoming sanctified or "spiritual"

The objective of every God fearing and God believing person should be to be sanctified. Being sanctified means that your life, whether secular or religious, modest or prominent, puts service to God first and foremost to all else. In other words, your service to God structures and informs all that you do, including routine tasks in your job or chores, your recreation, your relationships, etc. When one is sanctified one does not do things that impede God's will and, instead, you seek to further God's will.

I am including a nod toward the lame objective of the semi-believing or non-believing "New Agers" who claim to be "good" and thus want to be "spiritual." Being "spiritual" without belief in God is a structureless egocentric fraud, but I know many well meaning people fall into that trap, so I invite them to read this blog posting which is a "don't do" checklist for those who seek to be sanctified.

It's easy to write how to become something, but we also know that negative examples are also informative. So I've made a list of "warning signs," where if you do any of the following, you need to be alert that you are working away from sanctification, rather than toward it.

Here are things you might be doing, or traits that you have that you think indicate admirable fortitude (a gift of the Holy Spirit, by the way), but are deceiving and instead should be suspect.

1. If you persist in hanging onto false beliefs.

Some people think this is admirable, because they are "keeping an open mind" "just in case" up until the bitter end. This is a barrier to sanctification. Scripture show that when the scales fall from one's eyes, repentance, change and conversion should be immediate, and false beliefs must be dropped immediately and in total.

2. You are talented in finding reasons or excuses not to drop false beliefs, repent or convert.

In contrast to problem #1, this problem is not rooted in a false sense of "keeping an open mind" or "being loyal to one's beliefs" (even when proven wrong) but instead you have "reasons" to resist the truth. The problem with this, besides the obvious one that you want to get to truth, not resist truth, is that you are creating false links to past errors. It's like tying yourself down to the road using twine, then wire, then rope, then vines, when the objective should be not to tie one's self down to the road at all. You become trapped in thinking of more excuses, more ways, to tie yourself to error, rather than immediately move on to truth.

3. You have an actual, genuine reason for hanging onto false beliefs.

What if you are a minor child and have a parent who is violent, drug abusing, a blaspheming heretic who has horrific beliefs. Of course you have to think of your own well being, and I would not recommend that you "make a break for it" if that would put you or others in actual worse danger. However, what I want to warn you is to believe the truth in your heart and do not use your confinement to believe in falsehood in your heart. You may be trapped for the moment in the reality of the falsehood, but do not resign your mind to believing falsehood. Live openly the truth as soon as you are of age, out of the household, or in a genuinely safe place. But do not give into despair that you have to actually believe the garbage in your private heart, even if you have to live in its midst.

4. That you have to become "sanctified" according to a "schedule."

God is the creator of the universe, not subordinate to space, matter, energy or time. Thus if you attempt to sanctify (put yourself in service to God) according to a schedule, most particularly one based on occult beliefs, obviously you do not understand sanctification and are moving away from that goal, rather than toward it.

5. That you can be sanctified but hang onto a favorite sin.

You cannot partially sanctify. You cannot sanctify yourself in the Lord's eyes but continue to cheat people out of money, for example. Nor can you sanctify yourself in the Lord's eyes and eliminate all wrongdoings, but one, which is, for example, to continue to bear false witness. That is what can be viewed as an attempt to "cohabit" with a sin. Many times when the Bible condemns adultery, it means spiritual adultery (not literal hanky panky). This means you have a "marriage with God" but continue to cheat on the side with your favorite sin.

6. You think you are sanctified but hold yourself back from full worship and service to God because you are practicing "self denial."

This argument goes: I really love God and want to serve him, but because that would give me lots of pleasure I will hold back from being one hundred percent belonging to God, because I'm therefore suffering that loss of joy and that's a mortification and self-denial. What? That's nuts and the underlying reason for thinking this rubbish is reason #5, which is you are still hanging onto a favorite sin, and thus can't give yourself 100 percent to God because you are still "cheating on God" with your favorite sin or "lifestyle choice" (as moderns call sins today).

I hope this helps! Negative examples are very illuminating of how well one is really doing and probing genuine motivations.