I have to believe it. I think it wholeheartedly in the depths of my spirit.
Yet, intellectually, I know it’s possible that it won’t happen in this life.
But my heart rules the part of my brain that hopes. That believes. And that has faith.
I believe that God will cleanse sins fully out of my life, where they won’t tempt me any more and where I will fully stop sinning in that area.
Now, the logistics of this don’t really add up. We know God kept a thorn in Paul’s flesh. It could have been sin. We also know that all sin comes down to three roots: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. And we, as humans, will always commit those three root sins.
However, what about removing a certain branch of the sin tree in my heart? Like the branch of speaking in anger? Yes, I live with this passionate belief that some day I shall do it no longer.
Maybe it will take my whole lifetime, but I think you have to be convinced that God will complete some of His work on this earth. Otherwise, I make excuses for myself. “Well, that’s just my personal weakness. I’ve always struggled with it. I always will. Hey, I’m slightly better today.”
Slightly better is still SIN. Still imperfection.
Instead, I think you wake up every morning whispering to yourself, “Today is the day I won’t do it. Yesterday was the last day of this ‘Branch of Sin.’ This specific Branch of ‘Pride of Life’ has been cut off for good! Anything less than a full removal of the branch is unacceptable. Today is the first day of the rest of my life.”
And you strap on that armor and move forward with hope and confidence and lots of humble prayer.
Now, most of us fall again. We commit that same sin. And that is not an opportunity to beat ourselves into the ground in self-loathing. That’s an opportunity to repent on our knees, to not excuse ourselves, and to make restitution. But then, in the moment we’ve apologized, in that very moment of forgiveness, we’re back to 100% clean before the eyes of God, repeating our mantra to ourselves once more. “Right now is the moment I won’t do it. A minute ago was the last day of that sin. It’s NOW been cut off for good! Today is the first day of the rest of my life.”
Anything less is unacceptable.
So go forth, my beloved fellow warriors. Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your lives. May God give you victory!
What are your thoughts on sanctification?