The process of sanctification—or as I like remember the word: saint-ification—is the process whereby the Holy Spirit develops Christlike character in us. His process is immediate, personalized and ongoing. In other words, the Spirit is intimately and immediately involved in every aspect of our lives.
Christlikeness in us is described in the Bible with phrases like…
- Being made new in the attitude of your minds; and putting on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:23-24).
- Conformed to the likeness of God’s Son (Romans 8:29).
The Holy Spirit is often portrayed as fire. In fact, the Bible says that Jesus will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matthew 3:11). This is because in order for Christlike character to be formed in us, that character will have to be forged in us. Forged in the Spirit’s fire.
Look at two examples:
- Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character (Psalm 105:19).
- Even though Jesus was God’s Son, He learned obedience from the things He suffered (Hebrews 5:8).
Here’s what I’ve learned—
We must altar our lives so that the Holy Spirit can alter our lives.
Unless we yield to what the Holy Spirit wants to do with us, He cannot and will not bring about the changes that will lead to more Christlikeness being revealed in us.
It may be painful to altar our lives, but the Apostle Paul says, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).
You altar, and then watch the Holy Spirit alter your life in a way that reveals God’s glory!