Sometimes the will of God is kind of hard to know for sure. And sometimes, it isn’t. Paul, writing to the Thessalonian believers says this, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification . . . ” (1Thess 4:3). Your sanctification . . . your holiness . . . that, in part, is the will of God for His children. Whatever else concerning His will we need to be figuring out, this is pretty clear.
God wants us to be who we are. We have been set apart and declared holy in Christ . . . and God’s will is that we would grow into who we are and actually be holy in the world. And sometimes I wonder if, when we consider being sanctified, we don’t “super-size” it in our own minds and make it something that only the “really spiritual” folks have a shot at. When, in fact, Paul says that sanctification is also manifest in the basics. You might call it a ho-hum holiness.
. . . aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may live properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one. (1Thessalonians 4:11-12 ESV)
To be sure our holiness is a call away from the things of impurity (4:7). Specifically, Paul says that God’s people are to free from sexual immorality (4:3b). And to be sure our holiness is a call towards the high and lofty things of the kingdom of heaven. But, for most, if not all of us, where the holiness rubber meets the road is in the day-to-day and the mundane.
Living quietly . . . minding our own business . . . working hard. You want to know the degree to which someone is growing in the grace of knowledge of Jesus Christ? Want to gauge how much their heavenly mindedness is impacting their earthly existence? Check ’em out as neighbors . . . as employees . . . as people you brush up against in the grocery aisles or on the freeway.
Sometimes I wonder if we think our sanctification is really about our “spiritual lives” and not really tied to our “secular lives.” That sanctification starts with “S” and that stands for Sunday. That holiness begins with “H” and that stands for high and heavenly. But if sanctification is the process whereby Christ is formed with us . . . where, we by God’s grace and through God’s Holy Spirit, are made like His blessed Son, then maybe its about a makeover . . . and that starts with “M” . . . and that stands for manifest in the mundane.
Not too flashy . . . living quietly. Not something you talk about a lot . . . minding your own business. Kind of something you expect for a day’s wages . . . to work hard. But it’s the stuff of holiness . . . the stuff of walking properly before outsiders . . . the stuff of being like the Son in a world in need of light by doing just what you gotta do on a daily basis.
Ho-hum holiness. Not that there’s anything boring about becoming Christ-like. But ho-hum in the sense that its in the normal and everyday things of being who we are that we emanate something of the holiness of who we are. God’s will . . . our sanctification . . . even in the ho-hum things.
By His grace . . . for His glory . . .