It is God’s will that you should be sanctified. 1 Thessalonians 4:3, NIV
God’s will for you in Jesus Christ is more than forgiveness. Forgiveness deals with the effects of your sin before God. But what about the effects of sin in your life? What about the power of habit formed over the years? What about the memories that you carry, the images that you see? What about the effects of your sin in your own mind and heart?
James Denney describes the effects of indulgence with great insight: “Sensual indulgence extinguishes the capacity for feeling; the profligate man would [like to] love but [he] cannot; all that is inspiring, elevating, redeeming in the passions is lost to him; all that remains is the dull sense of that incalculable loss… This inward deadening is one of the most terrible consequences of immorality; it is so unexpected, so unlike the anticipations of youthful passion, so stealthy in its approach, so inevitable, so irreparable.”
Forgiveness doesn’t address that. But sanctification does. So when Paul says, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified,” this is a marvelous statement of hope!
This “will of God” is more than a command, it is a wonderful promise. So you should feel the hope that vibrates in these words. “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified.” That means God is on your side as you commit to overcoming the strongholds of sin in your life.
How does knowing God’s will in this matter encourage you as you seek to overcome your sinful temptations?