“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17)
Try washing the dishes in your sink without water, or washing the clothes in your laundry machine without water, or taking a bath without water. Pretty difficult and ineffective right?
We can’t expect those things to be thoroughly cleaned without immersing them in water, and we likewise can’t expect to live a sanctified life (set apart for use by God, cleansed, made holy) without immersing ourselves in His Word. So why do so many Christians think they can?
Sorry to be blunt, but whoever thinks they can is wrong. And whoever tries to, does so in futility.
If you’re one of those people (not hating- I was), you can only answer that question for yourself. In the past when I didn’t regularly get into His Word, it was either because I was unmotivated, disinterested, distracted, or just straight up lazy. And when I say “get into” it, I don’t mean merely just reading the Bible. Anyone can read the Bible. That doesn’t make you any more Christian than going to church does.
Remember that Jesus IS the Word, and God says his true disciples ABIDE in Him and His Word, meaning we continually dwell in the Word and live in obedience to Christ (John 8:31, John 15:4-9, 2 John 1:9). We may fall off here and there, but the very core of our being has been transformed by His Spirit, and it becomes who we are.
I wondered why I wasn’t changing the way the Bible said I would if I were “Christian”. I wondered why my love for God and my love for others wasn’t growing. I wondered why I didn’t lose my persistent desire for things that grieved Him (sin). I wondered why my life wasn’t characterized by the fruit of the Holy Spirit. I wondered why I wasn’t functioning in His power and His gifts. I wondered why I wasn’t filled with the peace, comfort, and joy He promised. And I wondered why I wasn’t regularly leading people to find Jesus or grow in Him.
I was essentially wondering why my dishes, laundry, and body weren’t getting cleaned without the water.
When you think about it that way, the answer is pretty obvious, right?
Brothers and sisters, take a look at your life and your walk with the Lord. Is it characterized by trying to clean up without the water, or are you fully immersing every area of your life with the water, or truth, of Christ?
John 17:17 clearly reveals that God uses the truth / Jesus / The Word to sanctify us. All phases of sanctification (whether initial, on-going, or final), require a life immersed in Jesus. And if we know this formula, we honestly can’t make justifiable excuses to God, as to why we’re not following it.
The awesome news is, by His grace you are reading this, and you can make a change today! 😉 (Hit me up if you need help understanding how or where to start.)
So the next time you’re wondering why your life isn’t much different than before you “became Christian”, or why you’re not growing in your spiritual walk, then check if you forgot to add the water. Hopefully there won’t be a next time.
Just add water.
[From January 17, 2019]