Wednesday, April 16, 2008

He's Serious about Sanctification

Josh doesn't take his sin lightly; he attacks it head on with the power of God's Word and seeks to put it to death by the Spirit's power. Of all the things I have learned from my husband, I consider this to be the greatest lesson he has embodied for me.

Josh often reminds me of a quote by John Owen, "Be killing sin or it will be killing you." (Hope I got that right! My hubby is the quoter in our marriage; I paraphrase.) When the Lord shows Josh how he has sinned, he is quick to repent and "take his soul to task," eager to grow more into the image of God's Son. He is not content to merely see his sin and just feel bad about it; he wants true conviction that he might really see what is at the root of his sin and turn from it.

It is from my husband that I first heard about making a plan to grow in sanctification (see this post). Before I met Josh, I really thought that trying to grow in the Christian life was about trying hard not to sin in the same way that you always had, maybe memorizing a verse or two, or just letting God work. It's not that those things are unimportant, it's just that change has to begin in the heart if it's going to last. True change, though empowered by the Spirit, does take effort on our part. A lot of effort. Josh is the one who showed me what that looks like by his own example of digging deep at roots on pride in his heart, seeking to see his sin the way that God sees it-as so wicked and vile that Christ had to die to redeem us from it, and making a plan for change. Josh is the one who showed me that I can't just ask God for forgiveness from my sin and then hope that it won't happen again; I must daily pray and meditate on scripture to grow in Christlikeness at the heart level.

And it is Josh who showed me that seeking to "kill sin so that it's not killing you" is worth the work. I have seen time and time again in his life the beautiful fruit that comes from daily meditating on God's Word and seeking to apply it. He is much more humble, patient, prayerful, and at peace than he was when I met him back in January 2004. A large part of this the Spirit brought about through Josh's careful attention to apply God's Word to his own soul.

Thanks for your example, Josh. I have learned so much from you!

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4 Responses to “He's Serious about Sanctification”

  1. what a wonderful example to live with and to hold you accountable.
    I am so happy that God brought you two together!!!!

  2. i'm writing that john owen quote down!

    and thanks for sharing how God has used josh to grow you in the area of sanctification. our husband's truly are gifts from the Lord as they cleanse us "by the washing of the water with the word." go josh!

  3. An excellent commendation of your husband!

    And happy birthday (yesterday) to you!

  4. This is precisely what I am learning, as well. I started at the wrong end, however! My wife told me she got the impression during my first six months as a Christian, that I thought I was the only really good Christian and everyone else was probably going to go to hell.

    God has been showing me that, as Paul said, "...if a man thinks himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself."
    (Galatians 6:3). We should all be learning by being honest and hungry for truth and God's righteousness, how to be more Christ-like and more humble as a result.

    You have a great mate, and so does he, since you appreciate the important things together. Best wishes in Christ's name!