I've heard it so many times. "I have faith,"; "I'm good with God,"; "Yes, I believe in Jesus Christ,"; or some variation of the same claim. I have done the same thing myself.
I recall as a teenager, making the same declaration with self-righteous arrogance.
Not long after I had visited a friend's church, a "visitation team" arrived at our door. While one man maneuvered my mother into a private counseling session in the kitchen, the other two men were interrogating my brother and me in the next room. - Or that's what it felt like. I'm sure they believed they acting in obedience, but what they did may have turned another away from God.
I had all the right answers to the stranger's questions. "Yes, I am saved and am going to heaven when I die. Jesus is my Lord and Savior." (He wasn't going to trap me.) I was sure of what I told him. Looking back, however, I've wondered which was stronger - my faith or my determination to shut the man down.
My faith was genuine, but it was far from mature. I didn't know about sanctification much less its role in my walk of faith.
Am I willing to be "myself," and nothing more - no friends, no father, no brother, no self-interest - simply ready for death? That is sanctification. ~ Oswald Chambers
Nearly 30 years later, as I lay at death's doorstep (figuratively and literally), I realized that I truly was "ready for death." I cherish the gift of that moment of absolute assurance - and of the ability to share it with others.
When I pray - "Lord, show me what sanctification means for me," He will show me. It means being made one with Jesus. Sanctification is not something Jesus Christ puts into me: it is Himself in me. ~ Oswald Chambers