Sanctification – a topic I believe that is so misunderstood. I must admit that I too found this word rather mysterious and mystical until I “surrendered”. I do not pretend to know all the details but I will gladly share my experience and hope that it will gain a better understanding and appreciation for that great word. (This topic is also referenced briefly in a previous post: The Hidden Lesson). Sanctification in a word means: the act of consecrating or of setting apart for a sacred purpose; consecration – Webster.

Consecration – another word that frightened me.

Recalling the months before I gave my life to Christ, I was in turmoil (I share this experience in a previous post: Through Christ I Can). I ran to my pastor at the time seeking his help or approval. Supposing he would kneel right there with me and lead me to salvation he instead asked, “Are you ready to surrender?”

Surrender?! What does salvation got to do with it? I wrestled with this for weeks. I desired salvation but was not willing to give up my lifestyle. I liked my life. There were no physical problems but this nagging-this pull on my heart-this feeling that something was not right and I wanted-needed to get rid of it. It was condemnation.

My pastor perhaps sensed this was the case when he asked me if I was ready to surrender. I will never forget it and it has been the turning point of my life.

July 2, 2006, I gave my life to Christ. That Sunday morning I knew I was going to get saved. It was a baptism service and I sensed that day that if I was going forward I could no longer go back. Fear gripped me. I did not know what would lie ahead but I wanted relief and I needed God. I was ready.

There was no grand feeling I felt. No fireworks or angelic sounds yet I recalled the verse that Heaven rejoices over one sinner that repents Luke 15:7. The justification process has taken place.

The coming weeks and months were not easy. I struggled with belief for my lack of “feeling” saved. I questioned God’s love because of my feeling of unworthiness. I stumbled at forgiving myself. Tempted and tried, I cried – alot! But I did not give up. When I made that decision to serve God I knew I could not go back. I pressed on.

I started gaining more victories but at times will have these feelings of condemnation. I could not understand it. What was this? I thought salvation got rid of it! I recall a particular day when I came to a crossroad. The temptations were strong and heavy. The enemy of my soul came with strong causes and good reasons why I should go back.

He showed me all the things I could not do,

He told me that my life would be boring.

He said I would look and dress like an old woman.

He hinted that I could lose my friends.

He suggested I may ruin my marriage.

Heaviness reigned upon me in my struggle but a scripture came and dispelled that heavy load – I came that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. That did it – I grabbed on to that verse in realization that Christ was the Author and Giver of life! He knew what life was all about. He can make it beautiful and exciting.

Consecration came through necessity. I prayed often because I was often tempted. I fasted frequently because I was frequently tormented in mind. I battled with fear and anxiety. Sanctification was not my goal. Because of my lack of understanding, I thought I was already sanctified. I kept fighting this condemned feeling and soon my efforts paid off.

The day I got sanctified is a day I will never forget. It took me by surprise. I was feeling exceptionally heavy that day and I made an effort to go to church that Friday evening for I thought there will be a guest speaker but that was not the case. It was a regular service that evening. This heaviness was overwhelming me so I purposed to speak to the Pastor after service.

During prayer, I felt to pray aloud. Though panicked with fear this heaviness compelled me. Not too long after, the speaker went up. Attentively I tried to listen but was distracted by this heavy emotion. Then out of the blue, I felt a small wind and voice that said, “The work is complete.” It came and lifted that heaviness right off of me! I did not know what just happened to me. When service was done I had no need to speak with the Pastor instead I drove home with my head in the sky. Whatever happened to me was glorious and I was soaring!

To this day I still feel that indwelling Spirit of God within me. It sustains and keeps me and it’s real! That does not mean however, that my struggles are over or temptations have ceased but it has made my battles so much easier to conquer with His Spirit within me!

It began with that small step to surrender.

No giant leaps just one small step. Slowly, I began to die. A death to my desires, my will, my plans, my career, my hopes, my dreams, to things I thought I knew. But the metamorphosis has been beautiful! Like a butterfly I began to soar. God’s Truth and Light exposed those lies and fears that once plagued me.

I have done things I never thought I could do. (Building a website, video programming, leading a choir, blogging, etc.)

My life has become more fulfilling than I ever dreamed.

I dress the way a woman ought to dress – and yes, I am proud of it!

I have gained more friends,

God has blessed my marriage and He is still helping me to be a better wife.

There is no condemnation.

And so much more!

So if you feel confused, scared or perhaps a bit hesitant or maybe embarrassed about taking that leap of faith – just take one step. Surrender – then soar!