Through Faith and Patience
As we pursue holiness, the question is raised in us naturally: How do the promises of God come true in our lives? What shall we do to be sanctified? The answer is described very accurately in the New Testament:
“Be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises”
In the writings of the Holiness Movement most authors pointed out two or three conditions for obtaining holiness. The two were total commitment to God and faith. Some mentioned fervent prayer as a third condition.
I have committed myself to the Lord many years ago, and from time to time I confirmed my commitment. I believed God will sanctify me. I knew that the promises of the Lord, our Sanctifier, were made for me too. The months, however were passing by, and I was greatly missing holiness.
Once I’ve had a chance to seek the Lord more intensely than as usual. My family went to another town for a two week holiday. On the first week I stayed at home, and as I was alone, I had more time to pray, read the Bible and holiness books than at other times.
One week later I went to join my family. On the way I had some hours on the train which I could spend alone in a compartment. I prayed as fervently as I could, that the Lord would sanctify me. But it was like banging on a closed door. I was striving for hours, but the Lord seemed to be even farther away from me then on my normal days.
I arrived to the station in a rather frustrated and dejected mood. But there a wife in love was waiting for me, which was very good. (Very, very good!)
Not long after that I’ve read Andrew Murray’s book: Waiting On God, which brought me a lot of comfort and encouragement.
The Lord’s silence pointed out my own inability. It didn’t feel good, but I had to learn with my heart, what I knew in theory, that God is the Lord. He is the Almighty, and He decides to whom, when and what kind of blessing He gives.
We want to see the blessings of the Scriptures fulfilled in our lives immediately, but God often wants to plant precious truths in us first, the value of which we may not see as clearly as He does. And one of the great truths concerning faith is this: to obtain the promises we need not faith only, but also endurance, persistence and steadfastness.
“You have need of endurance, that, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise”
If we didn’t obtain some of God’s promises, if He didn’t sanctify us yet, we should simply go on and walk in His will. He knows what and when to give us. He is a wise God, and His timing is perfect. He won’t give us anything too early, but He won’t be late either.
Up to this point we saw two conditions for obtaining the promises: faith and patience. If we go back to Hebrews 6:12, we find one more help: we should follow those, who through faith and patience inherit, or already possess the promises.
As I didn’t know anybody personally, who was sanctified, I was zealously reading holiness books and searched the websites of sanctified people.
In my own life the breakthrough came about six months after my ardent attempt on the train. My wife and my children were in the living room, and I was praying in the kitchen. There was no striving, no struggle, no exertion. The Lord saw that the time has come, and He has simply done the work. Glory to His holy name!
None of us is God’s favorite. We are all His beloved children. He is your Sanctifier too. And what He promised in the Scriptures, He will do it gladly to you too.