Joshua 3:2-5 - “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”
One of the reasons we fast is to reveal where we are really at. Fasting enables the Holy Spirit to reveal our true spiritual condition. It is a great opportunity for a spiritual check-up.
More than any other spiritual discipline, fasting reveals the things that control us. We can cover up what is inside us with food and other good things, but in fasting, these things surface. Pride, anger, bitterness, jealousy, strife, fear — if they are within us, they will surface during fasting.
Sometimes going without food can make us a little irritable, especially by Day 4! But once we get past the fact that it’s not everyone else that’s bothering us, and it’s not really the withdrawal either, we get to an incredibly sensitive place where we can really get to know who we are, and we can rely on God more to change us.
And when God reveals those things – it is not because He wants to shame us - but because He wants to heal those things.
This is called sanctification.
The Greek word translated sanctification (hagiasmos) means "holiness." To sanctify means "to make holy."
The meaning of sanctification is "the state of proper functioning." To sanctify someone or something is to set that person or thing apart for the use intended by its designer. A pen is "sanctified" when used to write. Eyeglasses are "sanctified" when used to improve sight. In a Biblical sense, things are sanctified when they are used for the purpose God intends. A human being is sanctified when he or she lives according to God's design and purpose.
It's important to remember that sanctification cannot happen without the help of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit dwells within a believer and makes them holy, for he is holy. That’s why he’s called the Holy Spirit. Wherever God dwells becomes a Holy place.
This truth of the Holy Spirit residing in us forever should shape the way we think of ourselves. We are not made for trivial things. We are not made for profane things. We are not made for ungodly activities and behaviour. We are made for the sacred. For the Holy. We are made to bring honour and glory to the Holy One who has saved us and who dwells in us.
This truth of God making you holy is a game-changer. What a position and calling we have! How could we possibly not be in awe of this, worship God, and walk in a manner worthy of Him?
However, if you’ve been a Christian for more than a couple of hours, you know that the old you likes to reveal itself sometimes. You still have attitude problems. You still say hurtful words or gossip. You can still be selfish sometimes.
So what’s up with that? If you are made new and made holy and righteous in and through Jesus Christ, what’s up with this sin that stills bothers you?
The problem is that even though we have a whole new identity, we still reside in this broken world. Our flesh wars against our soul. An enemy tempts and entices us to sin. This is no surprise to God. He is fully aware of our dilemma.
When we struggle with sin - we repent, gratefully rejoice that He has already made us righteous, and by faith we are to cling to what has been accomplished for us.
But we cannot do this on our own. We can do this only through the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:16 – “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”
Today we encourage you to not only be aware of where you are really at in your heart… but have an active recognition of the Holy Spirit’s presence and power in your life. Repent, acknowledge again God’s grace, and invite the Holy Spirit to come dwell in you afresh.
Fasting is revealing, but it is a beautifully vulnerable place to be before God.