“Therefore let those… entrust their souls to a faithful Creator…” (1 Peter 4:19, ESV).
Can I be real with you? I want to share something personal that I believe will help you on your own journey into ever-increasing freedom. This morning, I was asking God to take me deeper into the realm of humility. This request was the prayer that rose up in me, in response to His conviction about an area where I still need to grow. He was showing me the propensity in me to seek glory for myself.
There was something new about this prayer, though. It was different from previous occasions when I asked Him to clean my heart of any self-glorifying tendencies. This time, a new faith rose up within me. I knew in my spirit that I was entrusting my soul to Him in that moment. At a very profound level of my being, I was giving over to Him, in absolute trust, the job of sanctifying me. There was such joy in being empowered to release this responsibility to Him!
Do you see the subtle difference? In the past, when I would become aware of the tendency towards pride innate in my sinful nature, I would feel the weight of it. I would pray about it, sincerely desiring to grow more into the image of Jesus. However, the prayer still had a vague sense of burden surrounding it. This time, however, I experienced the prayer in a burden-free way.
He empowered me to fully entrust my soul to Him. He reassured my heart that He has firmly committed to sanctify me through and through. You and I both – we need our souls (mind, will, and emotions) to be transformed more and more and more. We need to be made more like our Savior. This is Holy Spirit’s job. He has promised to do this job unswervingly. The more we take Him at His word, the more we will rest in this assurance. He who began the good work in us will be faithful to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus!
Holy Spirit is fiercely, passionately committed to His role of sanctifying you and me. When we pray about our perceived weaknesses, He wants to impart this strong confidence to our spirits. We can fully entrust our souls to our faithful Creator. Just as He created us, just as He began the breathtaking work of reproducing the beauty of Jesus in our lives, He will unfailingly finish the job.
“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it” (1 Thess. 5:23-24, NIV).
How do we “work out our salvation with fear and trembling,” at the same time relying completely on God to do His sanctifying work in us? How do we engage with Him in this process?