24

“And I’m not who I thought I was twenty four hours ago
Still I’m singing Spirit take me up in arms with You”

-Switchfoot, 24

When I started this blog almost a year ago, I had one goal: I didn’t want to get a few posts written and then lose interest.  I didn’t want to leave this as an unfinished product.  I wanted to find some consistency and rhythm in writing.  I’ve started writing in personal journals before, and usually I fizzle out after a month or two.  I didn’t want that to happen this time.

A couple months in, I started a new school year.  I knew I was going to struggle to write once I got busy with classes, so I made myself a more definite goal: I would average two posts a month for my first year.  That would bring me to 24 posts in the first year.  This is post 24.

I guess I made it!  This makes me really happy, because I have had so much fun writing and getting to share with people the things that God is teaching me in life and in school.  I was looking for a way to share those ideas, and this blog has been perfect.  Thanks to everyone who has been reading!

I want to talk a little bit about the blog itself in this post.  The writing process of this blog has been really unique for me, in that the posts are usually a journey.  When I write papers for school, I’m usually very structured and systematic, but with this blog I don’t always know where I’m going to end up when I start writing.

It reminds me of the vacations I’ve taken with my family while growing up.  We love road trips, and we usually set out on a trip with a few sites in mind that we want to see, but the journey eventually shapes itself.  We stop at new places we have never heard of that turn out to be amazing, and every once in a while we may skip a destination that charges more for admission than it is worth.  In the end we have a journey that turns out to be better than anything we could have planned with a map and a pencil from our sofa at home.

Writing these posts has been much the same for me.  It’s as if I set out on a journey with God with a general direction in mind, but some of the things that I discover on the way surprise me.  I’m learning to be sensitive to God’s leading as I write, because I often end up learning something I wasn’t expecting in the process.  Usually the path I take to get to the conclusion of my post is not what it was supposed to be when I started.

This may not be the best way to write, but it has been enjoyable for me so far.  I think my best posts have been the ones which were the least methodical and the most surprising to me.  As Tolkien wrote, “Not all who wander are lost.”  I think this applies to me and my blog.  I hope I continue to have the freedom to wander as I keep going.

All the same, even as I wander I want to keep a general goal in mind.  I’ve been asking myself the same question since I began this blog: what am I writing for?  Up to this point, my posts generally had something to do with God or the Bible, but no real strong unifying ties.  I realized pretty early on that I wasn’t writing an apologetic blog, nor a blog that was going to deal with too many big issues.  My blog has been much more devotional and reflective.  The topics cropped up in everyday experiences or in things I read.

One topic has been rising to the forefront in my mind throughout though, and I hope to explore it more as I keep writing: sanctification.  What does it look like, how does it happen, when should Christians expect it, why isn’t it more of a norm in Christian experience?  Or is it?  These are the things I really want to find out, because I want to pursue the kind of perfect love to which Jesus calls us, and I want you to join in my pursuit (or in my wanderings in that general direction.)

I probably won’t ever try to define sanctification, and I probably will never approach it systematically as the textbooks I have read at school have tried to do.  I’m really not that good with big $5 Christian words like “sanctification”, “holiness”, or “righteousness”.  I have never been able to get my head around these concepts because they always seem abstract, nebulous even.  Rather, my posts may just brush the edges of what sanctification looks like or may only look at it from one perspective at a time.  Whatever I write about, I want to keep this call that God has given to every one of us, the call to be perfect as he is perfect, near the heart of the future of this blog.

The name of this blog is Kuriakos.  I chose it because it refers to someone or something who belongs to the Kurios, the Lord Jesus, and now I think it is a fitting title for the direction I am headed in my writing.  Is there a better word to describe someone who is filled with the Holy Spirit, who is pursuing holiness and the losing of themselves in service to Christ?

Probably.  But I can’t think of one right now.

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3 responses to “24

  1. Since you allow for replies, I figured I might leave one! This is actually the first of your blogs I have read, but maybe I’ll go back and read some more. I don’t have the same view of sanctification that the Wesleyan church takes. I do believe that we are called to be holy, and I do believe that we make the choice to sin. I don’t have to sin. I was born with a sinful nature, but I still make the choice to sin. However, I also do not believe there is some point in time where I become “entirely sanctified”, that is until I get to heaven. I believe sin is a struggle for each and every person until our death. I mean, if it wasn’t, then I would think that Paul would have been a great candidate for entire sanctification, yet he wrote about his weaknesses and struggle with sin. Personally, I feel that the most holy of us living are also the most humble ones that would never even say they were the most holy. For one to come out and say that they are holy or entirely sanctified, I beg to say that they have the sin of pride creeping into their lives. Not that this really changes anything. Either way you look at it, we still must fight the battle on a daily basis. We can’t rid ourselves of our sinful nature until we are made perfect in heaven. Sanctified also means “to set apart for holy use”, which can be seen clearly in John 10:36 and 1 Tim. 4:4-5, so I think sometimes we get the two confused. Off topic, I believe that some get baptism confused in Scriptures too, because I think some confuse water baptism with baptism of the Holy Spirit, which leads to the belief that one must be baptized by water to be saved.

    • Matt, I think we may agree more on this than you think at first glance. Maybe I didn’t make it clear up above, but when I talk about sanctification, I am referring more to a process whereby we die to more and more of ourselves through the power and work of the Holy Spirit. I’m simply curious about how I can yield even more to God’s sanctifying work in my own life. I’m not talking as much about the finished state of entire sanctification, and I tend to agree with you right now that entire sanctification is a state we reach when we are perfected after death.

      I’m glad you brought up Paul, because Romans 7-8 are the key chapters for me when considering this process. We are all too familiar in our own lives with the struggle Paul describes in 7:14-25. My question is this: What is Paul talking about in 8:2-3, “For the law of the Spirit of Life in Jesus Christ has set you free from the law of sin and death,” when he was still talking about being a slave to that law of sin 7:25? I think a change in him, brought about by the Spirit, has occurred. And I think this change should be sought by all Christians. I think you are right when you say sin will be a struggle for each and every person until death, but I also think that as we yield our lives to the Spirit and as we surrender to dying to ourselves every day so that we are more like Christ, God works in us a change so that we are better equipped to say ‘no’ to sin. We may even reach the point where we can always say no to sin, but I don’t think this is what I have heard taught as entire sanctification in the past. I think we always have the choice to sin, and we always have further to go in becoming pure like Christ.

      Even this, though, is taught far too little in churches today. The rigorous demands of the Gospel that require followers of Christ to die to themselves are often overlooked in an attempt to make good people. We don’t need more good people; we need people who have been set on fire by their submission to the Spirit. This more than anything is what I am referring to as I write about sanctification.

      “Why not be utterly changed into fire?” The Beetle King asked the right question.

  2. Yeah I agree totally that we should always be in the process of sanctification, and throughout that process I do believe we become more sensitive to sin. On the flip side, sometimes we are also bombarded more by the enemy. But I definitely have seen how the decisions in my life to rid myself of sinful habits and cut the sources out have resulted in being able to more easily stay away from things that used to be difficult temptations.

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