Remember when we went to get Zoe? We drove to the breeder in Pennsylvania. There was a pen full of pug puppies. After playing with them and observing them a little while, we all agreed Zoe was the one we wanted. We chose her. She had not really done anything spectacular. In fact, I am not sure she had done anything at all. It was all us choosing her, and none of her choosing us.
It is a glimpse of what God has done for you and I. It is all Him and none of “us”. Isn’t that what you think of when you hear a message on sanctification? Ha! I doubt it, but we should. Look at today’s passage in Leviticus. Verse 20:8 is God telling his people to keep his statutes and do them. Why? Because He, God, “sanctifies” them. As a reminder, the definition of “sanctify” is to “set apart as” or to “declare holy”. For almost 20 chapters we have been reading all about laws, regulations, statutes, and rules God has for his people. His reason time and time again is “because I am holy.” Today, that holiness is NOT just used to describe God, but instead, it is a process God tells us He is doing on us. He is setting us apart and making us holy. He chose the Israelites, out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to make His people and to set apart from all others. He was doing a great work on them and in them, and of course now, that includes believers worldwide, including you and I. The picture I really want us to have in mind is that picture of leaning into the dog pen when we went to get Zoe, and her being picked up out of the pen, separated from the others. She was ‘set apart’ to be our dog. She was chosen, we decided to make her special from all the other dogs and to become part of our family forever.
The problem with my illustration is we could not really change Zoe. We could try a few things, like fixing her nose, keeping her healthy, and providing for her, but we can not make her a “better” or perfect dog. God, on the other hand, has chosen us, and CAN make us holy. He has all the power, ability, means and time to sanctify us. This is precisely what He is in the process of doing. Part of that process includes “following his statutes” which we should be daily committed to, but even then, it will take the power of God and assistance of the Holy Spirit in our lives to achieve this. Our job is to keep following our master, just like Zoe follows me around the house! Follow Him, love him, look constantly for the Holy Spirit’s prompting in our lives, and be dedicated to doing what He says and shows us. Today, stop for a minute and try to really appreciate the fact God has specifically chosen you to be in His family. You and I are the ones He desires to bring into His “home”. He is preparing us for a home in eternity where He will wipe away every tear and there will be no more death, mourning, crying or pain. Right now, he is “sanctifying” us in preparation for that. How can you not want to be chosen and changed to be in that home?