Jesus commanded us to always pray and not lose heart Luke 18:1. Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 that we “pray without ceasing,” and James 5:16 say, The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
Prayer is the means of us to communicate with God. Prayer is not an option in a Christian life rather an obligation. It is the only means of walking victoriously in this new life journey.
Ephesians 6:11 emphasize we put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Therefore, every time a prayer jump off the page, I take a closer look at it and personalize it. And, since all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching,… (2 Timothy 3:13), I find it very helpful to learn to pray from God’s own Words. Also, I pray His Word back to Him. It is almost like reminding Him what He said. And since He cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13), He has an obligation to respond to me or at least that’s how I perceive. Today, 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 caught my attention. Let us personalize it.
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.” NASB
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
Let’s find meanings of a few words that highlight the passage:
Sanctify means set apart as or declare holy; consecrate, free from sin; purify.
Synonyms: approve, vindicate, permit, authorize, condone, sanction.
Entirely means completely, totally, wholly, to the full, all over, all
Preserve means keep safe from injury, keep safe from destruction, keep alive, free from decay, keep up, reserve for special use, save from decomposition.
At the coming of our Lord meaning Jesus can show up at anytime Matthew 25:13.
The first thing I picked up here was there is a partial sanctification or else He wouldn’t say, “may God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely or completely.”
We know that in Christ Jesus we are blameless. We are perfect in the eyes of God through Christ. We are righteous. However, we still have the old flesh. God is Spirit. The real me is spirit. That spirit man is perfect. The issue is the flesh and soul.
So the partial sanctification here is on the part of the body and soul. The old flesh can still sin. I heard a preacher declared himself sinless. I agree he is sinless in Christ in terms of his spirit being. But his flesh is still as wretched as it was before salvation. And Paul is praying that we become sanctified completely or entirely–body, soul, and spirit and be preserved or keep safe from destruction at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ which can be anytime. So He prayed we become sinless in our body and mind by being sanctified completely from top to bottom. I pray this pray this be my reality.
When we look at sins we only think murders, homosexual-the big sins discounting white little lies, gossips. Look, King David was a murder yet he found favor in the eyes of God. Moses, the same thing. Sin whether big or small, whether it hurts someone or not, it is still a sin. No one is completely sanctified in the old body and soul or this prayer would not be in the Bible.
Romans 14:23 says, for whatever is not from faith is sin. So maybe you are not a pedophile but have you ever doubt?
I remember in the past I was into MacDonald’s french fries. My husband was about their chicken sandwich. We ate the stuff a lot. Meanwhile, in the back of our minds, we thought cholesterol, heart problems, diabetes– the “Super Size Me” Documentary was lingering around to steal our faith.
The Word of God says, “nothing to be refused if it be received with thanksgiving” (1 Timothy 4:4). Jesus said, ‘if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them’ (Mark 16:18). So whether it is MacDonald or Wholefoods, if you receive with thanksgiving, it is made acceptable (consecrated, sanctified) by the word of God and prayer (1 Timothy 4:5). But if you doubt then you have given the devil a foothold. It would harm you exactly as “Super Size Me” Documentary suggested or even worse because of unbelief.
My prayer to you and to me is that, In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, may the God of peace Himself sanctify me (you) entirely; and may my (your) spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!!!