Saturday, March 3, 2012

SANCTIFYING THE LORD

Being Aware of God
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts...” 1 Peter 3: 15
“For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God (consciousness of God)” one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.” 1 Peter 2: 19

“Sanctify” means to separate or set apart. “Sanctifying the Lord” means to set Him apart from and above all else so that you are aware of Him no matter what else is occurring around you. It is a careful and diligent regard for God that stirs us to obedience during daily interaction with people and life.

A practical example of this principle is the school classroom. When I was a child classrooms were peaceful, orderly, and quiet—while the teacher was in the room. But when the teacher left the room, students would often become noisy and wild. The teacher’s presence made the difference. Sanctifying the Lord means you recognize that God is “in the room” and you behave accordingly.

A person who does not keep God in mind will react to people and circumstances with ungodly behavior and ungodly language, but a child of God will act with conscience toward God and obey Him rather than reacting to circumstances.

Another Person’s Sin is No Excuse for Mine.
“And Jehovah said to Moses and Aaron, Because you did not believe in Me, to sanctify Me before the eyes of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring in this congregation to the land which I have given to them.” Numbers 20: 10-12

When we do not sanctify the Lord we focus on and react to the world around us without thought for what we must do to please Christ. Moses, for example, became angry at the unbelief and sin of the people around him, and in his frustration he disobeyed the Lord by striking the rock instead of speaking to it as he was instructed to do. In his anger at the people he ignored God and used their wickedness as an excuse for his disobedience. As a result he was not allowed to enter the promised land. God does not accept the actions of others as an excuse for my disobedience.

“What about that man?” John 21: 18-22
When Jesus told Peter that he would become a martyr, Peter pointed to John and said, “What about that man?” Jesus responded, “What is that to you? You follow me.” This statement reminds us of a point I made in an earlier post. The two primary characters on the stage of my life are God and me. I should fulfill my own obedience and do what pleases Him in all my dealings with other people, regardless of what they do. When I stand before God I cannot say, “I disobeyed you because my neighbor made me angry.” He will say, “Your neighbor made you angry, but you sinned against me.” You will say, “How did I sin against you?” He will then respond, “Inasmuch as you did it to the least of these, you did it unto Me.”

I am responsible to do what Jesus requires of me despite what others do. In all circumstances I am to follow Him. My responses and actions are to please Him and reflect obedience to His word and ways. My awareness of God and my desire to please Him governs my actions toward others and toward life itself.

“As the eyes of the servants look to the hand of their masters, so our eyes look to the Lord our God.” Psalm 123: 2

2 comments:

Amber said...

Thank you for the encouragement, Mr. Long! I read your blog all the time.

~ Amber

Billy Long said...

Thank you for the comment, Amber.
And thanks for reading.
Bless you,
Billy