Last time we looked at how the Holy Spirit Empowers us to live free of fear through discipline and through the advocacy of the Spirit in us. As we are gradually transformed into a deeper relationship with God, we are sanctified for God’s service.
Paul tells the Roman church that he was empowered “to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to boast of my work for God.” (Romans 15:16-17) He says his work is ‘priestly service..sanctified by the Holy Spirit’. Only in Jesus can he ‘boast of my work for God’.
We also are sanctified. To be sanctified is to be made holy and consecrated and set apart for the work of God. It is awesome that God takes each of us frail bits of dust and is willing to sanctify us by God’s Spirit so that we can do the work of God in the world.
To live a sanctified life, we need a strategy. In the 2015 movie The War Room, Miss Clara explains that she has a special closet dedicated to praying, which she calls her "War Room". She says, "In order to stand up and fight the enemy, you need to get on your knees and pray."
Probably we could all do with a bit more prayer in our lives. Whether we can dedicate a completely separate place, or simply a corner of a room, it is important to have a place and time to meet with God so that we can be sanctified to the priestly service of the Living God. The graphic gives an example of a checklist for connecting with God. You might want to come up with your own (this is sometimes called a Rule of Life).
God takes the moments we give him and sanctifies them. God makes holy the time we spend in conversation with God. As we spend time we learn to more fully live into our ‘priestly service of the gospel of God’.
The 12 apostles spent a lot of time with Jesus and in that relationship learned to carry the Good News into all the world. Certainly they weren’t perfect, and obviously they didn’t know that they could do the work of sharing the Gospel. (All you need to do is look at the first chapter of Acts to see how unsure of themselves they were!) Then the sweeping wind of the Holy Spirit came and sanctified their work. That wind of God’s Spirit gave them courage and strength to go out into the streets and beyond to tell about Jesus and about God’s redeeming work.
As we spend time with God in prayer conversation, we will discover that we are also sanctified to do our work in the world. Your job may be bagging groceries or it may be overseeing a financial empire, but either way, you are ‘minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God’. We come in contact with lots of people each day, and we are charged and sanctified to serve as our ‘work for God’.
The ‘Gentiles’ you minister to are the people you come in contact with each day. How might you change the way you interact with people if you see yourself as in the priestly service of God?
Do you ever think that what you do doesn’t make a difference? Does thinking of your work as part of priestly service to God change that idea?