The Joy of the Sanctified Life (Z.T. Fomum)
Some think that a life lived in the sanctification that God provides is boring and unenjoyable. Such thinking is from the Enemy and none who think that way can come into the sanctification of God before a radical change of mind has taken place.
God will not lead His children into something which they do not want. He forces no one. All who do not desire the sanctified life will be left where they are. The sanctified life is a life of real blessing. It is the life that God Himself lives. Is it not earth’s greatest privilege to be allowed to enter into it? How sad that few desire it with their whole hearts! “O Lord, open the eyes of Thine children so that they may see!”
As we are dealing with the need to see, I remember a story recorded in the Old Testament. The Bible says:
“Once when the king of Syria was warring against Israel, he took counsel with his servants, saying, ‘At such and such a place shall be my camp.’ But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, ”Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are going down there.” And the king of Israel sent to the place of which the man of God told him. Thus he used to warn him so that he saved himself there more than once or twice. And the mind of the king of Syria was greatly troubled because of this thing; and he called his servants and said to them, “Will you not show me who of us is for the king of Israel?” And one of his servants said, “None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedchamber.” And he said, “Go and see where he is, that I may send and seize him.” It was told him, “Behold, he is in Dothan.” So he sent there horses and chariots and a great army; and they came by night, and surrounded the city. When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was round about the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do? He said, ”Fear not, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw and behold the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha” (2 Kings 6:8-17).
The servant of Elisha passed through the following stages:-
- He saw the enemy forces at the natural realm.
- He was taken up with panic.
- He cried out in despair.
- Elisha spoke to him, comforted him and prayed that the Lord might open his eyes so that he might see.
- God opened his eyes; he saw at the spiritual realm and his panic disappeared.
The two armies were always there - the army of the king of Syria which was against Elisha and the army of the Lord which was for Elisha. The army of the Lord was always stronger than the army of the Syrians. For Elisha who saw, there was peace, victory and tranquillity. For the servant who saw only at the natural realm there was restlessness. A change came when God opened his eyes, in response to the prophet’s prayer and he saw at the spiritual level.
This same principle is applicable to our subject at hand. Those who are already walking in the Spirit have no problem with sin. They have seen and entered into their deliverance. They are like the prophet Elisha. They do not run away from the world to hide in some cave or secluded place in the hope that by so doing they would be separated from sin. They have entered into the full deliverance offered by Jesus and are free even among sinners. They are at peace. Those who are carnal are like the servant of the prophet. They see with the natural eyes their sin and its consequence. They fear, tremble and are ill at ease. They try many things on their own to improve their situation and fail. They should turn to the Lord and ask the Lord to open their eyes so that they may see. When the Lord opens their eyes they will see the wonderful provision of God for sanctified living. They will see the full and perfect deliverance that God has already worked out in the death and resurrection of His Son and they will see how to enter into this holy walk with God which is, after all, the very purpose of Christian election and predestination. The apostle Paul wrote:
“He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him” (Ephesians 1:4).
“And you, who once were estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him” (Colossians 1:21-22).
We insist that revelation is necessary. God must open the eyes of the carnal believer to see what He has already done. Without this opening of the eyes, the carnal believer will be led into an intellectual appreciation of the truths of deliverance but be destitute of the experience of sanctification which is the goal of God.