by Ashley Lane Jones @BigSisterTweets
My son Gordon refuses to crawl. He’s a healthy, chubby baby nearly nine months old, and he’s plenty strong enough to push himself up and crawl around. I’ve figured out the problem, though: he wants to move while sitting up. He’s so proud that he can sit up all by himself, and he loves being “up high,” so to get down on his hands and knees and scrape along the floor…no thank you!
Instead, Gordon has mastered what I call the “roll and flip.” He starts by sitting up, then he lays down briefly, rolls over a bit, and then flips back up. While he can move some distance in this prairie-dog fashion, he doesn’t have much control in the direction he’s going.
While playing with Gordon the other day, I got down on my own hands and knees to show him how it’s done. That’s when I began to empathize with his plight, for I didn’t want to crawl around on the floor, either. Sitting is so much easier and more comfortable!
I realized the same can be said for our spiritual lives. When we get saved, we become enamored with such lofty things as worship, fellowship, and community. We love nothing more than to sit and bask in God’s presence.
As wonderful as that is, God doesn’t want us to spend our lives sitting on the sidelines.
God has unique plans for each of us, to give us “a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11 NASB). But every plan of God involves two things: salvation and sanctification. While our salvation is a gift we receive from God, sanctification is the process of becoming more like Jesus as we grow closer to Him.
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification” (1 Thessalonians 4:3a NASB).
“… sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence (1 Peter 3:15 NASB).
Over the course of our lives, God will work with us to sanctify our hearts, often through prayer, Bible study, and the repentance of sin. These may seem like simple steps, but they aren’t easy. We all know we should pray and study God’s Word, but it’s hard to get up early in the morning, and we’d rather watch TV than read our Bibles. We desire to follow God, but it can be quite painful to admit our sins, ask God for forgiveness, and then choose the better path that He has laid out for us.
Sanctification is never flashy or glamorous. No one will stand up in church and praise you for your efforts. You might even feel self-conscious as you leave your cushy spiritual seat to scrape along on your hands and knees.
But don’t lose heart! There will come a time when the crawling leads to standing and then to walking—not on your own volition but in the power of the Lord. The time spent alone in prayer and study, and the lessons hard-learned, will all bear fruit and prepare you for the steps ahead.
If you’ve been sitting in church for awhile, ask God if it’s time to start crawling. If so, then humble yourself and get on your spiritual (and maybe even your physical) hands and knees before the Lord. Don’t “roll and flip” around, worried about what other people are doing and saying. Your time to walk will come soon enough. For now, embrace the crawl.
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. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 NASB
About the author: Ashley L. Jones uses her Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies to write articles and books that help others see God as alive and relevant to their everyday lives. The first book in her faith-based children’s series, Big Answers, will release in Fall 2020.
Ashley’s debut book, Modern Cast Iron: The Complete Guide to Selecting, Seasoning, Cooking, and More, is available on Amazon now for preorder. Chock-full of stories from Jones’s own childhood growing up with cast-iron meals, as well as recipe after tantalizing recipe, Modern Cast Iron explores the countless ways that cast iron benefits health and happiness. For more information, connect with Ashley at www.BigSisterKnows.com.
Join the conversation: Have you sensed God working on your sanctification? Please share!