Isabell Bowling, Guest Blogger

Isabell is the daughter of Sarah Bowling and the granddaughter of Marilyn Hickey. She graduated from Oral Roberts University with her bachelors in Historical and Philosophical Theology and received the award for Theology Student of the Year upon graduation.

She is excited for what this next season brings and is looking forward to learning and growing under the tutelage of her mother and grandmother. In the future, she also hopes to continue her educational journey by seeking a graduate degree in Europe.

We pray Isabell’s blog post blesses you today!

Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” John 17:17

Have you ever wanted to be holy? Not holey like Swiss cheese, holy like Jesus is holy. Here’s the good news: we are already sanctified! Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves of God’s truth and live like we know that we’re holy.  I love the idea of sanctification, because it’s so final and it’s completely out of our control. Sanctification is the process by which we become holy. It is a process, but the good news is we have already begun it.

First, we enter into sanctification when we give our lives to Christ. We are set apart because we need to be in order to house the Holy Spirit. We are all temples for Holy Spirit to sit and dwell within us, so there’s step one of our sanctification. We just have to say yes to Jesus living in our hearts.

The second step is continually choosing to set ourselves apart. We do this by living righteously and meditating on the Word. Oh man, this part is so tricky! I know especially in high school, I did not want to believe that my physical actions had consequences on my soul, but the truth is that they do. When we are not kind to ourselves or others, this has a wholistic effect on our being. Here’s an example: when we gossip, it can have negative side-effects on our relationships here on Earth, but it can also be poisonous to our Spirit. God tells us not to gossip or slander, so when we act out of disobedience, it is sickness to our spirit, which is designed to be in equilibrium with the Father. This can sound scary, and unrealistic, but the truth is Jesus said, “Now you are already clean [sanctified] because of the word which I have spoken to you’.” (John 15:3) He has called us clean, holy, and set apart. That—more than any sin we may commit—is the truth.

The third part of sanctification—where we live righteously and meditate on the Word—comes from a proper understanding of the truth of who we are. We are already holy and set apart, so our actions need to reflect that. In my own life, when I am wrestling with fleshy sin, I can get really down on myself and very critical of myself. Other times, I see someone else struggling with sin and I see their sin first. But, when God sees us, He doesn’t see the sin we are struggling with, He sees us. The sanctified temples that He loves. When we shift our attitude about ourselves and others and bring it into alignment with what God says, we start to have a proper understanding of just how valuable we all are. C.S. Lewis in his book Weight of Glory says, “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.” (C.S. Lewis, Weight of Glory. P46) People are important. We are important. But this importance comes from the weight of significance that God puts on us.

Let’s remember today that we are holy. We are sanctified. Out of that knowledge, we choose to live our lives in a way that reflects the truth of who we are. Let’s love well, respect people, and seek God in everything we do.