Swinging from the Vine / 808 posts / 2,772 comments / feed / comments feed

flash back - sanctification

Tue 31 Jan 2006
Extreme Makeover for the Soul

RELEVANT MAGAZINE: “It seems like there have been quite a few church signs in the last couple of years playing off of ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, promising maximum renovation of church, family and soul. It would be great if spiritual growth was like a redesign show, where a group of peppy designers and carpenters could renovate our hearts on the quick and cheap. We could leave for a day or two, and our spiritual power team would completely overhaul our hearts, gazing beatifically into the cameras as they explain each step of the process to the audience. Imagine the unveiling at the end of our half-hour program: “Look at how we brightened up this heart with just a quick weekend conference! With only three quiet times, we took this soul from drab to fab! We even added interest with a prayer labyrinth.” “

Man, isn’t this the truth! As the article goes on to say, there is no doubt that God can and does perform miraculous transformations worthy of an extreme makeover before and after shot, but more often than not it’s a slow, labor-intensive sanctifying process of gutting us out, patching us up, rebuilding and redecorating our lives.

This is difficult for the fidgety among us, anxiously hitting the refresh button on our browsers if it takes more than four seconds to load that page. We want results, and we want them yesterday, and when we do not get them post-haste it can lead to frustration, bitterness and, eventually, apathy.

This is me…yup yup. I have mentioned this to David several times in the past few years - I have a very hard time disciplining myself to pray if I don’t get instant results of some kind - even if it’s just warm fuzzies or tinglies or tears or some other such tangible feedback.

So much of church life plays into this instant gratification mindset. After all, who would buy a book that promised your best life, um, eventually? There is nothing particularly sexy about self-denial or cross-bearing. No, the thrill is in revolutionizing outside the box, shifting paradigms and being super-blessed, all while yawping barbarically as we seize the emerging day.

Hehehe…I think I’ll write that book, “Ten steps to experiencing your best life….eventually!” Oh that would be an instant best seller. Or how about “Five difficult paths to quasi success!” Oh yeah, I can see it now, New York Times Best Seller List here I come!

Here’s a little scripture to meditate on. Yes, yes, I know you know it. But I challenge you to digest it….really macerate it good and get it down in you. Absorb it into the fabric of your soul. I know I need to.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize (TNIV).

Practicing His presence, living IN him day in and day out in the “everydayness” of our existence, that is the challenge; running the race when there is no race.

Are you up for it? Lace up those trainers and get warmed up because this race lasts a lifetime. But be encouraged, we do not run it alone and we do not run in vain. The comforter is there when we hit “the wall”, our provider is ever present and ever willing when we need a glass of water, our healer is there when we strain a hamstring and He who is I AM is cheering us on, his voice rises above the drone of the crowd and pushes us ever forward, reminding us of the prize, bolstering us with the truth of His Word. Together with Him, together with one another, we will run and we will finish.

Related posts:

  1. Cycle of Prayer: 1/25/07 From the Anglican Cycle of Prayer Psalm: 62 I Pet....
  2. greatness often goes unnoticed The greatest living American is Norman Borlaug, who won the...

Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.


  1. Atalia — May 7, 2007 #

    Wow great reminder! I most definetely can relate to this. I am so impatient when it comes to seeing results in my life, I find myself having the mindset of a 50m dash runner when I should be running a marathon

  2. Mak — May 8, 2007 #

    hey sister in law :) I know, I’m horribly impatient and then I get really down on myself which then makes me just want to throw in the towel completely.

Leave a comment