The Most Important Project

Anokina Shahbaz, Volunteer Writer, Huntley | November 24, 2023

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. 
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
2 Timothy 2:20-21

Unfinished projects. We all have too many of them—home improvement projects, work-related projects, and personal ones. Walking around my house, I see one after the other. The half-empty can of paint sitting in the corner of the basement, the flower pots under my kitchen island that need to be filled, the fallen leaves in our backyard waiting to be raked. Often, our days become nothing more than chipping away at various projects- ones we signed up for willingly, and others we drudgingly have to do. No matter how much we strive, there will always be a list of unfinished ones.

And yet, there is one task that will always offer us the satisfaction of being complete—God’s grace-filled sanctification of us. A quick search of “sanctify” on Merriam-Webster leads to this definition: 1. to set apart to a sacred purpose or to religious use (consecrate), 2. to free from sin (purify). God desires to cleanse us from any sinful impurity and set us apart for His holy purposes. This work is lifelong. But God is faithful to take the journey with us, come what may because sanctification is His will for our lives. 

All you and I have to do is show up as we are—broken, flawed, and soul-starved—and allow God to sanctify us “through and through.” Can we rejoice in the fact that we serve a God who finishes what He starts? A God who sees things through to fulfillment? What a relief it is that God’s faithfulness takes the reign in our lives!Otherwise, we sure would make an even bigger mess of things.

I don’t know about you, but I certainly would like to be one of God’s instruments for a special purpose, prepared to do good works for His kingdom. What a worthwhile cause to live for! The more I reflect on this, the more I realize we don’t need more finished projects. Rather, we need more holiness and more hearts willing to open themselves up to God’s sacred molding. Perhaps His sanctifying work in us is the most important project we will be a part of during our time here on earth. No paint can or rake required—only a soul longing to go back home.

Next Steps   

  • Spend time praying this week and prepare your heart for God’s sanctifying work. Recognize and praise Him for all the ways He already has set you apart. Then, write down which areas in your life you still would like the Holy Spirit’s help in being freed from sin and purified.
  • Did you know Willow is offering a digital Advent experience this Christmas season? If you’re interested in being a part of this experience by receiving an email every Sunday of Advent with a devotional, prayers for the week, and an activity, you can sign up here