This morning I had the task of cleaning out a very messy drawer in the nurses' office where I volunteer. There was everything in there including a razor, index tabs, file folders, lab bags, butterfly bandage kits and even a left over grape that had petrified. At least I think it was a grape. The drawer was a regular Fibber McKee's closet. Scared me just to plow through it. Nurses' offices scare me a bit in general. Anyway, as I sorted through all the stuff I thought about the sanctification of a believer. Sanctification is the process that follows justification. Justification is how a sinner becomes born again as an act of God alone by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. As a believer is sanctified through obedience and by the power of the Holy Spirit she resembles the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ a bit more as life goes on.
In the drawer, just like in our lives, some things have to be tossed out completely. They can't be sanctified, made better, or used for any purpose any longer. Other things have to be cleaned up and organized. In the believer's life there is much cleaning up to do. The process of becoming holy is hard and arduous. But God has promised to complete the work until the day of Jesus Christ (Phil 1:6). Cleaning the drawer took a while to make it efficiently usable to the nurses again. It takes a while to make us viably usable in the Redeemer's hand too. While the drawer isn't perfect, it is a far sight better than when I started to organize it. So it is with us. We will never be perfect this side of heaven but in the Father's hands we can be used mightily to bring Him glory and do His kingdom work.