Be careful before you ask God to send you into the mission field. If He hasn’t sanctified you, you’re not ready.


Sanctified then Sent

Sanctified by the Truth

In what we call Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17, He prayed, “Sanctify them by the truth. Your word is truth. As you sent Me into the world, I have also sent them into the world.” Sanctification comes before sending. While we may be eager for God to use us, He first must sanctify us. We must never forget that it is the Holy Spirit who sanctifies us. We can’t sanctify ourselves. We wouldn’t have a clue how to go about it. We may think that the more we obey, the more sanctified we become, but this is both legalistic and unscriptural. First Peter 1:2 clearly says that we are sanctified to obedience, not the other way around. Once the Holy Spirit has completed His sanctifying work, we are finally able to obey our calling, wherever we are sent. God equips the called, not the other way around.

Consider the Disciples

For a better idea of what this sanctification looks like, consider what Jesus had to correct in His disciples before He could send them out. They argued over which one of them might be the greatest (Luke 9:46). Their faith was still weak (Matt. 17:19-20). They had allowed Satan to influence them (Matt. 16:23) and they showed themselves to be prideful (Matt. 26:33-35). Despite all their shortcomings, when Jesus had finished preparing them, they set out with such power that their world was changed forever.


On Mission

We are all “on mission” or being prepared for a mission. While we may have been ready for our past missions, our Heavenly Father may have something more difficult just ahead, something that will require more work in us—more rough edges to be smoothed, lingering pride to be removed, or confidence to be developed. Satan knows our weak spots, and he will try to convince us that we’re too much of a failure to be of use to God. At times like this, we must remember that God is still working on and in us, so why not use Satan’s accusations against him? He has just identified something in you that God is at work to correct. Now you can cooperate with God in His work, eliminating those unnecessary detours. Where Satan wants to tear down, God will build up, so we must not let Satan win.

Sanctification Brings Results

Think about what Jesus’ disciples accomplished once He had completed molding and refining them. Now imagine what Jesus can accomplish through you if you are willing to be reshaped and purified. We, however, have lowered the bar of our expectations so low that we don’t expect the “greater things” Jesus promised (John 14:12). I am convinced that instead of crying out, “Lord, use me,” the Church needs to seek forgiveness and to be willing to see just how unusable it currently is. I believe that difficult days are not far off, but God is poised to proclaim His glory through it all. As in the days of King Asa of Judah (2 Chron. 16:9), His eyes are scouring the land, searching for those whose hearts are completely His, those who are willing to be sanctified before they are sent.



In this world, those who beat their swords into plowshares generally end up plowing for those who did not.

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