To be sanctified so that we can be used by God, we must first consecrate ourselves, but what does this mean?


Sanctified Entirely

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely…
1 Thess. 5:23

Consecrating Ourselves

Sanctification is one of those “religious” words we file away for spiritual discussions. We know it has something to do with being set apart and it describes the process we go through as God matures us spiritually. It’s related to the word “consecrate” which has a similar meaning. It is something we must do. We are to consecrate ourselves to God, setting us apart for God’s exclusive use. The New Testament version of this is offering our bodies as living sacrifices (Rom. 12:1). It’s a decision that must be followed up with appropriate actions, especially cleansing through confession followed by forgiveness.

Sanctification can be seen as what God does in us once we have consecrated ourselves to Him. In Joshua 3:5, Joshua is commanding the people (who were ready to cross over the Jordan into the Promised Land) to consecrate themselves because the next day the Lord would do wonders among them. God does the same with us. He asks us to consecrate ourselves so He can do wonders in and through us. When we don’t see the latter happening, it’s likely because we’ve never done the former.


Based on my own experience, I think most of us have failed to grasp the implication of being sanctified entirely. We’re not prepared for what it will cost. We may have thought about what God may ask of us, but we just don’t think He’ll actually do it. Eventually, in a moment of spiritual clarity, we know exactly what He expects. He wants to drastically change us, but we must be willing. We must have sanctified ourselves and meant it.

Christ’s Bondslave

Only when we have passed this threshold will be willing to see ourselves as Christ’s bond-slave and Jesus as our Master. Only then will our interests in ourselves fade into oblivion as all our thoughts are of our Master and what He want us to do. Only then can we see the world through His eyes—eyes that were drawn to those who were hurting, those in need.

Completely His

This requires that we understand why God separated us in the first place—to be wholly given over to Jesus, allowing Him to do whatever is necessary in us to make us truly usable to Him for His purposes. Through sanctification as Christ’s bond-slave, we become one with Him so that the disposition that ruled Him will now rule us. His thoughts become our thoughts. His love and compassion for others become ours. Jesus’ great prayer for us was and is that we would become one with Him. This would bring our service to Him to an end. We no longer think of ourselves as being separate from Him.

Count the Cost

He has become our life. He now resides within us. The old “us” is gone. Christ is now our life. While the “old man” lives on in our flesh, he has no power over us. We are free to allow our Master, Jesus, who has become out life, to live out His life through us as we walk in the Spirit while denying the flesh. For this to be possible, we must first count the cost of dying to self and living to God. It will cost us everything within us that is not of God—our desires, aspirations, hopes and dreams. What will it get us? We will have become one with our Lord! What can be greater than that?



A three-legged dog walks into a saloon in the Wild West. He slides up to the bar and announces, “I’m lookin’ for the man that shot my paw.”

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