How the purchaser would laugh at him and say, "My friend, I do not want your miserable old wreck of a tenement fixed up like this. At the best it will only be a shanty when you have done all you can to it and I will never live in it. All I want is the ground, the site, and when I get it I will raze the old heap of rubbish to the foundations, and dig deep down to the solid rock before I build my splendid mansion. I will then build from the base my own new house according to my own magnificent plan. I do not want a vestige of your house, all that I require is the location."
This is exactly what God wants of us and waits to do in us. Each of us has a splendid site for a heavenly temple. It looks out upon eternity and commands a view of all that is glorious in the possibilities of existence. The house that is built upon it now, however, is a worthless wreck, it is past improving. Our patching and repairing is worse than waste. What God wants of us is simply that we give Him the possibilities of our lives and let Him build upon them a temple of holiness which He will make His own abode and which He will let us dwell in with Him as His happy guests in the house of the Lord forever.
From the very foundations, the work must all be new and divine. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith, and the true attitude of the consecrated heart is that of a constant yielding and constant receiving.
This last view of sanctification gives boundless scope to our spiritual progress. It is here that the gradual phase of sanctification comes in. Commencing with a complete separation from evil and dedication to God, it advances into all the fullness of Christ, and grows up to the measure of the stature of perfect manhood in Him, until every part of our beings and every part of our lives are filled with God and become a channel to receive, and a medium to reflect His grace and glory.
Beloved, have we learned this blessed significance of sanctification and taken God Himself as the fullness of our emptiness and fountain of our spiritual life? Then, indeed, we have entered upon an everlasting expansion and ascension, and forever more these blessed words will deepen and broaden in their boundless meaning:
Thou of life the Fountain art,
Ever let me take of Thee;
Spring Thou up within my heart,
Rise to all eternity.
~A. B. Simpson~
(continued with # 7 - "A Sanctified Spirit")