I've had thinker's block recently. I've been thinking about the lessons God has been teaching me about how to shape my thoughts, my actions, my life. In that incredibly frustrating way I have had an inkling of what the lesson is, but could not express it. "My posts have been linked thematically by . . . [insert phrase here]." Then along comes John Owen and - boom! He speaks of the purpose of life on earth:
"Sanctification is an immediate work if the Spirit of God on the souls of believers, purifying and cleansing of their natures from the pollution and uncleanness of sin, renewing in them the image of God, and thereby enabling the from a spiritual and habitual principle of grace, to yield obedience unto God... Or more briefly; it is the universal renovation of of our natures by the Holy Spirit into the image of God through Jesus Christ."
All of sudden things make much more sense. A Christian response to euthanasia? Sanctification. Worried about liberalisation within the church? Sanctification. How do we approach careers and our lives? Sanctification. Are things really this easy? Can I really be suggesting that the answer to any Christian for any problem is sanctification? We live to please God and only one man was ever pleasing enough. Given we are not like Him, we should desire to become like Him as preparation for His Father's House. Moreover, are we not called to live our lives as pleasing sacrifices (Romans 12:1). So yes I am.
Given the purpose of life is sanctification do we allow ourselves to be swept up into His thoughts, His ways? Does sin weight heavy upon us forcing into near continual praise and prayer for mercy? If not why not? Do we yearn to allow Him to change our lives? What else will we be doing in Heaven but communing that closely with Him? Given that do we live our lives with that thought foremost in our minds? One of the most poweful lessons the Puritans taught was to live each day with Heaven clearly in view and to drive on inexorably towards that goal. It is undoubtedly a difficult thing to do, placing God in front of everything, but hey let's give it a go - we may even like it.