Moments ago a phone call with a long-time friend ended. It was unintentional; her phone died. Ah memories. We often talked until one of our phones died. Usually it was mine, but this time I had four battery bars. I was prepared. We haven't talked in months.
It has been a painful few months, and the conversation we had this morning made me think of what it means to be reconciled.
Reconciliation is not an action. It is an ongoing process, at least as far as I see it. Even when it comes to grace, although we are immediately accepted into the family of Christ, we must continue to pursue a deeper relationship with Him. It is not reconciliation, it is not sanctification if we just say, "Woohoo! Great! I'm a child of the King. Alright, God, catch you later!"
If that is our grace, we have missed the point entirely. Yes, we are saved by grace and it does not require works. We don't have to earn our salvation, but we should remember that, like reconciliation, the act of salvation is a process. It is a continuing, ongoing process that does not end when we come to a saving knowledge of Christ.
My friend, for instance, is still my friend. Could we be closer? yes. We are working on that. But it does not change the fact that she is still my friend now. In a year I pray we are closer friends, but I just can't ignore her and expect that to happen.
On the flipside, we can't expect to be best friends again when we wake up tomorrow. Likewise, in the Christian life, you cannot expect to be Joe SuperChristian when you get up tomorrow morning. It is a process, and that is important. Not only can we not give up on that process; we can't rush it either.
Do not expect to wake up tomorrow morning and be one with the will of the God. Sanctification is a process. It is a journey. God promises to meet us on that journey. To take it with us. To continue the work He has started in us. That is a promise He gives us. Take note, it is His work to continue, but it is our responsibility to be open to its continuance.