Without a speck of sin
At the beginning of the letter Paul said that he was praying for the readers, the people of Thessalonica. Now he puts it in practice: 23May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ.
What a beautiful prayer. So different from our grocery list prayers.
Paul understands that mankind won’t make it on its own. On our own, we’ll be more down than up. On our own, we’d be moving away from God rather than following Him.
Therefore Paul prays and begs for reinforcements and the only true reinforcement is God. Only God can help people on the way. You see, it is indeed God who came to bring loads and loads of peace so that there will be no more hostility between God and mankind. Actually, it is only this loving, peace-bringing God who can help mankind both in walking and falling. Only He can pull us up.
It is only the Holy Spirit that can help us to live holy. Holy means isolated, put aside, called specially for God. Again, we cannot do it on our own, because we constantly strain against the current, wanting to do our own thing. That is why we must pray and beg with Paul for God to help us and to please not leave us to ourselves, because then we’ll simply crash against the nearest wall.
But more than that – God must help us to remain completely clean for the day when we will meet Jesus. The Living Bible puts it this way: … may your spirit and soul and body be kept strong and blameless until that day when our Lord Jesus Christ comes back again.
God must help us to keep our whole being, which is spirit, soul and body, clean. Let’s be honest and admit it to one another: It is not an easy job. Sometimes people get discouraged when they have to struggle so much to remain strong against the attacks.
We must help one another. We must pray for one another.
This reminds of that story of the sculptor who was cutting a horse from a block of marble. When someone asked him how he was going to cut a sculpture of a horse from the marble, he said: “It’s easy. I just cut of the parts that don’t look like a horse.”
I suspect this is what God is in the process of doing with us. He is cutting off everything that does not fit in his picture of use. He wants us to be prepared when Jesus comes again. And because we are created in his image, He will be working on us until his Son comes to get us.
How many specks of sin on you?
What can you do to live more isolated for God?
What must God do to help you?
Our Father, I want to live more holy. I want to be isolated for You, but I don’t know how. Please show me. Please teach me. Amen.