I often compare my spiritual life from salvation at age 10 to the re-dedication of my life to the Lord at age 29 to the image of straddling a fence. Those years were marked by standing with one foot on the side of God’s call to holiness and the other foot on the side of living like the world. But as God worked in my life, I was able to submit to His call “to be holy as I am holy” through entire sanctification.
I had to learn that entire sanctification is not measuring spiritual success by “following the rules.” The Christian life is not built upon what I DO but who I AM in Christ. I learned through a very painful time in my life that I was in desperate need of the grace of God. As a result of what I learned about God’s grace, I re-dedicated my life to the Lord.
Not only did I confess my sin and shame, but a new love entered my heart that caused me to WANT to follow God’s way of holiness.
As a result of this change, I grew more in my faith in two years than I had in the nineteen years that followed my original salvation experience. The best part was realizing the Holy Spirit was working in and through me as I grew, continuously leading me to complete surrender. As more was continually given over to the Lord, the more space the Holy Spirit took up in my heart and life.
In spite of all He had already done in my life, God was not done with me because He had even more in store. He was not content with just a PART or even MOST of my heart and life. In July 2012, God asked for ALL of me, and I completely surrendered ALL to Jesus Christ. I experienced the total heart cleansing of the Holy Spirit where my desires and passions were bent toward righteousness and no longer toward self-centeredness. I experienced cleansing in my heart that flowed from the inside-out, through and through!
The importance of the message and experience of entire sanctification is that it is true freedom. There is no need to keep returning to the same sins. No need to straddle the fence. Although I could choose to go back, I no longer have to because of the Holy Spirit dwelling within me.