…to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. ” –  I Corinthians 1:2
“We have seen what we are not, and what God wants us to be, but are we willing to have the vision “battered to shape and use” by God? The batterings always come in commonplace ways and through commonplace people.”
Oswald Chambers

It is the “called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” that pushes the child trekking after the Serving King toward sanctification, the state of being in which the character of godliness unfolds in the midst of the many, the community of faith.  Sanctification, being and doing as does the Serving King, is ridiculously simple in solitude free from the distraction of interacting with the many who find sanctification as equally difficult as you do when called to be and do in the company of the ‘many’.  The many, lacking perfection, the normative lacking state of any child trekking after the Serving King, easily irritate one another as imperfections grind on each other.  Life in community always entails grinding of one kind or another.

But sanctification is never about the theory of being and doing in the community of faith; rather, it is the messy business of being and doing in an actual community of faith full of those who are being battered even as you are.  It is the imperfections of the many grinding away at each other, battering each imperfect child into the image of the Son, bringing sanctification to fruition.  And you will be tempted to run from the battering from the many, tired of being battered and ground by those who clearly have not earned the right to be God’s battering ram, pounding you into the shape of sanctification.  But sainthood can never be sustained away from being “saints together,” battered into His image by the imperfectness of those saints “…who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  It is these others who bring about the final stages of being and doing in the ways of the Serving King.

Therein lies the mystery of the sanctifying process of life in community.  Those who find sanctification are those who resist the temptation to run from the imperfect community, choosing to remain battered into sanctification “…in the commonplace ways and through commonplace people.” Be brave.  Stay.  Your sanctification is much farther along than you think.  Trek on through the sanctifying presences of the battering of the many as God uses them to bring your sanctifying process to intended completion.  You are closer than you think.  Stay until the last battering has unfolded.

Things to consider...

Why is the life of holiness so much more difficult in proximity to other followers of Christ?

Does it bother you that others clearly have not earned the right to be God’s battering ram upon your life?