Devotional—The Struggle of Sanctification—Sonya Johnson
Building Our Character
In the courtroom drama, “Whose Dog is it Anyway?” the plaintiff alleged the neighbor a few houses away from him had stolen his little Muffy, an adorable miniature poodle. Details of the story included the dog staying in the house unless leashed for a walk, but this incident happened when the plaintiff opened his door and Muffy saw her chance for freedom. He posted a lost dog poster with a reward throughout the large neighborhood. After one year, he gave up until he was outside one day [a year later] and saw Muffy run out of a neighbor’s house. When he knocked on the door to advise the defendant that the poodle was his lost dog, she denied that it was his dog and stated they bought her as a puppy.
The Judge’s questions: “Where did you get the dog from? How much did you pay for the dog because she is a pedigree? And where are her pedigree papers? The defendant was not prepared to answer the questions asked in rapid succession. She quickly answered, “I bought her from a lady who was selling poodle puppies but she did not give me papers. And I don’t remember how much I paid.” The defendant brought documents from a recent Vet visit that stated the dog was around four years of age.
The Judge questioned the plaintiff, “How old is the dog?” “Five years of age, your honor.” Judge to the defendant: “Bring the dog in the courtroom.” The defendant’s sister brings in the dog. Judge: “Put the dog down on the floor.” Muffy ran to her owner.
There are many situations that we face which prove the strength or weakness of our character. Our heart’s desires will cause us to make decisions that shatter our integrity and credibility. Have you ever reflected on a time when you blended a little truth with lies? Later, your conscience either produced feelings of guilt and remorse or you proudly justified your actions and congratulated yourself for coming out as a winner.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
God is aware that we are in a spiritual war between good and evil. He knows that our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked [Jeremiah 17:9]. We cannot develop strategies, use logical deduction, or perform behavior modification techniques to become holy [1 Peter 1:16]. Humanity does not have the power to save ourselves. We need Divine Intervention to become righteous and overcome our natural sinful tendencies.
Daily, pray for God to search your heart and ask for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Bible is our guidebook to developing a Christ-like character. Study as if your life depended on it because it does—never forget that our character determines our destiny.
Prayer: God, we pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit that we may develop in the likeness of Christ. In Jesus’ name. Amen.