Devotional—The Struggle of Sanctification—Sonya Johnson
Striving for Excellence
O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens! (Psalm 8:1)
In the past two decades, most are aware there has been a significant decline in love, moral responsibility, and values. Still, the greatest decline is in striving for excellence. Do you remember when companies proudly stressed that the customer was their most valued commodity? Now, the customer service script begins with “I understand your frustration,” or an automated voice with many prompts makes it nearly impossible to speak to a human being to resolve the issue.
Excellence is not perfection. Perfection [in humanity] does not exist, which explains why it is impossible to achieve. What is excellence? Striving for continuous improvement. Yes, excellence is a tough master, but it motivates us to push ourselves to do our best.
What does God expect from us in serving Him?
“I pray that your love will overflow more and more and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.” Philippians 1:9-10 NLT
In the NKJV, verse 10 reads, “that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ…(Philippians 1:10).
Our perception of God determines our desire to strive for excellence. “Be holy, for I am Holy” (1 Peter 1:16). Our minds must not shift and focus on the impossibilities of holiness. Know that God has not left us alone to reach the high standards that He requires of us. First, we must have a strong desire to be transformed into the likeness of Christ—Sanctification.
The human effort of surrendering our hearts to Jesus Christ invites the power of the Holy Spirit to intervene, allowing us to achieve above and beyond our natural abilities. Studying the Scriptures gives us knowledge. Maintaining a steadfast relationship with God through continuous prayer imparts the gift of wisdom. Faith and obedience invite the Divine Intervention of the Holy Spirit to give us supernatural strength to achieve excellence in all areas of our lives.
When the faithful strive for humility, obedience, and purity along with praying for guidance, we possess wisdom and discernment of spiritual excellence. It is then that our posture is in alignment with God’s will and our Spiritual Team empowers us to reach His standards of excellence.
Prayer: God, we pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We desire to grow in knowledge, wisdom, and holiness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.