1 Thessalonians 5:23 “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
God is interested in you. Yes, He is the God of the entire universe and the Creator and Sustainer of everything. But He is a specific and individualized God. He is not just our God as a group, but He is your God as an individual. In the verse above we see an unusual expression: “the very God”. This is a phrase that appears nowhere else in the Bible regarding God, and it is worthy of our careful attention. When we find the expression “very” used like this in the Bible, it is always talking about something extremely specific. For example, Matthew 10:30 says, “the very hairs of your head are numbered.” (For some of us that’s a pretty low number!) God knows the exact number of hairs on your head.
When the Scriptures talk about the “very God” it is describing a God who is personal, precise, and precious. This God is personally interested in us and He knows everything about us. Some people respond to that truth with a little bit of a squeamish feeling. When they are reminded that God knows everything about them, they think of the things they are trying to keep hidden from everyone else—sins and failings that they don’t want anyone to know.
This truth should make us rejoice rather than feel regret. God cares about us enough to want us to be sanctified so that there is nothing in our lives that hinders our relationship with Him. He has provided a plan where He does the work. This God who knows you specifically, individually, and personally wants you to be holy. Our God is willing to roll up His sleeves and get involved in fixing the things in our lives that need to be fixed because He is “the very God”. What an amazing truth!
This truth should cause us to desire internal change. I was in the car repair shop of a friend of mine one day and he said, “Preacher, I want to show you something.” There was a really nice, late model car sitting there. It was spotless inside and out. The paint job was perfect, and the chrome was bright and shiny. It didn’t look like a car that should have been in a repair shop. He said, “The lady who owns this car bought it brand new. The only thing she ever did was put gas in it. She never even lifted the hood—and she never had the oil changed. At about 40,000 miles, the engine blew up.” It still looked great on the outside, but it was destroyed.
One of the great dangers of the Christian life is thinking that as long as things look alright on the outside everything is okay. Sometimes we even want God to fix up the outside, but we don’t want Him to touch the inside. That is a recipe for disaster. Tragically, we see preachers and others who have served God for years go into deep sin. When that happens, we know that it has been a case of someone who hasn’t taken care of the inside.
The deceptiveness of sin is that this process can take years before it shows up publicly. Notice that I am not saying that things are good during that time; just that the problem isn’t visible yet. God wants to help you spiritually, emotionally, mentally, financially, socially, and physically. There is not a single detail or area of your life that He is not interested in, nor is there an area where He does not have a solution and help for you to accomplish your sanctification. The very God is personally interested in you, and He wants you to rejoice in His keen interest in you so internal lasting change may take place.
“The very God” has a purpose, a plan, and a will for your life. He is concerned with every specific detail. As long as we are committed to following His opinion instead of our own, He will continue to sanctify us. Is there something you are clinging to today, refusing to let God be Lord over even one little area of your life? I urge you to hand it to Him before you find out too late that He is completely on the outside of your life, knocking and asking to be allowed back in. Is He Lord over every part of your life? Your sanctification depends on your answer to that question.