“The Motions” by Matthew West is a very thought-provoking song. West released this song on his album “Something To Say” which was the first album published after he underwent “voice threatening surgery” of his vocal chords in 2007. I have not been able to verify this anywhere, but I like to believe that he wrote “The Motions” during his 2-month period of silence and vocal rest following his surgery, while still unsure if he would be able to sing again.
Whether that is absolutely true or not, the story certainly gives me pause. West’s surgical experience, which took place very shortly after the problem, polyps on the larynx that were causing hemorrhaging, was made, reminding me that a life changing event could come at any time. So, I wonder, if such an event took place in my life, would I be comfortable knowing that, while I had the chance, I gave my everything to this Christian life, or would I spend the rest of my life asking, “What if I had given everything instead of just going through the motions?”.
This morning our Pastor’s sermon was on sanctification and his title was the same as this post. He preached from two texts, which I quote:
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness andworldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessedhope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. – Titus 2:11-14
23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. – 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
The best part of the sermon though was the illustration, which was about the purifying of silver.
Silver is mined from the ground in the form of silver ore. The ore is pulverized into powder and then put into a pot or cauldron where it is heated to over 900 degrees Celsius. As the silver melts, it sinks to the bottom, being heavier than the surrounding ore. Once all of the silver is melted, the slag, or dross, is left on the top where it is scooped off and disposed of. When the process is almost complete, the refiner will stir the molten silver to make sure that there are no pockets of slag remaining under the surface. As these pockets are loosened, they too float to the top, where they can be disposed of.
The refiner knows the process of purification (or in human terms, sanctification) is complete when he looks into the surface of the silver and sees his own image reflected without blemish.
The analogy of God purifying His saints is perfect. As God subtracts the sin from our lives, He replaces it with His holiness. His work in us is complete when He looks into our being, and the reflection He sees is His own, perfect in holiness.