There’s Holiness to be Had

What do you think of when you hear the word “holy”?

Most people will apply it strictly towards God & His character. Some will immediately have the image of nuns & priests appear in their heads. Rarely do we consider ourselves in regards to holiness. Some think it’s an unattainable goal for them, something out of reach. “Only certain people were created for that”. We use the excuse “I’m human” and remain comfortable where we are.

This mentality is hindering the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. There is holiness to be had.

Throughout the Word, God has a consistent message: Be holy. That word hasn’t changed because of the times we live in. Times change, but God remains the same…yesterday, today & forever. Jesus is not a trend. This world will pass away, but His Kingdom won’t. His ways are not our ways…but they can be. We can be on the same page He is. His agenda for our lives can become ours if we allow Him to show us His way. God doesn’t call us to be something without providing a way and enabling us to rise to the occasion.

There is certain surrender when you answer the call to holiness in your life. When you are aligning your will with His, there will be guaranteed sacrifices. It may even be uncomfortable, but not beyond what you’re able to bear. The Holy Spirit will strengthen you to handle the change, and He will give you wisdom to discern what His preference is in daily situations.

Holiness is not the expectation of perfection. Jesus knows & understands that we can never be perfect even if we tried. His patience with us is very vast. He encountered every temptation known to man. He knows exactly what we face and how we feel. Don’t feel pressured to be perfect. But don’t resist the work He will do in your life…no matter how hard it is.

Not everyone will accept who you are becoming.  Expect adversity when you start the journey to holiness. The dynamic of some relationships may change…even those of the same belief. It may surprise you who doesn’t respond to the new you. Don’t take it personal. Stay the course, and show love & grace in the process. You may be the one the Holy Spirit is using to teach them.

You will have new desires & interests. You will lose interest in the things of this world. It doesn’t mean you don’t have fun, or become boring. Your main interest will be Jesus, and all paths to Him. What you watch, listen to and read will start to change. You develop an unquenchable thirst for anything related to Him. He becomes your magnificent obsession.

The closer you get to Jesus, the more you become like Him. The more you become like Him, the more peace you will feel. The fight between your spirit & your flesh gets easier because it’s not a losing battle anymore. The spirit in you is now stronger, and the driving force is Jesus. The flesh will still be a reality until the day of His return, but it’s no longer calling the shots.

God loves us too much us to leave us how He found us. His ultimate goal is to make us like His son, Jesus. He’s preparing us for His Kingdom. Jesus is returning any minute now. You are the reason He is coming back. He is coming to bring you Home. Let yourself be found eagerly awaiting Him without fear or shame.

 

“Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.” – 2 Corinthians 7:1

And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,  he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,  if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard…” – Colossians 1:21

He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6

Advertisements

Holy Boldness

One characteristic of Jesus that intrigues me is His confidence in who He was and why He came. When people barraged Him with questions, He was equipped with the knowledge needed to answer. His voice didn’t quiver when He gave an answer. He didn’t have shifty eyes. He didn’t break a sweat.

“The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.”  When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?”  Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” – John 18:19

Even in the face of death, He didn’t back down. He flipped the script. They expected Him to back down, to cower at the sound of their ridicule and mocking. The last thing they expected Him to do was to stand His ground. He even stood up to His disciples when they tried (with good intention) to protect Him from the Cross. He never ran from the Cross. He ran towards it.

As a disciple of Jesus, He calls us to do the same. He places within us a holy boldness. He enables us to speak His word without flinching. The disciples even prayed for boldness, and God gladly provided it (Acts 4:29). It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that we can do this, not out of our own strength.

Jesus warns us many times the cost & risk of being His disciple and following Him. We must carry our cross. Deny ourselves. Choose Him. Step up, and speak out. There is a sobering verse that reaffirms the seriousness of this call.

“For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” – Luke 9:26

Our silence can lead to eternal death if we take it too far.

Why do we choose to keep quiet?

  • We don’t want to offend anyone or cause conflict.  God’s not a troublemaker. He doesn’t want us to constantly be causing a scene. Just because Jesus turned tables over in the Temple doesn’t mean you should make that your main approach. But there will be times when the truth stings or is hard to swallow. Don’t run away from it. It may reap a harvest.

“Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while—  yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.  Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” – 2 Corinthians 7:8

  • We don’t feel qualified or intelligent enough. That is a lie from the enemy. Any thought that negates the power of God within you needs to go! God has equipped you & is waiting for you to be a voice. Don’t let your lack of confidence hush you.

God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 1 Corinthians 1:27

It’s an honor for God to want to speak through us to the world. But we must be willing to be used if we want to be a voice. It’s not something to be taken lightly. In the Old Testament, He would give His prophets warnings to prevent something & warn His children. If they weren’t obedient, then the other person’s blood was on the prophet’s hands. There is a huge accountability factor in this equation. You do the math.

Jesus was controversial. He shook things up.  He was not politically correct. He was Kingdom minded, doing His Father’s business. We should be following His lead.

“You have the words to change a nation but you keep biting your tongue.” – Emeli